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High School Football: CdM holds off Warriors

CdM dominates for three-plus quarters, but Woodbridge gets late score to give Sea Kings a rare scare.

October 18, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — As the reigning two-time champion of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division on the crest of a 16-game winning streak, the Corona del Mar High football team knows full well it will receive the best shot from any opponent, let alone a Pacific Coast League rival.

But host Woodbridge nearly delivered a sucker punch to the Sea Kings on Friday, before CdM finally closed out a 14-7 triumph at University High.

The Sea Kings (7-0, 2-0 in league), ranked No. 1 in the Southern Division and atop the Division III rankings for the State Bowl Game, dominated through three-plus quarters. They withstood costly mistakes and a pair of turnovers to hold a seemingly comfortable 14-0 cushion.

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But after an offensive face-masking penalty nullified a would-be 16-yard touchdown run by Cole Martin and the Sea Kings turned the ball over on downs at the Woodbridge 13-yard line four plays later, a Woodbridge offense that had struggled all night, finally found its groove.

The Warriors, who had no first downs in the second and third quarters and had 67 offensive yards through the first 38-plus minutes, drove 87 yards on 19 plays, including one that included two changes of possession, to pull within 14-7 with 1:56 remaining.

But CdM junior linebacker Hoyt Crance, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble, collected the ensuing onside kickoff and CdM's offense ran out the clock to extend the winning streak to 17.

CdM's defense which stymied the Warriors (4-3, 1-1) on all but their final possession, appeared to halt that last Woodbridge drive when junior cornerback Brett Greenlee stepped in front of a Ryan Goodman pass for his second interception of the night at his own 12-yard line with just fewer than five minutes left.

But the Warriors forced a fumble on the return and recovered to maintain possession with a fresh set of downs at the 16.

After converting on third-and-nine with a 13-yard completion to the two, the Warriors converted a fourth-and-goal predicament when Goodman hit Zach Kennedy with a three-yard touchdown pass to halve the deficit.

But the CdM ground game, led by Martin who finished with 180 yards on 29 carries, pounded out two more first downs, exhausting the Warriors' final three timeouts and their upset aspirations.

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