Newport Harbor High School's football team presents an early-season test for Huntington Beach. Likewise, Huntington Beach poses a challenge for Newport Harbor.
Each team is 2-0 coming into tonight's game (7:30 p.m. at Newport Harbor's Davidson Field). Each team has won its games easily. Huntington Beach is fifth-ranked in this week's Orange County Sportswriters' Assn. poll. Newport Harbor is among others receiving votes, but with a victory, the Sailors could crack the top 10 next week.
Newport Harbor beat Ocean View, 20-6, and Laguna Beach, 41-7. Huntington Beach beat Pacifica, 23-12, and Corona del Mar, 28-0.
Against Ocean View, Newport Harbor held Seahawk quarterback Randy Karliner to 93 yards passing and that worries Huntington Beach Coach George Pascoe.
"He's super, one of the best in Orange County," Pascoe said. "That means their defense is one of the best in the county."
Said Jeff Brinkley, Newport Harbor coach: "Right now we're pretty good defensively, that's no surprise. We were hoping to be solid defensively (this season)."
The Oilers' two-man rotation at quarterback will continue for another week, Pascoe said. Mike Chavira and Jack Friend have split time. Chavira had a better first game, throwing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Friend had a better second game, completing five of 11 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
"We're going to give it one more week, then settle on somebody," Pascoe said.
The Oilers' ground game centers on running backs Adam Bowermaster and Joe Contreras.
"We're rushing the ball better than we thought we would," Pascoe said. "We thought we were going to be a pretty good football team and after two weeks, we feel the same way."
Newport Harbor got a boost when tight end George Greenwalt returned to the lineup after missing the season opener because of a bruised knee.
Greenwalt caught 10 passes for 117 yards last week against Ocean View. Quarterback Steve Walker threw for 153 yards.
"We're not going to change too much," Brinkley said. "We need to eliminate some mistakes, take care of the football on the special teams. For us to be successful it takes all 11 players, we just don't have (superstars)."
In another featured game:
Downey (2-0) vs. El Toro (2-0) at Saddleback College, 7:30 p.m.--The big question is whether El Toro will give up a point. The Chargers, the top-ranked team in Orange County, have outscored the opposition, 81-0. Quarterback Rob Johnson is the county's leading passer, completing 73.3% of his passes for 326 yards and five touchdowns. Downey, which was not expected to be a threat in the San Gabriel Valley League, beat Schurr, 26-21, last week and Damien, 42-26, the previous week.
Also tonight (all games 7:30 p.m.):
Bloomington vs. Century at Santa Ana Stadium; Bolsa Grande at Pioneer; Cypress vs. Savanna at Glover Stadium; Fullerton vs. Alta Loma at Chaffey College; Garden Grove vs. Laguna Hills at Mission Viejo; Magnolia vs. Rancho Alamitos at Bolsa Grande; Orange vs. Katella at Western; San Clemente vs. Santiago at Garden Grove; Sonora at Bellflower.