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Sailors sack Mustangs

Newport Harbor opens season with strong effort to take down Trabuco Hills Thursday night.

September 10, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

Newport Harbor needed its special teams to score because the offense struggled.

During a 12-minute stretch between the first and second quarters, the Sailors moved the chains only once.

The defense stopped Trabuco Hills from cutting the deficit or going ahead with 3:13 left before halftime. The Mustangs inserted a new quarterback, Ryan Ochoa, with the offense on Newport Harbor's 44.

On Ochoa's first play, he tried to throw a pass over the head of safety Titus Hasson. The transfer from Nevada leaped, showing off his athleticism to intercept the pass inside the 30-yard line.

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The Sailors' offense gave it right back to Trabuco Hills.

The exchange between quarterback Austin Rios and Yokoyama was a bad one in the backfield and linebacker Nicholas Cody pounced on the loose ball. Trabuco Hills began on the Sailors' 32 with 2:16 left in the first half.

The Mustangs moved to the 13. Faced with a third-and-one situation, defensive back Kellon Truxton stuffed running back Mitchell Simonsen for a two-yard loss, forcing Trabuco Hills to bring out Parent.

Parent nailed the 32-yard field goal as Trabuco trailed Newport Harbor, 7-6, with 33 seconds remaining.

The clock showed enough of time for the Sailors to increase their lead. Yokoyama returned the ensuing kickoff down the Newport Harbor sideline for 75 yards, leaving the offense on the opponent's 20-yard line.

Rios hit wide receiver Parker Norton for a quick 10-yard pass to record a first down, the offense's first since midway through the opening quarter. The Sailors settled for a 27-yard field goal by Christian Ochoa as time expired to go ahead, 10-6, at halftime.

The third quarter featured zero points for both sides. Newport Harbor scored its first touchdown of the season, thanks to its defense.

Defensive end Steve Michaelsen couldn't sack quarterback Jonathan Newsom, but he tipped his pass, allowing defensive tackle Lucas Buckley to intercept it on the Mustangs' 12.

Three plays later, Rios connected with Norton on a six-yard touchdown pass with 4:47 left to play.

"We had a couple of shots to throw the ball deep and he was just a little bit long on three throws that we had chances for scores," Brinkley said of Rios, who was 13 of 21 passing for 96 yards. "He'll get in sync and get better like all of us are going to. They had a game under their belt."

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