“I always say I’m 77 going on 22,” said Hassay, a former English teacher at Estancia. “Of course, when I was 39, I’d say I was 39 going on 22.
Newport Harbor High’s 13-10 Sunset League road win Friday over Esperanza was in question until the final seconds at Valencia High.
Esperanza’s Tyler Drees was called upon for a 47-yard field-goal try with three seconds left that would have tied it. But Sailors’ Coach Jeff Brinkley first made him wait, calling his two allotted timeouts to “ice” the kicker.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that before in my career,” said Brinkley, in his 32nd season as a prep head coach. “It obviously didn’t hurt.”
After a low snap was placed by the holder Drees’ attempt was high enough and long enough, but wide left.
One person on the Newport Harbor sideline, senior kicker Dillon Freiberg, empathized with Drees.
“[Waiting through timeouts] is tough on a kicker,” Freiberg said. “It happened to me last year against Fountain Valley and I missed.”
Freiberg rarely misses a chance to contribute to his team, both kicking and punting. He booted field goals of 25 and 35 yards, the latter to break a 10-10 tie with 4:26 left in the game against the Aztecs. He also converted his lone conversion attempt, averaged 50.7 yards on three punts and blasted three of his four kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
“He’s so good at both [punting and kicking], he is really a weapon for us,” Brinkley said.
For the second straight year, Costa Mesa fell behind 22 points to Laguna Beach in the Orange Coast League championship showdown that ended the regular season.
The Mustangs were unable to come back this time.
Costa Mesa fell at Laguna Beach, 49-34, losing a chance to claim three consecutive league titles for the first time in the program’s history.