Ayala - Game Notes

The 2001 season is the Eagles 13th varsity season and their third in both CIF-SS Division I and as part of the highly competitive Serra League. Last year, the Eagles finished 8-3 and won their third league championship in five years. They lost to AB Miller, in overtime, 27-21 in the CIF Playoffs.

The Eagles have won six openers in a row. Their last opening game loss was in 1994 when they fell 17-12 at Trabuco Hills. They have not lost a Week 1 home opener since 1989.

This is the second game between Santa Margarita and the Chino Hills Ayala Bulldogs. Last year the Eagles opened their season by rallying from a 17-0 deficit to win 22-17 behind Tyler Thompson's 83 rushing and 100 receiving yards and Matt Dlugolecki's two touchdown passes.

Ayala finished the 2000 season 7-3-2, and in third place in the Sierra League. They advanced to the CIF Division II quarter-finals where they lost to Downey 16-7. The Bulldog's were two-time CIF Finalists in the 1990's and are led by third year Coach Lou Randall who has a career mark of 46-29-2.

2001 marks the fourth year in a row that the Eagles have opened against a team from outside of Orange County. In 1999, they beat San Diego Lincoln 24-6, and in 1998 defeated Compton Dominguez 13-8. Their record against non-Orange County teams is 45-10-1 (.812) including a 3-2 all-time mark vs. San Bernardino County teams.

Santa Margarita is ranked 12th in the nation by USA Today, 19th by Rivals.com, 24th by Student Sports and 25th in the Prep Gridiron National Top 25. The No. 12 ranking is their highest ever. They are ranked 3rd in the State by Cal-Hi Sports and 2nd in CIF-SS Division I. The Eagles have been ranked in the Top 10 by the CIF office in 18 of the 21 weekly polls since joining Division I in 1999. They have also been ranked in the Orange County Top 10 in 60 of the last 68 polls.

The Eagles have played at CSUF at least once in five of the last six years including four times in 2000.

By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director