By David Carrillo Peñaloza
November 2, 2012
LONG BEACH — Whenever Jeff Brinkley has something noteworthy to say, there's someone at Newport Harbor High who jots down what comes out of the longtime coach's mouth.
He predicted sophomore kicker Michael Schultz would win a game for the Sailors this year.
Schultz came through in a big way for Newport Harbor in a regular-season finale with CIF Southern Section Southwest Division playoff implications.
The sophomore converted a game-winning 37-yard field goal in overtime as the Sailors rallied to beat host Los Alamitos, 31-28, in a Sunset League game at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach on Thursday.
Schultz redeemed himself after missing an extra-point kick late in the game that would've tied it at 21-21. But the defense and sophomore quarterback Cole Norris brought back the Sailors (6-4, 4-1 in league), ranked No. 9 in the Southwest Division.
Norris hit wide receiver Quest Truxton for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left, cutting the deficit to 28-26. The Sailors converted the two-point try after a couple of costly penalties by Los Alamitos (6-4, 2-3) moved the ball closer to the goal line. Riley Gaddis ran in for two points, sending the game into overtime.
After defensive lineman Ramsey Hufford sacked Los Alamitos quarterback Cody Marshall on fourth-and-six from the 11, it was Newport Harbor's turn on offense.
Norris had done his job, 335 yards and four touchdowns through the air, as did Truxton, who caught 12 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
The offense, which started on the Griffins' 25-yard line, went to Schultz on fourth down. It relied on his right foot to get the Sailors past Los Alamitos for the fifth time in the last six years.
When he made the field goal, the Newport Harbor coaching staff came over to Brinkley and told him he was right, Schultz would win a game for the Sailors this year.
Brinkley, in his 27th year, said the victory was one of his biggest. He and Newport Harbor are going to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
The Sailors could win a share of the league title with Huntington Beach (3-1 in league) and Edison (4-0) if HB beats the Chargers on Friday night.