NEWPORT BEACH — Cole Blower's first varsity start at quarterback for Newport Harbor High came at a time the banged-up Sailors needed a spark.
The junior responded to the call in a Sunset League opener Friday night at home.
Blower threw two touchdown passes in the first half and the defense handled the rest, as the Sailors cruised past Huntington Beach, 28-6, and ended a two-game skid.
Blower took the reins under center after the team's starting quarterback, Austin Rios, sat out due to suffering a concussion the previous week. By halftime, Blower threw for more yards (146) and touchdowns (two) than Rios has recorded in a game this season.
Rios, watching from the sideline in street clothes, applauded Blower's effort. Wide receiver Parker Norton said the team believed in Blower, who heading into last season competed for the starting job with Rios before Rios won it in training camp.