Corona del Mar quarterback Cayman Carter sneaks over the goal line during… (Steve Galluzzo / For The…)
Griffith Amies of Newport Beach Corona del Mar High came within one field goal of setting a state season record, but he couldn't be too disappointed after the Sea Kings' 35-10 victory over Garden Grove in the Southern Section Southern Division final Saturday afternoon in front of 6,870 at Angel Stadium.
The Sea Kings forced two safeties and limited Garden Grove to 82 yards rushing. Junior linebacker Alexander Moore set the tone on the first play from scrimmage by returning an interception 30 yards for a touchdown. Corona del Mar went nearly 13 1/2 quarters without giving up a point in the playoffs.
Amies equaled the state mark of 22 field goals with a 43-yard kick early in the fourth quarter. His 57-yard try with 3 minutes 25 seconds to play was short. He was successful on a 25-yard try late in the second quarter but the Argonauts were penalized for roughing Amies and Corona del Mar was awarded a first down at the one. Four plays later, Cayman Carter threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Troy Reese to give the Sea Kings a 23-3 lead with three seconds to play in the first half.
"I've been kicking for 10 years and making that one [to tie the record] means all my hard work has paid off," said Amies, whose all-time best is 52 yards. "I thought I had the last one. It was on target, but it came up about a yard and a half short."
Carter completed 16 of 27 passes for 203 yards and rushed for two scores as Corona del Mar won its second consecutive Southern Division title. The game was delayed about 30 minutes late in the fourth quarter after Garden Grove lineman Josh Vasquez suffered a neck injury and was taken by ambulance to UC Irvine Medical Center. Vasquez, who was reportedly moving his extremities before leaving the field, was later released from the hospital.
"Our defense has been playing crazy good, so I was sure we'd score enough on offense to win," Cayman said. "There was never a thought of losing. To only give up 10 points in the playoffs is pretty incredible."