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Comeback Sea Kings

High School Football

Corona del Mar rallies from 21-7 deficit to pull out one-point win late against Western Thursday.

September 15, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Call them the comeback Sea Kings.

For the second time in as many weeks, Corona del Mar High rallied late in a football game to stay undefeated.

The Sea Kings keep going to the wire. This time, CdM battled back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull off a 22-21 victory against Western on Thursday night.

Rather than play for a tie late, CdM (3-0) played to win at Newport Harbor High. Not because there was no overtime, but because of a certain player on Western's side, Marcus Hays, created havoc for the Sea Kings whenever they attempted an extra-point kick or a field goal.

Erik Fisher had to leap over Hays just to find the end zone on a six-yard run with 4:51 left to play. The Sea Kings trailed, 21-20, and they called a timeout before going for a two-point conversion.


Fisher got the call again and he ran in untouched for two points, giving the Sea Kings their first lead. They had trailed since the 1:57 mark in the second quarter.

Western saw its 21-7 lead at halftime vanish. The player responsible for the advantage was Hays. Yes, Hays without an "e."

Even without the "e" in Hays, he was still electrifying on the field. The senior gave the Pioneers (2-1) all the offensive firepower they needed in the first half.

When the scoreboard wasn't working properly in the opening quarter, Hays lit it up by blocking a punt and returning it 74 yards for a touchdown.

Then with less than one second left before halftime, Hays raced into the end zone to complete a 45-yard touchdown catch.

The Sea Kings, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, didn't allow Hays (112 rushing yards, 48 receiving yards), or the Pioneers to score again. With the help of linebacker Grant Garrett, the defense pitched a shutout in the second half.

Garrett played the final two quarters with an ankle injury he suffered last week in the Sea Kings' 28-21 win at Huntington Beach.

"We were trying to rest him, and in the second half we got him in there to try to get a little spark for the defense," said Coach Scott Meyer, whose Sea Kings have momentum heading into the Battle of the Bay game against Newport Harbor next week at Orange Coast College.

The Sea Kings opened the season at 3-0 for the fourth straight year. The one team that has stood in the way of CdM starting 4-0 has been the Sailors.

Meyer, in his first year at CdM, knows the game is huge, but he said the rivalry game "hasn't been much of a rivalry historically because Newport's dominated the game."

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