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Sailors dominate Oilers

Newport Harbor opens Sunset League play with strong defense and solid effort from Blower in his first start at QB Friday.

October 15, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

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.

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Blower most likely will return to his backup role next week, when Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley expects Rios to come back in time for a league game at Los Alamitos.

The level of competition for Newport Harbor (4-2, 1-0 in league) will be much higher against the Griffins (4-2, 1-0).

"That will be a big game," said Brinkley, who was happy to have senior right tackle Dillon Gillette and senior fullback/linebacker Ryan Andrews back from setbacks. "We'll enjoy this one for 24 hours and then get ready [for Los Alamitos]. We're 1-0 in league and that's all that matters."

The Oilers (4-2, 0-1) did not put up much of a fight in their return to the Sunset League.

Nine yards of offense is all the Sailors gave up in the first half. Newport Harbor defensive coordinator Tony Ciarelli's schemes created problems for his former school, Huntington Beach, which saw its four-game winning streak end.

The Oilers' next streak might be a losing one in league play. The Sunset League is much tougher than the Sea View League in which Huntington Beach competed in the past four seasons.

The Sailors picked off quarterback Mike Chislock four times. Two of those interceptions were by safety Kellon Truxton. The senior returned the second interception 17 yards for a touchdown, giving Newport Harbor a 28-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

Things got so bad for Chislock that he completed a pass to himself after defensive end Mutuvai Asi pressured the 6-foot-3 junior.

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