In his debut as coach at Corona del Mar High, Scott Meyer won big.
The Sea Kings trounced host Savanna, 40-7, at Glover Stadium in Anaheim. While CdM fell behind, 7-0, midway through the first quarter, the Sea Kings went on to score the game's final 40 points.
Meyer has his Sea Kings, who went into the season ranked fourth in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll, off to a blazing start. Next is a game at Huntington Beach, which opened the season at home last week with a 23-21 victory against El Toro.
"It feels great," Meyer said of getting that first victory out of the way.
Meyer, who's in his second head coaching stint on varsity, has won four straight season openers, the previous three while at Long Beach Jordan from 2007-09.
*The Sea Kings opened the season with a win for the 11th straight year.
The past two have come against Savanna. During the stretch, CdM has outscored the Rebels, 76-21.
*CdM quarterback Brent Lawson didn't want to say much, unless his offensive linemen were around.
The first-year starter turned in quite the performance, throwing for 199 yards and three touchdowns on 11-of-19 passing, while rushing for 41 yards on six carries.
"I got to talk to my line," Lawson said. "My line did all the work."
The guys up front, left tackle Nick Storm, left guard Hunter Molnar, center Caden Stark, right guard Giovanni Gentosi and right tackle Liam Duddy, protected Lawson for three quarters.
They didn't have to in the fourth quarter. Meyer pulled Lawson after the senior late in the third quarter hooked up with wide receiver Troy Reese on a second touchdown pass.
*The Sea Kings' defensive unit stymied Savanna. Two seniors, linebacker Aaron White and safety Kyle Sherburne, played big roles.
White and Sherburne each recorded three tackles for losses and Sherburne intercepted a pass that led to a CdM touchdown.
Savanna finished with 122 yards of offense, none passing, turned the ball over twice and punted eight times.
*Costa Mesa High Coach Wally Grant said senior running back Mario Smith may have broken his right index finger on a run in the third quarter of Friday night's 34-13 season-opening loss at Buena Park. X-rays were scheduled for Monday for Smith, who got the wind knocked out of him on the play but returned to the field on the Mustangs' next series. Grant said Smith is not expected to miss any time.
Smith, a transfer from Silverado High in Victorville, ran for 136 yards on 32 carries. He gave Costa Mesa the lead on his 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
He also proved his worth on the defensive side of the ball. Buena Park's Hakeem Williams scored touchdowns on two long screen passes, but it was nearly three. Just before halftime, Smith caught up to Williams to make a touchdown-saving tackle at the Mustangs' 29-yard line. The screen pass went for 61 yards but the Coyotes could not score on the next play and ran out of time, going into halftime with just a 13-6 advantage.
*The 34-13 loss for the Mustangs was closer than their 40-17 setback to Buena Park last year, despite the similar score. Costa Mesa was within a touchdown Friday night until late in the third quarter.
Buena Park, with its second-year coach Anthony White, is a program that is on the upswing. The Coyotes went 6-5 last year after winning a combined four games from 2006 through 2009. Grant said he foresees a similar type of improvement from the Mustangs, his alma mater, who have not won a CIF playoff game since 1997.
"They got a good coach in here last year [at Buena Park] and he turned the program around," Grant said. "This is exactly what I expect to do with this program, and I think you can see that we're going in that direction."
*With two drives that combined for nearly 17 minutes, Costa Mesa controlled time of possession on the first half against Buena Park.
The Mustangs' drives were aided by an overly-aggressive Buena Park defense at the start. Buena Park committed six 15-yard personal foul penalties in the first quarter. For the first half, the Coyotes had 10 penalties for 132 yards, though they committed just one penalty in the second half.
Costa Mesa had six penalties for 60 yards.
*Lance Novotny, the announcer for the Sage Hill football games and a Latin teacher at the school, took a handful of the Lightning football players among other students on a seven-day trip to Greece in June.
Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver was a chaperone.
Novotny said the trip wasn't just about sight-seeing and tourist events. The Sage Hill football players and Tolver spent some mornings and evenings training for the upcoming season.
"It was impressive," said Novotny, who provides colorful calls during the games. "They would go out running every morning and Tolver was there with them."
The training must've helped. Sage Hill opened the season with a 48-6 win against visiting Fairmont Prep.