CORONA DEL MAR
During the first day of helmet and pads at Corona del Mar High in August, Coach Jason Hitchens thought about starting the season with Clay Reinhardt at wide receiver.
He made the right decision by not moving the senior outside.
Reinhardt rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries Friday, helping the Sea Kings beat Savanna, 36-14, at Newport Harbor High.
In the second half, Reinhardt recorded most of his yards, 113. The biggest run of the night belonged to Reinhardt, a 27-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that gave CdM a 22-point lead.
**Senior Mitch Gardner accomplished something no Sea Kings quarterback was able to last season. He threw two touchdown passes in a game.
Gardner found Cole Cottrell twice for scores against defending Orange League champion Savanna and became the first CdM quarterback to finish with two touchdowns passes in a game since Mitch Sands did on Nov. 28, 2008. Sands' feat came in a victory in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, while Gardner's was in a season opener.
Hitchens will take Gardner's performance after he said the biggest question mark going into the season was the quarterback position.
Gardner, who completed seven of 15 passes for 77 yards, has Huntington Beach next. The Oilers are from the Sunset League.
**The Sea Kings won their 10th straight season opener, third with Hitchens as coach.
Costa Mesa has not figured out how to start the season on a winning note under Coach Jeremy Osso.
Osso failed to lead the Mustangs to victory in his fifth straight season opener as Costa Mesa lost to Buena Park, 40-17, at Jim Scott Stadium.
Osso's teams the past five years have been outscored, 246-40, in openers. The last time Costa Mesa kicked off the season with a victory was in 2001.
Osso and Costa Mesa play host to Santiago next week. The second week has not been much better than the first for Osso. Costa Mesa has only one win to show, a forfeit it picked up in 2007.
**Costa Mesa committed 12 penalties for 75 yards. Half of the penalties came in the first quarter, contributing to the Mustangs falling behind Buena Park, 20-7.
Five times the defense jumped offside. One of the miscues in the third quarter helped the Coyotes gain a first down without snapping the ball on fourth-and-two on the Mustangs' 40-yard line.
Costa Mesa hurt itself again on the same drive. Four plays later, with Buena Park facing a third-and-20, the Coyotes completed a wide-receiver screen that resulted in a 45-yard touchdown.
**Nathan Alvis' debut as the quarterback at Costa Mesa was a rocky one.
Buena Park sacked the left-handed junior six times. Alvis completed nine of 16 passes for 91 yards. He recorded the Mustangs' lone touchdown from scrimmage after running in from five yards out early in the fourth quarter.