For the second time in three years, Corona del Mar High has claimed the Pacific Coast League football title outright.
The Sea Kings knocked off Woodbridge, 33-16, at Newport Harbor High on Friday, helping them improve to 4-0 in league.
CdM (7-2 overall), the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll, will try to go unbeaten in league play as it did two years ago.
The Sea Kings' league finale is on the road against rival Beckman (3-6, 2-2 in league) at Tustin High on Friday.
The Sea Kings and Patriots played for a lot more last year: a league title and then a Southern Division title. But CdM Coach Scott Meyer expects a fight from Beckman.
The Patriots are playing for a playoff berth as they are tied for second place in league with Northwood, Irvine and Woodbridge. The league's top three teams earn a postseason berth.
A win against Beckman and Meyer is counting on defending section champion CdM to receive the top seed in the Southern Division. The postseason pairings will be released Sunday.
Newport Harbor shut out Marina, 37-0, Thursday and won its third straight Sunset League game for only the second time since the program rejoined the league six years ago.
The Sailors (5-4, 3-1), ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, are closing in on their fourth straight postseason appearance. Newport Harbor currently shares second place with sixth-ranked Huntington Beach (5-4 3-1), but the Sailors own the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Sailors edged the Oilers, 20-17, at home Oct. 19.
One league game remains for Newport Harbor, a road date against ninth-ranked Los Alamitos (6-3, 2-2) on Thursday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.
If the Sailors win, they clinch at least the league's No. 2 playoff berth. A loss, coupled with an Oilers' setback to top-ranked Edison (8-1, 4-0) on Friday means the second and third guaranteed postseason entries from league will be determined by a coin flip.
Newport Harbor can share the league title with a victory against Los Alamitos and a Huntington Beach win against Edison. Since each team would be 4-1 and would all be 1-1 against the other two tri-champions, a coin flip would determine the league's Nos. 1, 2 and 3 playoff entries.
Estancia made sure its homecoming game was successful, defeating Saddleback, 40-7, on Friday at Jim Scott Stadium.
The Eagles (6-3, 3-1) clinched a CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff berth with the win. The two-time defending league champions have also clinched at least second place in the Orange Coast League, and can claim a co-title if Costa Mesa upsets Laguna Beach on Thursday and Estancia beats Calvary Chapel on Friday.
Estancia makes the playoffs for the fourth straight year, and fifth in Coach Mike Bargas' six-year tenure.
Costa Mesa High needed a win Friday night to keep its CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff hopes alive.
The Mustangs (4-5, 2-2) blew out Calvary Chapel, 64-22, at Jim Scott Stadium. The 64 points are one off the program's single-game record of 65, set in a victory over Laguna Beach in 1992.
Costa Mesa has scored 112 points in its last two league wins. The Mustangs still likely need to upset first-place Laguna Beach on Thursday at Orange Coast College to make the playoffs. Only the top three teams in the Orange Coast League are guaranteed spots.
Costa Mesa is currently tied with Godinez for third in league, but the Grizzlies have the tiebreaker since they beat the Mustangs, 23-21, on Oct. 12. The Grizzlies also have an easier final game, at Saddleback (1-3 in league).
Moments after Sage Hill's 28-7 Academy League loss at Crean Lutheran on Friday, Lightning Coach J.R. Tolver boldly reached for a motivational carrot to feed his 0-9 team.
"We still have a chance to do something no [Sage Hill] team has ever done," said Tolver, referring to a victory against perennial Academy League champion St. Margaret's in the season finale on Friday at Sage Hill.
In 10 previous meetings with St. Margaret's, the Lightning have been outscored a combined 489-58. Only once has Sage come closer than 21 points, a 10-6 setback to the Tartans in 2010. Sage's losses to the Tartans include deficits of 70 (twice), 56, 53, 49 and 48 points.
Meyer is one win away from his 20th victory as CdM's coach, an impressive number considering this is Meyer's second season with the Sea Kings.
The Sea Kings are 19-4 under Meyer.
