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Two-Minute Drill: Mustangs continue to peak

COSTA MESA

•Costa Mesa put on an offensive explosion in Friday night's 64-39 Orange Coast League win over Godinez.

The Mustangs' 64 points were second in program history by a single point. They beat Laguna Beach, 65-19, in 1992.

Things seem to be coming together at the right time for Mesa (4-3, 2-0 in league). Coach Wally Grant said Tuesday that his team is as its healthy as it has been in two months, since the Mustangs' scrimmage against Duarte.

"Now that we're healthy, we're starting to do some things that I expected from us all year long," Grant said.

Grant said he expects senior linebacker and receiver Quinton Bell back for Saturday's game against Saddleback. Bell missed last week's game with a partially collapsed lung. He also missed the Mustangs' first four games of the season with a hip flexor injury.

Junior fullback/defensive end Will Padilla had to leave Friday's game after rolling his ankle, but Grant said that Padilla is fine. He has scored three touchdowns in Costa Mesa's last two games.

•Senior tailback Oronde Crenshaw took much of the attention in Friday's win, and deservedly so after rushing for 276 yards and a career-high six touchdowns. But Costa Mesa also got one of its best performances of the season from senior quarterback Oliver Ferris.

Ferris completed eight of 11 passes for a season-high 180 yards and a touchdown. He showed an early rapport with senior receiver Daniel Lawrence, completing three passes to Lawrence for 57 yards on the Mustangs' first drive alone.

Grant credited the job that quarterbacks coach Bill Lux has been doing with Ferris, a first-year starter at the position.

"He made two clutch passes in the Estancia game, and he was quite sharp in Friday night's game," Grant said. "We have all the pieces of the puzzle now."

Ferris also helped spring Crenshaw for his fifth touchdown, just before the end of the first half. Ferris' nice block about 20 yards downfield aided Crenshaw, who took off down the home sideline on a 65-yard score.

•This Saturday's league game against Saddleback, at 1 p.m. at Segerstrom High, is the Mustangs' third Saturday game already this season.

Grant said he usually prefers Thursday games to Saturday games. But he said this year the Saturday contests have been "a blessing in disguise," allowing the Mustangs an extra day to heal their injuries.

Costa Mesa was 1-1 in its first two Saturday tilts, a 24-6 win over Santiago on Sept. 7 and a 21-16 loss to Katella on Sept. 14.

A win this Saturday will clinch a top-three finish in league and CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoff spot for the Mustangs.

— Matt Szabo

CORONA DEL MAR

•Corona del Mar extended its winning streak to 17 games with Friday's 14-7 Pacific Coast League triumph over Woodbridge at University High. It was the second-lowest margin of victory during the streak, topped only by a 24-21 win at El Toro on Sept. 13.

The Sea Kings' average margin of victory during the streak is 25.6 points.

•Seldom has a team dominated so methodically, only to have to recover an onside kick and run the clock out to preserve a seven-point win. To illustrate, CdM advanced to at least the Woodbridge 25-yard line on eight of its 10 possessions, including its two touchdown drives.

Other than a fumble on the first play of a possession and a three-and-out in the second quarter, the Sea Kings averaged just more than eight plays per possession, including marches of 13 and 11 plays.

CdM turned the ball over on downs on the Woodbridge 18, 12 and 13, missed a 33-yard field goal after advancing to the 16 and had the clock run out to end the game on a possession that got as far as the Warriors' 24-yard line.

•Conversely, the CdM defense held Woodbridge in check until the Warriors' drove 87 yards on 19 plays to close to within 14-7 with 1:56 left in the game.

Until then, the Warriors had not crossed midfield and had reeled off six straight possessions that included five three-and-out situations and one lost fumble on the second play of a drive.

The scoring drive was extended when CdM fumbled the ball back to the Warriors on the same play the Sea Kings intercepted a pass on the Woodbridge 12-yard line. Woodbridge, which began the play at the CdM 21, wound up with a first down at the Sea Kings' 16-yard line after recovering the fumble.

•CdM might never have had to sweat out the final moments, had it not had a would-be 16-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter nullified when the ballcarrier was called for an offensive face-masking penalty. The possession eventually ended with a fourth-down pass to the Warriors' 13-yard line and came up short of a first down.

— Barry Faulkner

NEWPORT HARBOR

•Newport Harbor came up short of beating Edison for the first time in 34 years.

The Sailors actually led twice, in the second quarter and third quarter, but each time the Chargers retook the lead en route to a 28-16 Sunset League victory at Davidson Field.

Newport Harbor (3-4, 1-1 in league) has dropped its last nine meetings against Edison (5-2, 2-0), the defending league and CIF Southern Section Southwest Division champions. The Chargers have won 12 straight league games and 21 of their last 22 in league.

