CdM claims crown

Sea Kings are pushed by Beckman, but hold on to get Pacific Coast League title, their first outright championship since 1988.

November 12, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,

TUSTIN — It wasn't pretty, at all.

No, far from it.

But when the Corona del Mar High football team looks back on Friday's 17-15 nail-biting victory over Beckman at Tustin High, it will seem nothing but a thing of beauty.

For the first time in 22 years, the Sea Kings are an outright league champion after holding off the Patriots to cap a 5-0 run that gives them an undisputed Pacific Coast League championship.


Not only was it not pretty, but CdM's eighth victory of the season didn't come easy.

The Sea Kings had to survive an improbable 51-yard touchdown pass on fourth down by the Patriots with 53 seconds remaining, then watched a potential-tying two-point pass slip off the fingertips of running back Zack Rivera.

A recovery by CdM's Aaron White in a heated pile on the ensuing onside kick preserved the win.

CdM shared a league title in 1999.

"What do you say to that?" CdM Coach Jason Hitchens said. "It was ugly most of the time. I think we had four turnovers and we did everything to give the game away. But we found a way to win, and that's what counts."

The Sea Kings capped their first possession with a 10-yard scoring pass from Mitch Gardner to Matt English. The big play during the five-play, 49-yard drive was a 33-yard pass from Gardner to Clay Reinhardt that put the Sea Kings at the Beckman 10-yard line.

And that's where the teams stood at the half, a first half both had to be glad to get out of the way.

After completing his first two passes, Gardner went on to three interceptions, two picked off by the Patriots' Elijah Steen, on his final four attempts of the half. The Sea Kings also fumbled the ball three times in the half, losing one.

Beckman cut the lead to 7-3 with Brian Traut's 27-yard field goal with 8:35 left in the third quarter.

CdM answered with a 29-yard Andrew Boehm field goal with 3:21 to go in the quarter.

The Patriots put together their biggest drive of the night at the outset of the fourth quarter, moving from their own 20 to the CdM 9. On third down, Cameron Biedgoly lofted a pass that Zack Rivera somehow went high to grab over Markel for the score. The Patriots went for two but running back Jeff Kim, who led all rushers with 101 yards on 29 carries, was stopped short of the goal line by a host of Sea Kings.

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