"We've just got to get back on track," said Coach Jeff Brinkley, whose
Sailors saw their 15-game unbeaten streak halted by Marina last week.
"We can't worry about the rah-rah deal this week, because we've just
got to get better," said CdM Coach Dick Freeman, whose Sea Kings have
opened 0-2, extending their nonleague losing streak to nine games.
Harbor (1-1 and ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division VI)
leads the series, 26-12, has won five of the last six cross-town
showdowns, and enters as the prohibitive favorite.
CdM, outscored, 49-0, in the third quarter this season (but on top,
29-27, the rest of the time) is counting on the emotional lift that led
to upsets in five of the 11 Back Bay meetings during the 1990s (they
played twice in '92).
"It's another one of those games with Corona and I've seen it on all
ends," Brinkley said.
Brinkley was on the wrong end two seasons ago, when his Tars, ranked
No. 1 in Division VI at the time, absorbed a surprising 28-18 Sea View
League setback that propelled CdM into the playoffs and cost the Sailors
a postseason berth.
Freeman, whose squad left the Sea View for the Pacific Coast League
last season, has a healthy respect for this Newport unit.
"When they moved (then-quarterback Chris) Manderino to tailback, they
turned into one of those real Newport teams," Freeman said. "And that
front seven of theirs is the best we're going to see. You're not going to
find two better ends and they have three really good linebackers.
"But playing Newport keeps us in it. Rather than getting caught up in
the 'Woe is me thing,' we have added incentive to work hard, improve, and
Brinkley believes his players, still stinging from their first loss in
31 games to a team not in the Sea View League, are eager to rebound.
"Our kids are very focused for CdM; you could see it in their eyes
Friday (the day after the 26-18 loss to Marina)," Brinkley said. "They
want to come back and play well."
The Sailors did just that in the second half against Marina, after
Mandarino made the aforementioned shift to tailback and junior Morgan
Craig stepped in under center.