MISSION VIEJO —The last time the Newport Harbor High football team opened the season with a loss was nine years ago. And it came at the hands of Trabuco Hills.
The Mustangs once again stood in the way of the Sailors kicking off the season with a win. They did it convincing fashion on Thursday night, running past and through Newport Harbor en route to a 35-14 home victory.
“We seemed a step slow,” Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley said. “You can see the difference between a veteran team and a young, inexperienced team. [Either you] get better or you get worse.”
Brinkley expects his team to improve after seeing an eight-game winning streak in season openers end.
In the previous eight openers, no team had scored double-digits against Newport Harbor. Trabuco Hills posted 14 points in the opening quarter.
The Mustangs were off and running and the Sailors' defense had no answers for a 5-foot-7 running back named Mitchell Simonsen. The senior rushed for a career-high 208 yards on 31 carries and scored two touchdowns.