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By Narrow Margin, Corona del Mar Coach Gets 100th Victory


NEWPORT BEACH — Corona del Mar Coach Dave Holland held the game ball loosely and accepted congratulations for his 100th victory as the Sea Kings' coach.

It was one of the few times the ball was cradled with ease on a Friday night of fumbles and crazy bounces at Newport Harbor High School.

"It wasn't easy was it?" Holland said, asking the obvious.

But in the end the Sea Kings got just enough of the breaks to go their way to beat Marina, 10-7, in a nonleague game and give Holland his milestone victory.

In 20 seasons as Corona del Mar coach, during two tenures 1967-75 and 1983-93--Holland is 100-89-10.

For much of the game, however, it appeared Holland might add to his tie total. Neither team scored during the first three quarters.

Corona del Mar's offense, which had trouble moving the ball against Edison last week, was still sputtering. J.R. Walz, who gained a school-record 1,543 yards last season, fumbled four times losing three.

Because of the turnovers, Marina (1-1) got excellent field position, but every time the Vikings got close to the end zone, the Sea Kings' defense turned them back. Marina had a first and goal inside the 10-yard line three times during the game, and each time came away with nothing to show for it.

Corona del Mar (1-1) finally broke through in the four quarter, when quarterback Aaron Perlmutter hit wide receiver Bill Taketa with a 65-yard touchdown pass. Taketa caught the high-arching pass near the sideline at the Marina 35, eluded two defensive backs, angled back across the field, and finished the play by diving into the end zone.

Marina got the ball back with 8 minutes 10 second left, but couldn't move it and had to punt. Walz, who finished with 110 yards in 27 carries, rushed three times for 21 yards before the Sea Kings stalled at the Marina 33.

Scott Witucki's punt was high and short, traveling about 20 yards, but it took an artificial-turf bounce about 10 yards backward. Marina defensive tackle Brian Moore picked up the ball, and chugged 75 yards for a touchdown.

After the kickoff, which sailed out of bounds, the Sea Kings got the ball on their 35. Despite the trouble Walz was having holding onto the ball, Corona del Mar stuck with him.

"We told him at half time that he's the best back in the county and he's going to run until he works it out," Holland said.

Walz maintained control and was able to make a couple of sizable gains, but Perlmutter's 30-yard completion to Mike Digrado was the key play of the drive. Digrado's catch over the middle moved the ball to the Marina 29. Walz ran 14 yards to the 15 where the drive stalled.

With 2:39 left, kicker Mike Zoelle attempted a 28-yard field goal. It was a low line drive that barely cleared the goal post.

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