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Corona del Mar's Offense Arrives, Proves It Can Handle Success


COSTA MESA — For the first two games this season, Corona del Mar was in search of an offense. The Sea Kings bobbled and wheezed and had just enough to split two games with Sunset League teams.

Friday, with Estancia providing the foil, Corona del Mar's offense found itself and defeated the Eagles, 20-0, at Orange Coast College.

"No fumbles," Corona del Mar Coach Dave Holland said. "And no interceptions, right? OK, no turnovers. That was our No. 1 goal."

J.R. Walz, who last week fumbled four times in a 10-7 victory over Marina, had a firm grip on each of his 31 carries Friday.

He finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Aaron Perlmutter also had a solid game.

Perlmutter completed seven of 12 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. The effective passing game opened up the ground for Walz.

Last season, Walz averaged 118 yards a game on the way to a single-season school record of 1,543 yards, but he said it took him three games to regain his confidence.

"I just want to hold onto the ball--and win," Walz said.

Holland said Walz's fumbling problems are inexplicable.

"He's not a fumbler," Holland said. "He lost it a couple of times at the end of last season and in the first couple of games this year but that's not him."

Not on Friday.

After the teams played to a standstill for one quarter and most of a second, Corona del Mar (2-1) got a field-position break. J.J. DiCesare blocked Todd Thompson's punt and the Sea Kings took over on the Estancia 42-yard line. Estancia's defense, which held Walz to only 65 yards rushing in the first half, wasn't giving up much on the ground. But Perlmutter completed a nine-yard pass to Myles Davis and a pass-interference penalty moved the ball to the 14. Eventually, Walz carried it over from the five for a 7-0 lead.

Corona del Mar opened the second half with a 71-yard touchdown drive, finished by a 39-yard pass from Perlmutter to Mike Digrado. The extra-point attempt missed, and the score was 13-0.

Walz's two-yard touchdown late in the fourth was overkill, given the way the Sea Kings' defense was playing. Estancia (1-2) managed only 82 yards on offense, a total that was neutralized by 97 yards of penalties. Running back Mike Pawinski was held to 49 yards in 12 carries and Thompson, the quarterback, was sacked four times for losses of 25 yards. Sea King linebacker Scott Hardesty had two of the sacks.

Even when Thompson was able to get the ball off, he took his licks. Corona del Mar was called for two roughing-the-passer penalties. He finished with eight completions in 13 attempts for 49 yards.

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