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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Manderino Keeps Sailors Running in the Right Direction

September 29, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The decision to move Chris Manderino from quarterback to tailback was a difficult one, said Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley, "because Chris had never lost a game at quarterback until the Marina game."

But Brinkley and the Sailors (3-1) aren't second-guessing themselves.

Manderino, starting at tailback for the second week in a row, rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns to lead Newport Harbor to a 33-16 nonleague victory over visiting Dana Hills in front of 3,100.

"I'm starting to get the hang of it," said Manderino, who carried 30 times, and was so dominant he had 216 yards by halftime in 21 carries. "I'm starting to read the holes a little better."

Manderino began the season as quarterback, but through the first six quarters, the Sailors scored only 17 points. In the first nine quarters after the switch to tailback--he didn't play in the fourth quarter against Dana Hills--the Sailors scored 83.

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, Manderino gained all 80 yards on the opening drive, the touchdown coming on a 38-yard carry. He added touchdowns on runs of six and two yards, and could have had more but Morgan Craig scored twice on one-yard quarterback sneaks.

"The offensive line did a great job," Manderino said. "I think I was running on the [defensive backs] most of the time."

Dana Hills is 1-3.

Manderino's performance coincided with the return of right guard Brian Breland from an arm injury. He, Jim Erickson, Jeff Marshall, Scott Lopez and Robert Chai dominated the Dolphins' defensive front.

Newport Harbor was just as impressive on defense. It limited Kyle Kelly to 88 yards in 14 carries, and Terrell Vinson to 51 yards in 12 carries; they had been averaging 11.7 and 10.9 yards, respectively.

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