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Santa Margarita Eases Into League Play


It won't be this easy again in the Serra League, but Santa Margarita made it look easy Friday in its league-opening 49-28 victory over St. John Bosco at Saddleback College.

Despite playing on a sloppy field, Eagles' running backs Tyler Thompson and Ashton White rolled up 350 yards on the ground and quarterback Matt Dlugolecki passed for 132 and two touchdowns.

St. John Bosco (3-5, 0-1) loaded up to stop the run by putting eight men up front, but Santa Margarita Coach Jim Hartigan was determined to give Thompson and White the ball. Thompson, a senior, rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns in a school-record tying 32 carries. White, a sophomore, had 139 yards and a touchdown in 15 rushes.

"We had some receivers hurt, so we wanted to run," Hartigan said. "We got going. The backs ran hard and the offensive line was great. It was a good offensive night all around."

Even though the field was muddier in the middle, Santa Margarita (6-2, 1-0) did most of its damage running between the tackles.

"We knew what we were facing with the field," Thompson said, "so we just put on new [longer] cleats and we didn't have much of a problem."

Thompson and White stayed fresh by rotating in the Eagles' one-back offense. Thompson had 103 yards in the first half and White added 66 as Santa Margarita took a 21-14 halftime lead. St. John Bosco closed to 21-14 on a Demond Coins 36-yard burst up the middle and appeared to have the momentum entering the half.

But the Braves fumbled the second-half kickoff and Trevor Zinn recovered on the St. John Bosco 33. Two plays later, Dlugolecki threw an 11-yard strike to Curtis Cooper in the end zone. Cooper and Dlugolecki hooked up again on the second play of the fourth quarter on a 23-yard pass play to put Santa Margarita up 35-14.

White scored the Eagles' sixth touchdown on a 15-yard run that he finished by carrying two defenders into the end zone. Thompson ended the Eagles scoring with a one-yard plunge.

"There's no doubt we need to run the ball effectively to compete in the Serra League," Hartigan said.

St. John Bosco quarterback Joseph Souza was eight of 15 for 74 yards and an interception, but the Braves had more than 200 yards rushing, 105 by Jacob Matthews.

Hartigan knows his defense can't afford those kind of mistakes next week against top-ranked Mater Dei.




League Overall School W L T W L T Santa Margarita 1 0 0 6 2 0 Mater Dei 0 0 0 6 1 0 Servite 0 0 0 6 1 0 St. John Bosco 0 1 0 3 5 0



Friday's results

* Santa Margarita 49, St. John Bosco 28

Today's games

* Mater Dei vs. Servite at CS Fullerton, 7:30 p.m.


Friday, Nov. 3

Santa Margarita vs. Mater Dei at CS Fullerton

Servite at Bellflower St. John Bosco

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