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PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT

Baker Gives Newport Harbor a Boost

September 13, 1997|PAT LARKIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

ORANGE — Bret Baker rushed for two touchdowns and returned a fumble for another to lead Newport Harbor to a 31-7 victory over Orange Friday night at El Modena High.

Baker finished the night with 135 yards in 24 carries. He also intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble for the Sailors, ranked 10th in the Division V preseason poll.

The Panthers had trouble all night holding onto the ball. Orange fumbled nine times, losing five. Newport Harbor's defense held the Panthers to only 36 rushing yards.

The Sailors took a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes 15 seconds left in the first quarter on a three-yard scoring pass from Steve Gorman to Oscar Garcia. A 43-yard field goal by Eddie Johnson late in the first quarter gave Newport Harbor a 10-0 lead.

Newport made it 17-0 when Baker weaved his way up the middle for a 13-yard score with 8:56 left in the half.

Orange got into the game on its next drive with two flea-flickers. First Derald Deason took a pitch from quarterback Sean Jones and hit Chance Perry for a 32-yard gain to the Newport Harbor 41. Two plays later, Perry took a lateral from Jones and hit Deason alone in the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown with seven minutes left in the half.

The Panthers got the ball back and were driving near midfield, but Baker took over again. He burst into the Panthers' backfield on another lateral attempt, causing an errant pitch. Baker scooped up the loose ball and went 38 yards for a 24-7 lead with 3:46 left in the second quarter.

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