In the 61st annual Battle of the Bay at Davidson Field, Newport Beach witnessed a thrilling football clash between the Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar teams. Newport Harbor managed to end a 10-game winning streak that Corona del Mar had maintained in their rivalry series with a narrow 21-20 victory on Friday.
This significant win not only marked a break from a streak the Newport Harbor team had eagerly wished to end but also propelled them into the third position in the Sunset League, thanks to Huntington Beach’s heavy loss to Los Alamitos (63-13). The top three teams from the Sunset League automatically qualify for the CIF-SS playoffs, and the Sailors now hold that coveted spot.
Newport Harbor’s head coach, Peter Lofthouse, expressed his gratitude to the players, the program, the community, administration, teachers, staff, and everyone involved in the effort that led to this victory.
The game began with both teams facing challenges on their initial drives, but Newport Harbor found its offensive groove. Jaden O’Neal connected with Josiah Lamarque for a 47-yard catch and run touchdown, breaking through the Sea Kings’ defense.
Corona del Mar initially struggled offensively but began to involve their tight ends and wide receivers, eventually scoring with a pass to Zach Giuliano. The first half ended with both teams tied at 14-14.
Corona del Mar took the lead in the second half, but a missed extra point opened the door for Newport Harbor. The game remained intense as both teams had their opportunities, and Newport Harbor capitalized on a crucial fourth-and-10 situation, replicating a memorable play from 2012 to take the lead at 21-20.
Corona del Mar had a chance to regain the lead but came up short on a fourth-and-inches situation. Newport Harbor held on to the ball and secured a hard-fought victory.
The final score of 21-20 brought the victory bell back to Irvine Ave. for Newport Harbor for the first time in over a decade, in a game that epitomized the spirit of a true rivalry. Newport Harbor (4-5, 2-2) now aims to secure the final automatic qualifier spot from the Sunset League as they face Fountain Valley. Corona del Mar (4-5, 1-3) seeks to end the season with a .500 record as they host Huntington Beach. Both games will take place next Friday at 7 p.m