Talalelei Teaupa has shouldered the load for the Sailors during their three-game winning streak.
The senior tailback rushed 24 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns against Marina, giving him 518 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in the past three games.
The good news for Bargas was that the Eagles made it through Friday's game without acquiring any significant new injuries.
They did play the game without senior Dan Cabrera (ankle), a two-way starter on the line and also the Eagles' kicker who was hobbled in the previous game against Godinez. Bargas used sophomore Ronnie Urquiza and junior Josh Hernandez for kicking duties against Saddleback.
Senior center Alex Lopez also remained out, as well as senior guard/linebacker Adahir Aguilera.
"It's been a Band-aid all season," said Bargas, who has relied on sophomores Michael Hubbard, Kevin Valencia and Brian Southwick on the offensive line.
Costa Mesa's victory over Calvary Chapel on the Eagles' homecoming night was close early. Calvary Chapel, led by senior quarterback Colin Kearon, scored touchdowns on its first two drives. The second touchdown gave the Eagles a 14-8 lead midway through the first quarter.
Mesa responded on junior Oronde Crenshaw's 27-yard touchdown run. Crenshaw also ran for the two-point conversion, and the Mustangs took a 16-14 lead and never looked back.
No one could stop Crenshaw for the second straight league game, as he rushed for a career-high 295 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
The howling wind at Crean Lutheran on Friday was both a novelty and a hindrance for Sage Hill, said Lightning Coach J.R Tolver.
With the wind, the Lightning averaged 40 yards on two punts. Against the wind, their three punts averaged 14.3 yards, including boots of two and 15 yards.
Passing against the wind, Sage was zero for three. With the wind, it completed three of 10 passes.
Sage even ran better with the wind, producing 125 yards on 14 attempts, including Joe Melita's 60-yard touchdown burst. Against the wind, Lightning rushers gained 108 yards on 20 attempts.
Corona del Mar standout defensive end Tim Reinhardt said San Diego State has invited him to be preferred walk-on next season.
Reinhardt, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior with five sacks, said Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and Sacramento State are also interested in his services.
He earned Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team, as well as All-CIF Southern Division honors as a junior, when he had 10 sacks.
Newport Harbor quarterback Zach Wade made his first appearance Thursday since breaking his foot in the second game of the season against Loyola of Los Angeles.
Wade entered the game with 7:03 left in the second quarter against Marina, with the Sailors ahead, 16-0. On his first snap, he handed the ball off to Teaupa, who scored on a 47-yard touchdown run.
Wade, a senior, played four straight series, before sophomore Cole Norris returned in the second half. Wade completed one of two passes for two yards.
As for Wade's status in the regular-season finale, Coach Jeff Brinkley said he was unsure. The Sailors are 5-2, 3-1 in league with Norris as the starter.
Both the 2012 homecoming king and queen at Estancia are athletes.
The queen is senior Gianna Jason, a volleyball and basketball star for the Eagles.
The king is senior Colby Koste, who plays middle linebacker for the Eagles' football team and leads Estancia in tackles.
Costa Mesa also benefited from the return of senior tight end/defensive end Anthony McCormick, who was in on two sacks Friday and helped bolster the ground game.
McCormick had missed the previous game with a knee injury.
A loss against St. Margaret's on Friday would mean an 0-10 season for Sage Hill, the first winless campaign in the program's 11 seasons.
In Newport-Mesa circles, only Estancia (1988) and Costa Mesa (1989) have endured 0-10 seasons.
Newport Harbor (0-6 in 1932) and Corona del Mar (0-8 in 1962) have also contributed to nine previous winless football seasons among Newport-Mesa schools.
Costa Mesa (1964 and 1972) and Estancia (2001) all finished 0-9.
Sage Hill enters the finale on an 11-game losing streak. The longest Newport-Mesa losing streak is 14, by Costa Mesa (spanning 1971 and 1972) and Corona del Mar (spanning 1962 and 1963).
— From staff reportsCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun