CdM remains on top

Sea Kings clinch at least a share of PCL title, can claim outright crown with another win Friday.

November 05, 2010|By Barry Faulkner,

NEWPORT BEACH — The Corona del Mar High football team's helmet decals this season feature a big letter C with the word Kings scrolled horizontally across. And with the Sea Kings' 31-3 Pacific Coast League victory over visiting University Friday at Newport Harbor High the notion of royalty has proved prophetic.

With the win, combined with results from the other two league games Thursday and Friday, CdM (7-1-1, 3-0-1 in league) has clinched at least a share of its first league championship since 1999. A victory over host Beckman in the regular-season finale Friday at Tustin High would give the Sea Kings, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, the program's first outright crown since 1988.

"That gives you a cushion," Hitchens said of a Beckman win over Irvine Thursday and Friday's Northwood triumph over Woodbridge, leaving Northwood alone in second with a 2-1-1 league record heading into the final week of the regular season. "But we really don't want to share anything. If we can close it out, that's kind of what we've been working toward here."


The Sea Kings wasted little time working toward Friday's victory, scoring on its first offensive play after forcing the Trojans (1-8, 0-4) to go three-and-out after taking the opening kickoff.

A 24-yard punt set the hosts up at the University 48-yard line and senior quarterback Mitch Gardner darted into the end zone on the ensuing snap to give the Sea Kings all they would need with 10:29 left in the first quarter.

University, which had managed only three touchdowns in its previous four games, answered with a 20-play procession that ended with a 26-yard field goal by Kiran Leucke.

But after Kyle Sherburne blocked a punt to set CdM up at the Uni 28 early in the second quarter, Gardner capped the short march with a nine-yard touchdown pass to junior Josh Giger that made it 14-3 with 8:54 left in the second quarter.

Strong CdM defense and a struggling kicking game for the Trojans continually gave the Sea Kings a short field.

After a 20-yard punt, CdM needed seven plays to drive 36 yards to up the lead to 18 with 4:40 left before halftime.

Cole Cottrell returned another punt five yards to the University 41 late in the third quarter, which led to a 41-yard field goal by Andrew Boehm with 1:33 left in the third period.

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