"We played great defense again," Brinkley said of a unit that has allowed seven points in the last two league games. "It's a good win for us. We needed it. Now we control our own destiny next week. We don't have to worry about who beats who; we have to win to get in the playoffs."
The Sailors came into the game against last-place Marina (3-6, 0-4) without any points over their last two games. They didn't waste time Thursday night.
On Newport Harbor's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Austin Rios hit receiver Kellon Truxton on a quick pass. Truxton broke a diving tackle and was gone, scoring 75 yards later to give the Sailors a 7-0 lead.
Newport scored again on its third drive after starting with good field position. The home team went 52 yards in eight plays, capping the drive on Rios' 10-yard touchdown toss to Truxton.
Midway through the second quarter, Rios was already six for seven for 133 yards, and Truxton had already accumulated 114 receiving yards and two scores.
"I thought Rios threw a couple of nice balls," Brinkley said. "Any time we can do both [rushing and passing], we need that kind of balance."
The Vikings briefly got momentum later in the quarter, recovering a fumble at the Newport Harbor 46-yard line. But Sailors senior Parker Norton ended said momentum on the next play, intercepting a pass and returning it 59 yards for another touchdown.
The defense, which was led by linebackers coach Matt Burns on Thursday in Ciarelli's absence, didn't give in after halftime. Sophomore defensive back Landon Gyulay had the final blow against the Vikings, intercepting a long pass with less than two minutes left in the game.