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High School Football: Newport impressive on offense

Sailors move ball well in scrimmage, although Coach Brinkley says he'd like to see more physical play on defense.

August 30, 2013|By Matt Szabo

BELL GARDENS — The first thing one notices when exiting the northbound 710 Freeway in Bell Gardens is the flashing lights of the Bicycle Casino.

The Newport Harbor High football team and its fans passed the casino Thursday night, on the way to a scrimmage at Bell Gardens High. When they got there, the fans noticed that chance also seemed to play a role in the Sailors' jersey numbers for the scrimmage.

The Sailors played roulette with the numbers, with everything random. Coach Jeff Brinkley explained why.

"We actually thought we were going to be in white," Brinkley said. "Our practice jerseys are white. [Bell Gardens Coach Geoff Ackerman] called me and said they wanted to wear their practice jerseys, so we had to just throw on a quick blue jersey. We really didn't care about the numbers, as long as they had an eligible number."

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It still was not hard to distinguish the players during the 80-minute scrimmage. There was junior quarterback Cole Norris slinging the ball to myriad receivers, including Keaton Cablay, Quest Truxton, Cory Stowell and Brett Beaudette. And there was junior tailback Chance Siemonsma, running the ball confidently behind a physical offensive line.

The Sailors, ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division preseason poll, appeared to click on offense. But Brinkley, who is in his 28th year in charge, said there were still areas of improvement needed heading into the Sept. 6 season opener at Trabuco Hills.

Bell Gardens, the defending Almont League champion that is ranked No. 6 in the Mid-Valley Division, presented a unique challenge to the Sailors' defense. Senior quarterback Charles Ontiveros, a left-hander, scrambled, ran the option and made some nice throws.

"We need to play more physical than we did tonight," Brinkley said. "They did some things, obviously, that we didn't prepare for in running the option. We didn't have any film on them or anything, so we got hit with some things we weren't prepared for. Schematically, I can accept that, [but] I don't like the fact that we didn't play quite physical enough."

The Sailors did shut down the Lancers on their first three offensive series, allowing just one first down. When Newport Harbor went on offense, it immediately went on a nine-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.

Siemonsma ran left for a 30-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage, following a crushing block from All-CIF returner Ramsey Hufford. After a seven-yard run by Riley Gaddis, Norris went to work.

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