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CdM comes close

High School Football

Sea Kings can't come all the way back from 32-point deficit as Beckman wins outright league title.

November 11, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach / Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — The comeback was nearly miraculous.

The Corona del Mar High football team was on the verge of rallying from a 32-point fourth-quarter deficit in its most important game of the year so far.

A Pacific Coast League title was on the line. The Sea Kings almost pulled off the kind of stunner that they'd talk about with their grandkids one day.

But the last onside kick went squarely into the hands of Beckman's Elijah Steen with less than a minute to go. On Veterans Day, the Patriots would not be denied, capturing the first league title in program history with a 42-37 victory at Newport Harbor High.

Corona del Mar was denied its second straight outright league title, finishing second in league. The top-ranked Sea Kings more-than-likely will also lose that top overall seed in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs to the No. 2 Patriots, when the brackets are released at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

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CdM came so close after outscoring Beckman, 27-0, in the fourth quarter.

"I would love nothing more than to see them again in the [CIF] finals," CdM senior Cole Cottrell said of the Patriots, who topped the Sea Kings, 24-3, in last year's semifinals.

Cottrell nearly brought CdM (8-2, 4-1 in league) all the way back with his feet. His 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter was the first time the Sea Kings found the end zone.

CdM got two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns by Erik Fisher, as well as an onside kick recovery by Connor Sage. Then Cottrell's 79-yard punt return for a touchdown brought the Sea Kings within 42-31 midway through the fourth quarter.

It gave CdM hope after Beckman (8-2, 5-0) got its second interception return for a touchdown of the night late in the third quarter. Beckman senior captain Bryan Dewey, a linebacker, rumbled in from 35-yards out, giving the guests a 42-10 edge.

Senior quarterback Cameron Biedgoly also had two short touchdown runs for Beckman.

"It was tough," Cottrell said. "We didn't decide to come out and play defense until the fourth quarter, and that really hurt us. It was really unlike us, coming out tonight and not playing the hard-nosed defense we normally play."

The pick-six was the second interception of the game for Dewey, and the fourth for Beckman's defense. CdM came into the league finale having thrown just seven interceptions all year.

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