HUNTINGTON BEACH — If there is one football team Newport Harbor High has a tough time scoring points against in Sunset League play, it's Edison.
Those offensive woes against the Chargers continued for the Sailors in a 35-0 loss on Thursday night. In the eighth straight meeting between the two schools, the Sailors lost again and failed to produce much in the game.
All is not well for Newport Harbor, which began league losing more than a game at Huntington Beach High. The Sailors (2-4, 0-1 in league) might without their best offensive weapon, tailback Talalelei Teaupa, and Teaupa's backup.
Without Teaupa, Newport Harbor sputtered on offense against the defending league champion Chargers (5-1, 1-0), who share the top spot in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division poll.
The favorites to repeat as league champions knocked out Teaupa late in the second quarter, and his replacement, Chance Siemonsma, early in the fourth quarter. Coach Jeff Brinkley didn't want to speculate on each of the injuries, just saying both running backs went to the hospital.
There wasn't much to say after Brinkley suffered his worst league opening loss in his 27 years with the Sailors.
"Right now we're dealing with a lot of injuries," Brinkley said. "We're going to try and get well and see if we can piece it back together for next week [against Fountain Valley]. The league keeps going. You've just got to figure out how to do it with or without guys that are hurt."
Brinkley almost lost another player, one that has been filling in for quarterback Zach Wade (foot) since the second game of the season.
During a two-play sequence near midfield late in the first half, quarterback Cole Norris and then Teaupa left the field. Norris returned after sitting out one play because a blindside hit knocked the wind out of him.
Teaupa did not come back after rushing for 50 yards on 11 carries.
The senior was on his back with 80 seconds left before halftime. He was down as were the Sailors, 14-0.
Teaupa had to be carted off the field. He left bracing the left side of his body. The Sailors, with Norris back in, failed to do anything with their third possession near midfield and they punted for the fifth time in the first half.
Special teams have plagued the Sailors this season. And this facet of the game did so again, right after going three-and-out on the opening drive. They punted and the ball traveled just nine yards before a Sailor downed it on Newport Harbor's 35-yard line.
After five straight runs, Edison's quarterback decided to run on his own. Aleksander Torgersen, in shotgun, faked the handoff to the right and went left. The defense swarmed toward the tailback, allowing Torgersen to practically walk into the end zone untouched for a 14-yard score.
Four minutes into the game, the Sailors found themselves in a familiar place against the Chargers: behind. They got further behind before time expired in the first quarter.
The Chargers put together a long scoring drive, covering 73 yards in 14 plays. They completed only two-of-six passes during the possession.
Going to the ground game, especially to Donald Rice, who finished with 90 yards on 20 carries, was enough to put Edison ahead, 14-0.
Rice barreled in for a one-yard touchdown run, his first of two touchdowns. He carried the ball six times, touching it almost half of the time on the drive. At this point, Rice had more offensive plays than Newport Harbor's offense and almost as many yards.
It was that kind of night again for the Sailors against Edison, which hasn't allowed a touchdown in the last 10 quarters this season.
The Sailors haven't beaten the Chargers since 1979. It has been a struggle for the Sailors, who are averaging four points per game in the past eight contests against Edison.