•Last week's game featured two coaches who have won 200-plus games in Orange County.

Coach Jeff Brinkley is 223-103-3 during his 28 years with the Sailors and White is 207-106-3 during his 28 years with the Chargers.

•Three and a half minutes into the fourth quarter, Newport Harbor quarterback Cole Norris exited the game.

"The doctor just said that he had taken a shot and he recommended that he not go back in," Brinkley said. "I think he [took] a shot in the back."

Norris, a junior, has completed 99 of 175 passes for 1,193 yards and 11 touchdowns, with only four interceptions.

Brinkley expects Norris to play this week.

•The Sailors play host to Fountain Valley in league on Friday at 7 p.m.

The contest is Newport Harbor's fourth straight at Davidson Field and is its homecoming game.

The Barons (6-1, 2-0) share first place in league with rival Edison. The Sailors and Los Alamitos are tied for third place, but they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Fountain Valley is ranked fourth in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll and the Sailors share the No. 10 spot with Buena Park.

•Michael Schultz converted three of three field-goal attempts last week.

Schultz, who went into the game making two of three field-goal tries, hit a 36- , 38- and 28-yarder against Edison. He also converted one extra-point kick and he accounted for 10 of the Sailors' 16 points on the evening.

— David Carrillo Peñaloza

ESTANCIA

•There have been several challenges for Estancia to overcome in the first half of the 2013 prep football season, and during last Friday's Orange Coast League game at Laguna Beach, the Eagles were presented with another challenge.

In a 59-14 loss to the Breakers, Estancia lost yet another key player to injury. Brian Southwick, a 5-11, 280-pound junior two-way starter, was injured going in on a tackle at the Estancia goal line late in the third quarter. Southwick was worked on in the end zone before being transported 30 minutes later to Hoag Hospital.

Estancia Coach Mike Bargas said Southwick, who starts at offensive left tackle and on the defensive line, was moving his fingers and toes before he was taken away.

The great news: Bargas said Southwick had been released from the hospital before the Eagles returned home to the Estancia campus following Friday's game.

In reviewing game film Saturday, Bargas said Southwick went in to assist on a tackle — a four-yard touchdown run by Laguna's Andres DeLaRosa with 4:28 left in the third quarter, when he was injured.

"He ended up having a concussion," Bargas said. "He jumped on the pile and knocked helmet-to-helmet with another player. Brian was back out at practice [Monday], but not in gear, obviously. He'll probably be out a week or two, which is unfortunate for us. He's our biggest guy at 280, and he'll be missed on the field."

•A young Estancia team continues to be besieged by injuries which has disrupted any continuity the Eagles had hoped to have entering their eighth game of the year.

In their first game Sept. 6 against Loara, the Eagles lost team captain Jackson Letterman to a season-ending knee injury. With that injury, went their starting fullback, inside linebacker, and long snapper.

Letterman, in street clothes and his Estancia jersey, went out to midfield at Laguna Beach with fellow team captains, senior Mark Velasquez and junior Ronnie Urquiza, for the pregame coin flip.

"What hurt most about Jackson's injury, is that it completely altered our special teams," Bargas said. "Jackson was huge part of our game plan, and was great on the long snap."

In the Irvine game two weeks later, down went junior middle linebacker Tyler Thomas (shoulder injury) who was the Eagles' other starter at fullback and also played special teams.

Running back/defensive back Christian Laurent sprained his ankle in the Oct. 11 Costa Mesa Battle for the Bell game and Bargas said the junior's playing status for Friday's OCL game against Godinez is "wait and see."

Laurent was held out of the Laguna Beach game.

"We've had to revamp our entire defense because of these injuries," Bargas said.

•Southwick wasn't the only injury the Eagles suffered Friday at Laguna Beach.

Sophomore running back Tyler Chacon was injured on the final play of the first half and didn't return to action. Before he left, Chacon had rushed for 32 yards on eight carries. Inserted to fill the void left by Chacon for the second half was junior Indiana Taylor, who carried the rushing load over the final two quarters for the Eagles.

Taylor, who plays at wide receiver but also is a back-up running back, turned in a strong performance and finished with a team-high 83 rushing yards on 14 carries. He also had several, big kickoff returns including one for 43 yards in the third quarter.

It was the first game in two weeks for Taylor who missed the Costa Mesa game due to a seizure he had prior to that game, Bargas said.

"He did an awesome job Friday," Bargas said of Taylor's performance against Laguna Beach.

"One thing our kids have shown me, is that they are resilient," Bargas said of his team. "I expect to win, and the kids do, too, but it's been a rough year so far. We're young and thin, and injuries have hurt us, but one thing that I really like about this team, is the attitude of the kids."

— Mike Sciacca

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