Touchdown Newport -- Players, coaches and cheerleaders recount the 1970 Newport Harbor High School football season. Emmy Award winner Kyle Chandler narrates the story of a coach, his team and how the impact of one season can last a lifetime.
The 1970s were a time of turmoil in the United States and around the world. The social revolutions of the 1960s were painted over the background of the war in Vietnam. Yet life in Newport Beach, California, remained relatively easy and shielded. It revolved around the surf, sun and sand.
Newport Harbor High School excelled in water polo, tennis, surfing and sailing - not football. The football program was often overlooked and underworked. As a result, Newport had garnered a 28 year long loosing streak, making them one of the worst teams in the Sunset League.
That was all about to change when coaching legend Ernie Johnson came to town. In 1970, Ernie Johnson had established himself as one of the best in Southern California, and perhaps one of the best in the country. He made it his mission to turn Newport Harbor's scrawny, incompetent team into a group of champions. His teaching style was firm but loving. He worked his players harder then they could have imagine, but all of them looked up to him like a father figure, one that they respected and wanted to succeed for. Ernie's relentless training prepared Newport Harbor High School for their most important year ever, 1970.
40 years later, the players, coaches, and cheerleaders tell the story of the 1970 Newport Harbor High School football team. Coach Johnson not only taught his players how to succeed in football, he taught them lessons that they would carry with them for the rest of their life.