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Prep football: Battle of the Bay XXXIX, Something to brag about

September 21, 2000

Barry Faulkner

NEWPORT BEACH - Back Bay football rivals Corona del Mar High and

Newport Harbor are looking for something to brag about when they square

off Friday at 7 p.m. in the Battle of the Bay XXXIX, hosted by the

Sailors.

It's not as much the perennial bragging rights with one another, mind

you, as a reason to pound their chests after less than sterling starts.

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"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

beat them."

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.

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