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High School Football: TWO-MINUTE DRILL

October 08, 2012

The 46th edition of the Battle for the Bell turned out to be one of the closest high school football rivalry games between Estancia and Costa Mesa.

The host Eagles held on to a 15-13 victory at Jim Scott Stadium Friday night, improving their record in the series to 27-18-1.

Estancia opened its Orange Coast League title defense by beating the Mustangs for the third straight year.

The Eagles and Mustangs have played to one tie, two one-point games and two two-point games since they began their rivalry in 1966.

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The day after the Battle for the Bell game was Costa Mesa High Coach Wally Grant's birthday.

His team couldn't give him an early birthday gift on Friday, even though Costa Mesa dominated the game.

"We played well on both sides of the ball," said Grant, whose team outgained Estancia, 321 yards to 166. "We probably owned the time of possession. We ground and pounded [the ball for 316 yards] like I wanted. The defense played unbelievable. We gave up a long [pass play that set up Estancia's first touchdown on the game's opening drive] and [a 99-yard] kickoff return [for a touchdown in the third quarter]."

Costa Mesa (2-4, 0-1 in league) has lost two straight games.

The last time that happened was the end of last year, when the Mustangs lost the league title showdown to Estancia and then in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs to Los Amigos.

Senior quarterback Cayman Carter has been a dual threat all year for the Corona del Mar High football team. Rarely was this more true than in the Pacific Coast League opener, a 40-20 victory over University on Friday at Newport Harbor High.

Carter had 143 yards passing and 150 yards rushing. He threw two touchdown passes to Troy Reese and also rushed for a pair of scores, including a 50-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that helped the Sea Kings (4-2, 1-0 in league), ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division, put the game out of reach.

CdM Coach Scott Meyer said after the game that having Carter was almost like having another running back in the backfield. He is now averaging 100.5 rushing yards per game.

"He's a physical runner," Meyer said. "Even taking shots in the pocket or guys taking shots at him downfield, he's still able to get more yards after that initial contact."

Newport Harbor High opened Sunset League play not only losing on the road to Edison, 35-0, but also losing two players Thursday at Huntington Beach High.

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