CORONA DEL MAR — Earlier this offseason, Corona del Mar High football coach Scott Meyer said he saw that Estancia was in need of a scrimmage on the CIF Southern Section website.
Meyer thought it could be a good scrimmage for his Sea Kings, so he called Coach Mike Bargas. The Eagles and their coach jumped at the chance to scrimmage against the defending Southern Division champions.
As far as high school football scrimmages go, everything seemed to fall into place for both programs during the scrimmage Saturday at CdM.
Of course, Meyer said the Sea Kings have a long way to go in preparation for their season opener, which is Friday night at 7 against Laguna Hills at Newport Harbor.
But the atmosphere was lively for a scrimmage, and featured a good crowd on both sidelines. For good measure, Estancia had its cheerleaders at the scrimmage game trying to spark the crowd and their team.
The Eagles' offense had a nice start after showing they needed some fine tuning on special teams. Estancia wasn't all about senior star running back Robert Murtha, however he did produce a few strong runs.
"I felt really good about the offense," Bargas said. "We actually threw more than we ran today. We ran it 10 times and threw it 11 times. I thought we marched the ball up the field. Robert is going to be Robert, a force to be reckoned with . But it was good overall."
One of the Estancia passes included a 37-yard bomb to Levi Stillman from quarterback Brad Wilson. But that drive later ended after CdM sophomore Chad Redfearn intercepted a pass that was dropped and tipped in his direction.
Stillman also broke up a couple deep passes on defense as a cornerback. Jackson Letterman and Henry Vasquez recorded interceptions on defense for Estancia.
Bargas said the Eagles were "physical" during the scrimmage. They did their best to keep up with the Sea Kings, who used a no-huddle shotgun offense to move the ball with their first-string offense.
CdM quarterback Cayman Carter did not show any panic during the fast-paced plays.
But, Meyer acknowledged work to be done.
"Estancia is a great program, so it was great for us to get that full-speed look with them to get ready for Friday night," said Meyer, who guided CdM to the Southern Division championship in his first season last year.
"It's really a whole new team," Meyer said of his Sea Kings. "We are a really young team. There are some guys on that championship team with us, but this is a whole new year. We're trying to put that behind us and move on with these guys."
Meyer did say the CIF title has sparked interest in the program and boosted support.
"There's a lot of momentum," he said. "We have a really good freshman class that has come in. The buzz around the campus and community, it's all very positive. There's some excitement for this season based on last year."
The same can be said for Estancia after its huge year last season that saw the Eagles reach the Southern Division semifinals. The Eagles' fans made their presence known along the sideline at the scrimmage.
Bargas said it was a fun atmosphere.
"The bar has been raised," said Bargas, entering his sixth year at Estancia, which opens at home against Loara Friday at 7 p.m. "This was a big litmus test for us to see if we could march up the field. We had that [interception] but otherwise we were fine. I was really pleased with the output from the kids."