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Sailors’ defense shines

Newport Harbor causes six turnovers, records two sacks in scrimmage that ends early after Troy player is injured.

September 04, 2009|By Steve Virgen

“We really take pride in our defense,” said Whiteside, who has verbally committed to play for UC Berkeley. “We like to come out and set the tone and have a great attitude and know that we are setting the tone for the rest of the game.”

The offense also provided some highlights during the scrimmage, as did senior kicker Dillan Freiberg, who easily connected on field goals from 32 and 42 yards out.

Junior quarterback Austin Rios played well, Brinkley said. Rios connected on a 32-yard pass to Norton, who dived for the catch. Rios also delivered a touchdown pass, yet it was on a screen pass to Gomez, who did most of the work, following his blocks for 48 yards.

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Gomez also gained 16 yards on another screen pass that featured a hard-hitting block from senior Brandon Coffey.

Rios admitted to being nervous after being named the starter in the spring, but he said he is now ready to go.

“I’m excited; I can’t wait,” said Rios, who takes over for Andrew McDonald, now a walk-on at the University of Arizona. “I was ready to go today, but I’ll be more fired up next week against Aliso [Niguel]. I think under the lights it will be more exciting.”

Rios also believes the Sailors can generate some momentum during nonleague games as they head into the highly competitive Sunset League.

Said Rios, “I’m not going to mention any names or anything, but I think we can surprise some people and show that we are actually a good football team and not just some young team trying to rebuild.”


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