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Two-Minute Drill: Sailors jump back in Sunset League contention

Newport Harbor's big win against Fountain Valley sets up four-way tie for first in Sunset League.

October 29, 2013

NEWPORT HARBOR

•Newport Harbor High finds itself back atop the Sunset League.

The Sailors closed out their final regular-season home game with a 42-25 victory against Fountain Valley last week, moving Newport Harbor into a four-way tie for first place in the Sunset League.

With two games left, the Sailors share first place with defending league champion Edison, Fountain Valley and Los Alamitos. The four teams are 2-1 in league. Out of the four, Newport Harbor has the easiest schedule the rest of the way.

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The Sailors, who are 4-4 overall, face Marina on Friday at Huntington Beach High at 7 p.m. They play at Huntington Beach the following week.

Marina (1-7, 0-3 in league) last won a league contest nine years ago. The Vikings have dropped 44 straight league games.

Huntington Beach (4-4, 1-2) picked up its first league win this year with a 50-12 drubbing of Marina last week.

Edison, which is 5-3 overall, goes up against rival Fountain Valley (6-2 overall) this Friday at Orange Coast College at 7 p.m., before closing out league against Marina at Westminster High on Nov. 8.

Los Alamitos, which is 7-1 overall, plays host to Huntington Beach at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach on Friday at 7 p.m. The Griffins' Sunset League finale is against Fountain Valley at Veterans Stadium on Nov. 8.

The top three teams in league earn automatic playoff berths. Last year, four teams advanced to the postseason, with Los Alamitos receiving an at-large entry.

The Sunset League should receive another at-large entry this year, as Los Alamitos (No. 3), Edison (No. 4), Newport Harbor (No. 7) and Fountain Valley (No. 9) are each ranked in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll.

The Sailors finished second in league last year at 4-1, behind Edison (5-0) and ahead of Huntington Beach (3-2). Los Alamitos (2-3) was fourth.

•The last time Newport Harbor won the Sunset League title was five years ago, but it missed the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Five teams split the league crown in 2008, but the Sailors lost out on the postseason due to a random tiebreaker process determining the league's three playoff teams. Teams were picked out of a wooden bucket and Esperanza, Fountain Valley and Los Alamitos received the playoff berths.

•The Sailors defeated Fountain Valley for the fourth straight year.

Barons came into the recent matchup as the league's lone unbeaten team and on their best start in four years.

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