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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Thompson, Eagles Fly in Victory

September 30, 2000|JOEL BEERS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Tyler Thompson's 95-yard rushing touchdown Friday was the longest in Santa Margarita history, and his 94-yard touchdown reception was a yard short of a school record. But the senior was most proud of what he did on the other side of the line.

"Defense is what this team takes pride in; that's how we're going to win a championship," said Thompson, who also contributed two sacks in the Eagles' 41-26 victory over host Norco. Thompson's dual offensive explosions were the biggest plays in a game that saw many, including Chad Brazee's 54-yard interception return and two first-and-goal stands by the Eagles' defense that resulted in no Norco points.

Santa Margarita led, 26-7, at halftime, even though Norco gained 13 first downs to the Eagles' six. But big plays made the difference. They included a 28-yard scoring pass from Matt Dlugolecki to Curtis Cooper, and Dlugolecki's 94-yard strike to Thompson. Santa Margarita's defense came up big in the second quarter. Chris Cutler's pressure on Norco quarterback Casey Hansen forced him to throw hastily, setting up Brazee's interception return.

Kyle Rutenbar capped off the first half scoring, catching a 19-yard Dlugolecki pass. Early in the third quarter, Santa Margarita stopped Norco four times within the four-yard line. When the Eagles got the ball back, Thompson rattled off his 95-yard scoring run. On Norco's next play, Thompson's sack of Hansen popped the ball loose, Matt Vogel recovering on the Norco 17.

Dlugolecki's two-yard run put Santa Margarita up, 41-7. Norco scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, mostly against backups and sophomores.

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