PUBLISHED: September 10, 2021 at 10:27 p.m. | UPDATED: September 10, 2021 at 10:27 p.m.
Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now
NEWPORT BEACH – Capistrano Valley got its offense going in the second half to beat Newport Harbor 30-19 on Friday in a nonleague football game at Newport Harbor High.
The Cougars (3-1), ranked No. 19 in Orange County, have won three in a row since a season-opening overtime loss to Tustin. No. 20 Newport Harbor is 1-2.
Newport Harbor wide receiver Duke Starnes, left, makes a running catch of a pass over Capistrano Valley strong safety Colby Hauser to set up a Newport Harbor touchdown in the first quarter in Newport Beach on Friday, September 10, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)
The game was not a smooth one. Penalties interrupted the flow, series after series.
The game was tied 6-6 at halftime. Capistrano Valley took a 9-6 lead with 7:57 left in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal by Dylan Fingerish, his third of the game. Fingerish, a sophomore, also had field goals of 33 and 37 yards.
Newport Harbor responded with a 77-yard touchdown pass from Nick Kim to Josiah LaMarque. LaMarque took a short pass and weaved his way through the Cougars defense. The extra-point kick was blocked by Damien Berg, leaving the Sailors with a 12-9 lead with 3:45 to go in the third quarter.
Capistrano Vally scored quickly on a 79-yard touchdown pass from Kukuk to Mark Hopkins. Hopkins took a short pass, found a lane and sprinted to the end zone and the Cougars went ahead to stay 16-12 late in the third quarter.
Kukuk connected with Owen Taylor on a 64-yard touchdown pass on which Taylor got behind the Newport Harbor secondary, hauled in the football at the Sailors 28 and ran unopposed for the touchdown and a 23-12 lead.
Capistrano Valley defensive tackle Wyatt Schultz picked up a Newport Harbor fumble at the Sailors 13, shouldered a Newport Harbor player out of his way and rumbled into the end zone to make it 30-12.
Newport Harbor concluded the scoring on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Kim to Zachary Zamora with 7:14 left in the game.
The Sailors pressured Kukuk throughout the first half. Senior defensive lineman Nathan Peters led the surge with two first-half sacks.
Newport Harbor’s Andrew Chenier made on interception to end Capistrano Valley’s first possession.
Starting from the Newport Harbor 31-yard line, Sailors quarterback Nick Kim had completions of 23 and 26 yards to move to the Capistrano Valley down field, with Payton Irving getting the points on Payton Irving’s 11-yard touchdown run with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
The kick was wide left, leaving the Sailors with a 6-0 lead. Fingerish kicked his first two field goals to create the 6-6 halftime tie.
Newport Harbor plays at Trabuco Hills in a nonleague game Friday, Sept. 17. Capistrano Valley plays at home against Orange on Friday, Sept. 17.
Orange is 1-2 after beating La Habra on Thursday.