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Sailors stay tough

High School Football

Newport Harbor dominates visiting Fountain Valley to win for fifth time in last six Sunset League openers.

October 14, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

NEWPORT BEACH — Since moving to the Sunset League five years ago, Coach Jeff Brinkley has enjoyed success in league openers.

That didn't change Friday night as the Sailors kicked off league play with a convincing 33-7 victory against Fountain Valley.

Brinkley saw his defense create havoc for the visitors, allowing him to improve his record to 5-1 in Sunset League openers. Getting off to the right start in a competitive league is vital.

The way the Sailors see it, three victories in league most likely secures a berth into the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs. The first win was an easy one and it was Newport Harbor's first against an opponent in the Pac-5 this year.

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The Sailors' next test in league is at Huntington Beach (5-1, 1-0 in league), which coaches picked to finish third in league. That spot belonged to Newport Harbor last year and it clinched a spot in the playoffs.

Newport Harbor (3-3, 1-0) plans to return to the postseason for a third straight year.

The defense led the way against Fountain Valley (3-3, 0-1). The Sailors in the first half didn't allow a first down, or the Barons to cross midfield.

Newport Harbor scored on a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Marty Taylor to end the first half, giving Newport Harbor a 26-0 lead.

"Marty made a great pick at the end of the half that really swung the momentum to our side," Brinkley said.

The interception was the first of two thrown by Fountain Valley quarterback Chris d'Entremont.

The junior, making his fourth straight start after the Barons lost their returning starter, Josiah Fernandez, to a broken collarbone, almost hit as many Sailor players with passes as he did his teammates.

In the third quarter, safety Zach Wade picked off d'Entremont, who only completed three of 14 passes for 27 yards. Wade returned the interception 63 yards, close to the red zone. The turnover led to a 33-yard touchdown pass by Cole Blower to Blake Bell.

Special teams proved to be an issue for the Barons against the Sailors for the second straight year. The Sailors blocked two punts last year.

This year, Fountain Valley's first punt traveled only 16 yards, setting up the Sailors' first touchdown. Grant Frazier scored on a one-yard fullback dive.

The senior earned the touchdown after lining up on the offensive line the past couple of weeks due to injuries to guards Ted Barry and Hamilton Randle. Barry returned and Frazier went back to fullback.

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