Trabuco Hills travels to Davidson Field already having played a game. The Mustangs won their opener last week against Capistrano Valley, 17-0. Trabuco Hills and Capistrano Valley switched leagues.
The Cougars are in the Sea View League, which the Mustangs won twice in the previous three years. During that stretch, Trabuco Hills reached the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division final twice.
Gone is the coach who led the Mustangs, Jason Negro.
Negro took the job at St. John Bosco and most likely the Mustangs' no-huddle attack, which helped the program compile a 32-9 record over the last three seasons.
Fast-paced offenses gave Newport Harbor fits last season. Dana Hills, Edison, Fountain Valley and Lakewood each scored at least 34 points on the Sailors. Four of the five losses Newport Harbor suffered were to these teams.
The defense returns to its roots after allowing 21.3 points per game last season. The Sailors move back to the 4-3 after using the 3-4 in recent years.
"We kind of looked at the guys we have returning and we've had a lot of success in past years running [the 4-3]," said Brinkley, who has Stanford-bound senior defensive tackle JB Salem and senior linebacker Ryan Andrews leading the defense. "We like the guys that we have coming back."
Brinkley is happy about the returning starters on both sides of the ball, especially at the skill positions on offense.
The offense features quarterback Austin Rios and wide receiver Parker Norton. As juniors last year, the two hooked up 37 times for close to 300 yards and four touchdowns.
Brinkley said junior Buzzy Yokoyama and senior Drew Diller will handle the running back duties afterfirst-team All-Sunset League tailback Cedric Whitaker did not return after a strong 2009 season.
Expect to see Yokoyama line up at receiver, where Trabuco Hills safety Andrew Walsh will surely keep an eye on the 5-foot-10, 198-pound speedster.
Scott Orloff, the former defensive coordinator at Orange Coast College, is the head coach at Trabuco Hills. He coached at Dana Hills for five years before joining OCC eight years ago.
Tonight marks the third time an Orloff-led team has squared off against Brinkley's Sailors. Brinkley holds the edge at 2-0.