Go to the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow for Friday to see all of the photos from this game.
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Newport Harbor tops CdM in final minute
NEWPORT BEACH – Corona del Mar came into Friday's "Battle of the Bay" with rival Newport Harbor as the city's CIF champion. Newport Harbor left as the city champion.
Playing in front of a sold-out crowd estimated at 5,000 at Newport Harbor High, the Sailors rallied for a dramatic 27-26 victory against the Sea Kings.
Newport Harbor trailed, 26-21, and faced fourth-and-goal from the 22 with 32 seconds remaining when Sailors coach Jeff Brinkley issued final instructions to quarterback Cole Norris.
"The last thing I told Cole was make sure we get it up and give one of our guys a chance to make a play," Brinkley said.
Norris listened, his pass sailing just above the outstretched hand of a Sea Kings defender and into the arms of Cory Stowell, option No. 2 on the play.
"Cole played remarkable," Brinkley said. "They knew we were passing and we knew we were passing and they (offensive linemen) did a great job protecting. I've had a lot of years doing this, but I don't know if I've had one quite like that."
Newport Harbor has won 17 of the past 19 meetings overall. The 51st installment of the series was its most dramatic in years. The Sailors came in having won five in a row — the first four all by at least 22 points — but won by just three points a year ago.
"Exciting stuff," Brinkley beamed as Sailors fans rushed the field in celebration. "I told the TV guys at halftime, it's two good football teams, it's a rivalry and it's going to come down to the end. It's just going to be a battle the whole time".
And it was, the whole time.
On the game's final play, Corona del Mar quarterback Cayman Carter, from his own 40, heaved a long pass that fell short of the end zone and was ultimately deflected. It was a mere footnote in a tremendous effort from the senior, who gave the Sea Kings a chance to win as he rushed for 167 yards. Carter's 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave Corona del Mar a 20-14 lead, this after the Sea Kings fell behind, 14-0, in the first quarter.
Sea Kings kicker Griff Amies connected on four field goals, including a 46-yarder and 48-yarder, the latter of which gave Corona del Mar a 23-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
"They played their tail off and made some plays after we jumped out ahead of them," Brinkley said. "They're used to winning also."
Norris, just a sophomore and playing in place of Zach Wade, who is expected to miss six weeks because of a broken foot, closed out his first start by leading the Sailors on a 95-yard drive. He completed eight passes while converting two fourth downs on the deciding possession. Norris finished 14 of 26 for 245 yards and two touchdowns.
Corona del Mar had scored 23 consecuitve points when Norris connected with receiver Quest Truxton for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Truxton and Landon Gyulay each topped 100 yards receiving for a Newport Harbor offense that returned just one starter from last season.
After Newport Harbor (1-2) dominated the opening quarter, the second one belonged to Corona del Mar (1-2) and it's no huddle offense. The Sea Kings produced three scoring drives, including a 13-yard touchdown run by running back Cole Martin. Amies' second field goal, a 29-yarder just before the end of the half, cut Corona del Mar's deficit to 14-13.
Sailors tailback Tala Teaupa had already produced 194 yards and two touchdowns by that point. The 5-11, 187-pound senior carried the Newport Harbor offense from the start. He ran five times on the Sailors' second possession, finishing off a 67-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. He finished with 237 rushing yards.
The Sailors took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter when Teaupa broke free down the left sideline for a 74-yard touchdown run. They were fortunate to have possession, as tailback Chance Siemonsma recovered a fumbled punt by a teammate deep in his own territory.
Newport Harbor completes its nonleague schedule with games against San Clemente and Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. The Sailors lost their first two games to Trabuco Hills and Loyola of Los Angeles.
Corona del Mar, which lost its season opener to Laguna Hills before beating Western last week, faces Capistrano Valley next week and then Cypress.