Two-minute Drill

October 31, 2011

Newport Harbor bounced back in a big way Friday.

The host Sailors upset defending Sunset League champion Los Alamitos, 35-21, to move into second place in league with two games left in the regular season.

Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1 in league) shares second place with Huntington Beach (6-2, 2-1), which handed the Sailors their first league loss on Oct. 21.


"We have a chance to get in the playoffs," said Coach Jeff Brinkley, who has led Newport Harbor to the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs the past two years. "We've just got to keep winning. We put ourselves in that position [to earn one of the league's three postseason berths].

"This is a great win, but you've got to win again next week. You've got to keep rolling. It's a strange league because everybody can beat everybody."

The Sailors and Oilers trail first-place Edison (6-2, 3-0). The Chargers edged Huntington Beach, 20-14, last week.

Newport Harbor plays Marina (1-6-1, 0-3) at Westminster High on Thursday.

Newport Harbor hasn't lost to Marina since rejoining the Sunset League five years ago.

Estancia earned a 51-0 win over Saddleback at Segerstrom High on Thursday night, improving to 6-2, 3-0 in the Orange Coast League.

The Eagles have two regular-season games left, at home against Calvary Chapel on Friday and the "Battle for the Bell" against cross-town rival Costa Mesa on Nov. 11.

Both teams still have league title aspirations. The Mustangs have clinched a CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff berth, and Estancia can do the same by beating Calvary Chapel.

Estancia is ranked No. 4 in the Division, five spots ahead of Costa Mesa.

It would be the third straight playoff appearance for the Eagles under Coach Mike Bargas.

Costa Mesa (7-1, 3-0) earned its seventh straight victory by overpowering Calvary Chapel, 49-14, at Jim Scott Stadium on Friday night.

Each of the Mustangs' three league contests so far have been blowouts, so the regulars haven't played the whole game. Coach Wally Grant said that's a concern heading into Friday's key league game at Laguna Beach.

"To be completely honest, condition-wise we are not ready to play four quarters," Grant said. "There's nothing I can do Monday through Thursday to get them ready to play a four-quarter game. We're going to be in a little bit of trouble when we play Laguna Beach and we have to have that touchdown drive, or that game-stopping scoring drive on defense. We're going to be a little taxed … I've got too many two-way starters."

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