Sailors Overwhelmed at Los Alamitos
Minus the overconfidence, the Newport Harbor football team rode in to Cerritos College Friday night much like Custer’s troops in to Little Big Horn. Lying ready in wait were the Los Alamitos Griffins and their enthusiastic homecoming crowd.
Los Al didn’t waste even half a minute defending its turf, scoring on the first play from scrimmage – a 60-yard touchdown pass that set the tone for a 42-7 Sailors defeat in the Sunset League contest. Newport Harbor drops to 3-3-1 on the season, 0-2 in league play.
The Griffins dominated on defense and scored all their points in the first half. Los Al scored touchdowns on five of their first six possessions, adding a punt-block touchdown late in the second quarter for a 42-0 lead before the homecoming queen was crowned.
“They were just much more physical and more experienced,” Harbor head coach Peter Lofthouse said of the defending league champs. “We had to learn a valuable lesson; when young guys make mistakes, our players have to have a short memory and not compound the mistakes.”
To that end, the Sailors made adjustments at halftime that produced better results and salvaged some pride for the bus ride home. Under the mercy-rule continuous running clock, Harbor shifted to a quick-hitting passing attack that offset the relentless Los Al pass rush that had already logged four sacks and shut down the run game. Sophomore quarterback Lavin, ColeCole Lavin connected on 11 of 17 passes in the second half including a 20-yard touchdown strike to senior McCrory, RoryRory McCrory in the fourth quarter to avoid a shutout.
Lavin finished the night 17 of 26 passing for 184-yards with the one touchdown and an interception. Junior Goltz, AidanAidan Goltz grabbed 8 receptions for 111 yards. Sophomore McCoy, JustinJustin McCoy was the leading rusher with 20-yards on three carries. McCoy also caught four passes for 49 yards.
“At the very beginning of the second half they still had their first unit in and we were able to move the ball better so we felt pretty good about that,” Lofthouse reflected on the positive. “We had our growing pains in the first half, we were better in the second half, but we need to be better overall.”
The Sailors (3-3-1, 0-2) remain on the road for their next game, a Thursday night, October 11 meeting with the Edison Chargers (3-4, 1-1). Kick off is at 7:00 pm at Huntington Beach High’s Cap Sheue Field.
– Matt Morrison
Sailors Take On 5th Ranked Los Alamitos at Cerritos College
The Newport Harbor football team hits the road looking for its first Sunset League victory of the season when the Sailors take on Los Alamitos at Cerritos College on Friday night, October 5th. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm.
Harbor is 3-2-1 on the season coming off a 21-3 home loss to Huntington Beach in the conference opener. Under first year head coach Peter Lofthouse, the Sailors have developed as a defensive force behind a strong front four and a talented linebacking corps. Seniors Jack Phillips, Connor Spence, Gabe Galdamez and Brian Bailey lead a unit that has been especially tough against the run, along with a relentless pass rush. Galdamez may sit out a portion or all of the action after he was ejected in the second half of the HB game.
The Tar offense has been both sensational and inconsistent through the first six games. A balanced up-tempo run/pass attack is predicated on a group of talented underclassmen at the skill positions. Junior receiver Aidan Goltz has emerged as the go-to target with numerous big play receptions to his credit. After auditioning three quarterbacks, Lofthouse settled on sophomore Cole Lavin as the starter over the last three games. Lavin rallied the Sailors on last minute drives to earn a win and a tie on the road at Santa Monica and at San Marino.
The run game has overcome injuries to senior Collin Gregg and junior Jake Keliikoa, the numbers 1 & 2 runningbacks on the depth chart to start the season. Sophomore Justin McCoy has moved up to take over more than capably and has been spectacular at times. Senior Brandon Seward, a transfer from Corona del Mar, now adds more depth at in the backfield after sitting out the first five games. Seward made his season debut with several carries against Huntington Beach.
Defending Sunset League champ Los Alamitos has won five straight games after a season opening 38-35 loss to Vista Murrieta. Los Al overwhelmed Fountain Valley 69-0 in the conference opener last week. The Griffins average more than 38 points per game that includes wins over Long Beach Poly, Banning, Carson and Tesoro. The Griffins are holding steady as the 5th-ranked team in the OC Register high school power rankings.
What: Newport Harbor (3-2-1) vs. Los Alamitos (5-1)
When: Friday, October 5th, 7:00 pm
Where: Cerritos College, Falcon Field
11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650