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High School Football: Tars take control

Newport Harbor earns big Sunset League win after rallying from a 14-0 deficit against Huntington Beach.

October 19, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

NEWPORT BEACH — The past two weeks Newport Harbor High played its football games at Huntington Beach, always against some other school.

The Sailors finally met Huntington Beach on the field on Friday, but on their home turf. Playing at Davidson Field made a difference in a key Sunset League game.

Huntington Beach came to Newport Harbor undefeated in league play. The Oilers left with their first blemish as the Sailors came from behind to win, 20-17.

The victory was a huge one for Newport Harbor (4-4, 2-1 in league), which has won back-to-back league games. The Sailors moved closer to clinching a berth into the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoffs.

"This was for playoffs," wide receiver Quest Truxton said, knowing the Sailors need another victory in their final two league games to qualify for the postseason. "We knew it and they knew it."

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Truxton and the Sailors prevented the Oilers from staying in a first-place tie with Edison (7-1, 3-0) in league.

Truxton hauled in seven passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Cole Norris. The two are big reasons why Newport Harbor is now sharing second place in league with Huntington Beach (4-4, 2-1) and Los Alamitos (6-2, 2-1).

Staying in that spot after next week favors the Sailors.

Next for Newport Harbor is a home date against Marina, which hasn't won a league contest in eight years. Coach Jeff Brinkley said his Sailors aren't overlooking the Vikings (3-5, 0-3), not after watching film on them while scouting Huntington Beach.

"One more win, hopefully we do [get into the postseason]," Brinkley said. "This league, everybody beats everybody, so you never know what's going to happen."

What Brinkley said he knew was that three points would decide the game against the Oilers. After the first quarter, his prediction didn't look so good.

The Oilers, ranked No. 8 in the Southwest Division, were on their way to remaining undefeated in league. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter.

The team's ground game, featuring quarterback Kai Ross and running back Bowen Breunig, had its way with Newport Harbor's defense, finishing with 155 and 131 yards rushing, respectively. The defense eventually slowed down the Oilers' lone two runners in the second half.

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