By Martin Henderson
A strong defensive performance in the second half helped Trabuco Hills remain undefeated, scoring a victory over one of the county’s most solid programs.
Score: Trabuco Hills 35, Newport Harbor 20
Key Stats: Trabuco Hills limited Newport Harbor to 10 yards rushing in the second half.
Pivotal Moment: Less than a minute after Trabuco Hills took a 14-7 lead on Tommy Kelley’s 8-yard pass to Michael Newsom—set up by a fumbled low snap on a punt—Newport Harbor quarterback Cole Norris fumbled a snap that was recovered by David Stobbe at the Sailors 27. Next play, Tommy Kelley hit Jake Breeland for a touchdown for a 21-7 lead with 5:22 left in the half.
Quotable: “I was very impressed with how we played defense, especially in the second half,” said Scott Orloff, Trabuco Hills coach. “We were playing good defense when they got that onside kick. We stood to the challenge and didn’t fold.”
Quotable II: “They were a little more physical than we were up front,” said Jeff Brinkley, Newport Harbor coach. “I told the kids before the game you have to play great on special teams, not have any turnovers, and take care of the ball on offense, and we had a low snap and ended up them going in, and then a fumbled snap … you can’t do those things and expect to win.
Records: Trabuco Hills (2-0), Newport Harbor (0-1)
Notes: Trabuco Hills came into the game ranked No. 7 in Orange County. … Newport Harbor, playing in its first game, was without three starting offensive linemen, one a two-way starter. The Sailors converted a fullback to a right guard. … Trabuco has beaten Newport three seasons in a row. … Trabuco rushed for 194 yard, led by Kevin McKinney (56 yards) and Chris Reck (54 yards) … Noah Thompson’s 23-yard punt return set up a 35-yard drive capped by Matt Wood’s 1-yard run for a 28-14 lead with 7:59 remaining. … The most dangerous combination on the field was Newport quarterback Cole Norris and receiver Quest Truxton. Norris passed for 226 yards, with Truxton on the end of nine passes for 129 yards, including touchdowns of 14 and 33 yards. … Norris passed for three scores, hitting Cory Stowell from 18 yards with 1:22 remaining to pull to 28-20. A play earlier, Truxton had intercepted a pass to give the ball to the Sailors. … Newport’s onside kick was ruled dead because of a delay of game, so the Sailors were made to do it again and this time they recovered. … Newport’s comeback ended when Trabuco’s Sam Smith intercepted a Norris pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown with 51 seconds remaining. … Next week Trabuco Hills plays on the road against Fountain Valley (2-0), a 24-21 winner over Dana Hills (which Trabuco beat last week). Newport Harbor plays Palos Verdes (1-1), a defending Southern Section Northern Division III champion.