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Sailors' setback hurts

Newport Harbor, already entering with injuries, loses QB Rios to head injury in first half and falls to Mira Costa, 17-6.

October 08, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

MANHATTAN BEACH — A handful of high school students in Speedos ran onto the football field before Newport Harbor High switched sides.

It was a bad sign for the Sailors before the start of the second quarter at Mira Costa. The streakers did not get in the way of Newport Harbor. An injury to another starter did Friday night.

On the first play in the second quarter, the Sailors lost the ball and then quarterback Austin Rios to a head injury.

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The senior is the latest Sailor to suffer an injury and the setbacks have devastated Newport Harbor. The Sailors entered their final nonleague game without the services of running back Buzzy Yokoyama, fullback Ryan Andrews and right tackle Dillon Gillette.

When they lost their quarterback to a concussion, the Sailors struggled on offense and lost to Mira Costa, 17-6. They avoided the shutout, which would have been the Sailors' first in three years.

Newport Harbor can thank wide receiver Parker Norton for the touchdown. On fourth-and-goal, the senior dived for a six-yard pass in the end zone with 93 seconds left to play.

Norton led Newport Harbor with 12 catches for 139 yards and with 38 yards rushing on three carries. The effort was not enough as the Sailors dropped their second straight game.

The string of injuries during the skid has taken a toll on Newport Harbor (3-2), ranked No. 7 in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division poll.

"Sometimes it's not easy for young guys to regroup when a couple of their leaders have gone down," Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley said.

"We've got to get some guys healthy come next week."

Newport Harbor opens Sunset League play next week at home against Huntington Beach. Brinkley said he is unsure whether Rios, Gillette (concussion) and Andrews (shoulder) will return in time for the league opener.

Yokoyama is definitely out with a dislocated right kneecap, and Brinkley said he does not expect the junior to come back any time soon. Newport Harbor misses Yokoyama in the backfield.

Yokoyama gave the Sailors one of the best ground attacks in Orange County, rushing for 752 yards and eight touchdowns in four games, before going down last week against San Clemente.

Mira Costa (2-3), the Western Division champion last year, held Newport Harbor to a season-low 29 yards rushing to earn its first victory against a Southern Section program this season.

Yokoyama's backup, Drew Diller, began the game strong until the Mustangs stuffed the senior behind the line of scrimmage 10 times.

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