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PREP EXTRA / SATURDAY FOOTBALL PULLOUT

Newport Defense Hurls a Shutout at Torrance

September 27, 1997|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TORRANCE — Newport Harbor gave up a touchdown to Orange on a trick play two weeks ago and a touchdown to Marina on the last play of the game last week. But the Sailors finally got a payoff for being good Friday: a shutout.

Newport Harbor scored a 28-0 victory over Torrance at Zamprini Stadium in a performance that was even more dominant than the score indicated.

The Sailors (3-0) held Torrance (1-2) to 111 yards of offense, including 77 yards in 33 rushing attempts.

The Tartans lost three of their four fumbles on their first three offensive plays and the Sailors got only six points out of it.

"They had great penetration on the defensive line, and when you do that, you're going to create mistakes," Torrance Coach Rock Hollis said. "I'd like to say we made the mistakes and beat ourselves, but you have to give them all the credit in the world."

Newport Harbor has outscored three opponents, 80-13.

For the second consecutive week, Newport Harbor's special teams blocked a punt and scored. Lamar Lee, who scored last week, blocked Jimmy Edwards' punt and Lucas Kerr ran in 29 yards for a touchdown and, after a two-point conversion, a 21-0 lead.

Newport Harbor outgained Torrance, 297-111, while rushing 32 times for 276 yards.

Brett Baker, who scored on a 62-yard run on the game's second play, rushed 16 times for 174 yards.

But Sailors Coach Jeff Brinkley wasn't completely satisfied.

After Baker's touchdown and Eddie Johnson's point-after staked Newport Harbor to a 7-0 lead, Torrance fumbled on its next three plays, giving the Sailors possession at the 22-, 16- and 31-yard lines.

The second possession was turned into a touchdown on Steve Gorman's 20-yard pass to Oscar Garcia for a 13-0 lead. The point-after attempt was blocked.

However, the other two possessions stalled and ended with errant field-goal attempts by Johnson from 35 and 49 yards.

Newport Harbor also took possession at the Torrance 48 before the half ended, but a penalty, fumble and interception ended that drive in four plays.

"The first half was about as bad as we've looked in a long time," Brinkley said. "There was no execution and we didn't take advantage of our scoring opportunities. It was not typical of the way we like to play or usually play.

"We couldn't stick it in [the end zone] and our special teams didn't do a real good job."

Baker, also a cornerback, said the shutout surprised him.

"We knew they had a good running back, fullback and quarterback," he said. "I knew it would be a struggle on defense, but we took them."

Baker rushed only three times in the second half. Andre Stewart closed the scoring with a six-yard run with six seconds left in the third quarter.

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