"Everything was really working," Meyer said after his team looked sharp after a tough start. CdM's first two drives ended with an interception in the end zone and a turnover-on-downs, but the Sea Kings were undeterred.
They scored on their final four drives of the first half to take a 28-0 lead into halftime. Twenty-eight points matched the most Irvine (3-4, 1-1) had given up in an entire game.
Senior quarterback Brent Lawson threw for a season-high 288 yards and three touchdowns, two of those to junior Troy Reese. Lawson appeared very comfortable in the pocket, and the Sea Kings also had success when handing the ball off to senior back Erik Fisher (144 yards and a touchdown).
"It's the up-front guys," Lawson said. "Those guys just work harder than everyone, and they just make everything happen. And Fisher is just an absolute stud. When that stuff's clicking, it just makes my job easy … We felt really prepared. We knew what [Irvine] was going to do with a 4-4 cover three [defense]."
After Reese caught a 21-yard pass to score the game's first touchdown, Irvine drove the ball to the CdM 14-yard line early in the second quarter. But the Sea Kings' Tim Reinhardt recovered a fumble to kill the Vaqueros' momentum.
CdM came back with an 11-play scoring drive. Senior Cole Cottrell, dancing along the CdM sideline, seemingly had an electrifying touchdown on a 57-yard screen pass, but the ball was brought back to the Irvine 35-yard line due to a CdM penalty. Two plays later, Lawson went over the top to find Reese again for a 30-yard score that increased the Sea Kings' lead to 14-0.
CdM's Alex Moore recovered after Irvine muffed the ensuing kickoff. Four plays later, Fisher dived over the top from a yard out.