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Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Ford Sea Kings’ driving force

Junior scores the Sea Kings’ game-winner in final minute of 2-1 victory over Mission Viejo in tourney title match.

January 08, 2010|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

Before the New Year, Brian Ford had to stop one bad habit on the field. He couldn’t rely on passing the ball to Reed Williams to score goals for the Corona del Mar High boys’ soccer team.

Williams wasn’t around to add to his 19-goal total, best in Orange County. The UCLA-bound senior was out with a hamstring injury for the second straight match at the South Orange County Classic.

Ford wasn’t feeling too good either.

The junior, playing with an injured right ankle, had no choice but to continue in the finale against Mission Viejo. The Sea Kings trailed by one at halftime, and first-year CdM coach George Larsen said it could have been far worse.

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The Sea Kings’ undefeated season was in jeopardy.

“It kind of humbled us because we had never been down before,” Ford said.

With Williams around the first nine matches, CdM won with ease. During the stretch, Ford admits he sometimes got lazy after he fed the striker the ball.

“I just expect him to do something amazing with it,” Ford said.

Ford was the one who delivered the spectacular play at the end for the Sea Kings in the championship match.

In the final minute, Ford literally elevated his play. Ford leaped in the air to knock in the game-winner off a corner kick with his head, lifting CdM to a 2-1 victory against Mission Viejo.

The victory showed the Sea Kings (11-0) are more than just one player.

“I just want to stress that it’s a team game,” said Ford, who has scored six goals and assisted on four others this season. “Reed is getting a lot of headlines and I’m getting a couple now, but the success isn’t [just because of] me and Reed. The success is with everyone that has played on our team.

“We just all needed to pick up the slack with Reed gone.”

The Sea Kings received multiple contributions to win the toughest early season tournament in the county. At times during the four matches, they played without their starting strikers, Williams and Jack McBean.

Larsen figured CdM needed a boost up top and he went to Ford.

Ford sparked the offense in the second half against the Diablos. Ford said he had no clue he would be switching to striker after struggling in the first half at midfield because of his injured ankle.

“I was like, ‘OK, I can get some rest at forward and hopefully do something,’” Ford said.

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