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Football: Newport Harbor 34, Palos Verdes 33

Jeff Brinkley wins his 250th game, and it comes against a defending section champion.

Coach Jeff Brinkley has won 221 of his 250 games with Newport Harbor. Photo/Martin Henderson
Coach Jeff Brinkley has won 221 of his 250 games with Newport Harbor. Photo/Martin Henderson

Across Orange County, from the Pac-5 Division to the lowest levels, coaches sing the praises of Jeff Brinkley for the program he runs at Newport Harbor. On Thursday, Brinkley won the 250th game of his career in dramatic fashion. Of those, 221 victories have come in his 28 seasons at Newport Harbor. The other 29 victories  were with Norwalk Excelsior (three seasons), his alma mater which is now closed, and Norwalk (five seasons).

Score: Newport Harbor 34, Palos Verdes 33

Key Stats: Quest Truxton caught seven passes for 152 yards and touchdowns of 71 and 20 yards; he also had a couple of long kickoff returns.

Pivotal Moment: A Palos Verdes touchdown gave it a 33-28 lead 1:10 remaining, but Truxton returned the kickoff 42 yards to the 47, and followed with a 32-yard reception in the game of momentum swings. Two plays later, Newport’s Riley Gaddis scored from 1 yard for a 34-33 lead with 45 seconds to go.

Quotable: “He’s a player,” Brinkley said of Truxton to the Orange County Register. “His brothers have both played here and he understands the tradition and the history and he’s a winner, and he showed it tonight.”

Quotable II: “I’m just happy for these guys getting one win,” Brinkley told the Daily Pilot. “That’s really all it is. That’s one win this year.”

Records: Newport Harbor (1-1), Palos Verdes (1-2)

Notes: There were seven lead changes. … Newport quarterback Cole Norris completed 15 of 19 for 224 yards and two touchdowns … Palos Verdes crossed midfield in the waning seconds, but Brett Beaudette sacked Daniel DiRocco on consecutive plays to bring up a desperation fourth down play. …  Palos Verdes knows drama like no other. It lost to Narbonne, 27-23, on the last play, and last week beat Moorpark in overtime, 15-9. … Palos Verdes won the Southern Section Northern Division III championship last season, and Newport will play another defending section champ next week. … Newport next plays its rival, Corona del Mar (3-0), which has won 13 games in a row. CdM is coming off a 24-21 win over El Toro. … Newport has beaten CdM the past six years, including 27-26 a year ago.

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