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High School Football: Great night for Tars

Newport Harbor, led by QB Norris, steps up to score huge win against Fountain Valley in Sunset League Friday.

October 25, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Newport Harbor High's Quest Truxton celebrates with the Newport Harbor football alumni section in the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against Fountain Valley on Friday.
Newport Harbor High's Quest Truxton celebrates… (Don Leach, Daily…)

Playing with a bruised kidney and lung, Cole Norris looked beat, but not defeated. The junior went into halftime with his team, Newport Harbor High, down by 10 points.

The game plan in the first half didn't work much against Fountain Valley on Friday. Coach Jeff Brinkley told his staff during the break that the Sailors needed to come out and throw the ball.

Norris turned it on in the final two quarters. His right arm proved to be more than enough for the Sailors to get back into contention for a Sunset League title.

Norris threw two of his three touchdowns in the second half, rallying Newport Harbor to a 42-25 win at Davidson Field. In the process, the Sailors handed the Barons their first league setback.

With the victory, the Sailors (4-4, 2-1 in league) are back atop the league with two games left. It's a logjam with Newport Harbor, Edison, Los Alamitos and Fountain Valley sharing first place, but the Sailors will take it.

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"It's not very often you get a second chance," Brinkley said. "After [Los Alamitos beat Edison on Thursday] night, we were in that position and the kids took advantage."

The Sailors took down the league's only unbeaten team. Norris led the way, completing 17 of 27 passes for 259 yards, without any interceptions.

Norris bounced back after Newport Harbor lost at home to defending league champion Edison last week. Norris said he left that contest with a bruised kidney and lung.

Norris started against Fountain Valley (6-2, 2-1), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll, and wasn't asked to do much early on. His biggest throw was a 67-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Quest Truxton late in the first quarter.

Norris' other seven first-half attempts resulted in 14 yards. That hook up with Truxton stood as the Sailors' lone score in the first half. They ended the first half down, 17-7.

Newport Harbor, ranked No. 10, got beat on a long ball as well in the opening quarter, when quarterback Scott Schultz hit wide receiver Ryan Finley on a skinny post for a 57-yard touchdown pass. Schultz threw for 148 yards two touchdowns in the first half and was the quarterback that shined.

The final two quarters belonged to Norris, who completed 12 of 19 passes for 178 yards during the stretch.

On the Sailors' first drive in the second half, they came out throwing on every down. Norris passed 11 times, completing five. Keep in mind, three passes were dropped.

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