HUNTINGTON BEACH — Coach Jeff Brinkley stood on the football field while his Newport Harbor High team walked back to the bus dejected.
He said his Sailors had played better teams than Huntington Beach and will play better teams in the future.
In the present, the Sailors dropped a crucial Sunset League game at Huntington Beach. Brinkley explained his team's 35-7 setback on Friday night.
"They were more motivated," Brinkley said of the Oilers. "They were more motivated than we were."
That might be hard to swallow for Newport Harbor fans.
But in a contest with CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoff implications, the opposing coach said he saw the same thing Brinkley did. What Newport Harbor lacked, the Oilers did not.
They were inspired from start to finish. The result was Huntington Beach's first victory against the Sailors in 20 years.
"This is the biggest win since I've been the head coach here," said Eric Lo, who's in his fifth year at Huntington Beach. "We're not taking [this game] that [it] was for third place [in league]. We've got bigger goals than that."