Two-minute Drill

November 23, 2010

A feeling of déjà vu had to have been creeping up on the Corona del Mar High football team Friday.

A week after a long touchdown strike in the closing minute put their lead over Pacific Coast League foe Beckman in jeopardy, the Sea Kings faced a last-minute threat from CIF Southern Section Southern Division first-round playoff foe Ocean View at Orange Coast College.

And, just like the Beckman game, in which senior end Alex Herrera gave chase to force an incomplete two-point pass in the end zone that ensured a 17-15 CdM win, the Sea Kings defense rose to the occasion against an Ocean View team that was attempting to move in for a potential score with the game on the line.


Holding on to a 21-13 lead in the waning moments, Ocean View was at the CdM 16-yard line when quarterback Nolan Tippy delivered a pass to receiver Josh Clay at the goal line.

Clay appeared to be in position to make the catch but was denied the ball when CdM junior cornerback Cole Cottrell stepped in front of Clay to break up the pass. The ball fell to the ground with eight seconds left. The Sea Kings took over, ran out the clock and ran toward a second-round date Friday against Anaheim.

"Cole came up with a big play there at the end to stop them," CdM Coach Jason Hitchens said. "I thought our defense again stepped up big when we needed a stop."

Cottrell, who this fall has four interceptions and revealed he set the school record for punt return yardage (297, to date), was also on man coverage in the end zone on Beckman's failed two-point pass Nov. 12.

"Basically, it came down to the same situation," Cottrell said. "I looked up to see that the ball was coming to me again and I knew I had to do whatever was needed to help our team get the win.

"Major props to [Clay] for getting open. I was fortunate to be able to get in position to knock the ball down. It felt like the ball took so long to get there and it was a very relieving feeling when I saw it hit the ground."

*Newport Harbor High lost at Alemany of Mission Hills, 27-7, in the first round of the CIF Pac-5 Division playoffs Friday, making it two straight years the Sailors have lost in the opening round.

The Sailors (6-5) had two opportunities in the red zone in the first half to tie Alemany (11-0) or cut the deficit to four points. They missed on each chance.

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