Friday, December 9, 2011
Southern: Corona del Mar 14, Beckman 13
COSTA MESA -- For the second year in a row, the Southern Division championship came down to a two-point play in the waning seconds.
For the second year in a row, Beckman was left in stunned silence.
On Friday at Orange Coast College, it was top-seeded Beckman's turn to win the championship on a two-point conversion. Cameron Biedgoly passed seven yards to James Kaprielian with seven seconds left. Rather than kicking a PAT for the tie, the Patriots put the ball in the hands of their stud running back, Jeff Kim -- who had runs of 13 and four yards on their 62-yard scoring drive.
But Kim, who averaged 136 yards and scored 23 touchdowns this season, was stopped cold by a fired-up Corona del Mar defense led by linebackers Frasier Anderson, Grant Garrett, David Moore and Aaron White.
There was no score, and no joy on the Beckman sidelines as they watched another team celebrate wildly for the second year in a row.
Second-seeded Corona del Mar scored a 14-13 victory, the Sea Kings' first title since winning back-to-back in 1988 and 1989.
"They got a lot of pride and a lot of faith in their run game, too," said Scott Meyer, Corona del Mar's first year coach. "You have to hand it to them, they were going for the win and we probably would have done the same thing. ... We figured they were going to go with their guy who got them here, and our guys made a great stop."
Kim finished with 15 carries for 80 yards, the game's leading rusher.
"We had to put the ball in the hands of our best player -- I think he's the best player in the division running the ball -- and CdM just did a great job of stopping him," said Ken Mushinskie, Beckman's first-year coach. "I wasn't here last year, but I can't imagine what those seniors are feeling."
A year ago, Garden Grove's Josh Webb flipped into the end zone with 1:27 remaining, then jumped atop a pair of defenders and rotated across their shoulders into the end zone on the two-point conversion to beat Beckman, 31-30.
When CdM (12-2) and Beckman (11-3) faced each other in the Pacific Coast League finale, Beckman opened a 42-10 lead and held on to win, 42-37. But the big plays that dominated that game were lacking in the final. With both defenses playing well, there was little margin for error for these teams that averaged 35 points per game.
One notable error for Beckman came on fourth and inches at the five-yard line midway in the fourth quarter; the offense jumped offside, and then failed to score.
Corona del Mar scored on its last possession of the first half and its first possession of the second half. Brent Lawson threw a tw0-yard TD pass to Troy Reese with four seconds left in the half after twice getting pass interference calls on third down plays inside the 15. He connected on a 62-yard bomb to Josh Giger on the opening drive of the second half.
Lawson completed eight of 11 passes for 121 yards; he also carried 15 times for 61 yards. Erik Fisher led Corona del Mar with 20 carries for 72.
Sandwiched in-between Lawson's 26th and 27th touchdowns of the season was Biedgoly's sneak from the one-yard line after Corona del Mar botched a fair catch attempt at its 22. Beckman's Biedgoly finished 11 of 15 for 69 yards and a seven-yard touchdown pass to Kaprielian with seven seconds remaining. On the drive, Biedgoly was perfect on five passes, and Kim had carries of 13 and four yards.
Having pulled to 14-13, Beckman gave the ball to the senior, Kim, for the win. Lined up in the double wing, he saw a hole -- and he saw one of Corona del Mar's talented linebackers fill it.
He was stopped short, and Beckman was left heartbroken again.
"Honestly, it takes a lot of heart," Kim said of his disappointment. "It's a tough loss. The feeling I have right now ... I can't get it back. We have to shake it off and motivate the younger kids next year. That's my job."