The Sailors, who played two nonleague opponents who are defending section champions, didn’t exactly breeze through their first five games. They entered their league opener with a losing record.
On the visiting sideline, Los Alamitos—without the pedigree of schedule—was ranked third in the Southern Section’s Southwest Division. Newport was unranked.
And now, in league, undefeated.
Score: Newport Harbor 27, Los Alamitos 24 (OT)
Key Stats: Cole Norris completed 18 of 34 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns, including a 25-yarder to Cory Stowell on the Sailors first play in overtime to end the game.
Pivotal Moment: Newport Harbor had taken a 14-13 with 1:16 left in the first half on Norris' pass to Stowell for a 28-yard score. Los Alamitos responded quickly, reaching as far as the 1-yard line, but Newport Harbor’s defense kept the Griffins out of the end zone on Garrett Hall's interception. It was huge, because Kendall Brownlow returned the opening kick of the second half for an 83-yard touchdown. Without the defensive stand, the Sailors are probably toast.
Quotable: "It was a huge win," Cory Stowell told OC Varsity. "Coaches say every game could be the league championship. Every game.
Records: Newport Harbor (3-3 overall, 1-0 in league), Los Alamitos (5-1, 0-1)
Notes: The winning touchdown pass for 25 yards was the same
play Newport used on the 28-yard TD in the second quarter, a down and in from
Norris to Stowell. … Stowell also had a big game on defense, snagging two
passes for interceptions. … Los Alamitos took a 13-0 lead midway in the second
quarter when Nick Wendell scored on a sneak from 1 yard, but the Griffins missed
the extra point. In the first quarter, Wendell had passed 9 yards to Cameron
Austin for a 7-0 lead. … Turnovers set up both first-half touchdowns for
Newport, which recovered a fumble inside the Griffins’ 10 that preceded
Norris passing 6 yards to Quest Truxton for a touchdown. Stowell’s
interception ended a Los Alamitos drive that preceded his 28-yard TD reception
late in the half. … The Newport defense clamped down on Los Alamitos’ ground
game, limiting Damonte King to a team-high 21 yards. … Wendell passed for 267
yards and a touchdown. … Chance Siemonsma rushed for 111 yards for Newport. ... Following Brownlow’s kickoff return, the Griffins
converted a two-point conversion to lead, 21-14. … Derrick Worthy blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Newport Harbor, also in the third quarter. ... Newport eventually tied the score with
less than a minute left in the third quarter on Garrett Hall’s 2-yard run. … Newport won the coin flip in overtime and let Los
Alamitos have the first possession, beginning at the 25-yard line. The Griffins’ Tristan Frembling
kicked a 22-yard field goal. … Newport scored on its first offensive play of overtime. ... This is the third year in a row that Newport
Harbor has beaten Los Alamitos, the second in a row in overtime. … Newport won last year's game, 31-28. ... Since
Newport Harbor moved from the Sea View League to the Sunset League in 2006, it
has beaten the Griffins six of eight times. … Los Alamitos’ only victories were
9-7 in 2006, and 30-0 in 2010. … Six games have been decided by six points or