Norco - Game Notes

The Eagles are 2-0-1 as they enter Week 4 of their 13th varsity season. It marks the 6th time the Eagles have entered Week 4 undefeated. Their start is the best since they started the 1998 campaign 3-0.

The Eagles have historically done well in Week 4 games posting a 10-2 mark. Their last Week 4 loss was the 37-14 defeat to San Clemente in 1998 which ended the Eagles' winning streak at 28 games.

This is the second game between Santa Margarita and the Norco Cougars. Last year, at Norco Tyler Thompson scored on a 95-yard run and 94-yard reception as the Eagles built a 41-6 lead before three late Cougar Tds brought the final score to 41-26.

Norco is a Division V school competing in the Mountain View League. They finished the 2000 season 7-5 and won the Division V title as recently as 1998. From 1992 to 1998 they reached at least the CIF semi-finals. They are off to a 2-0 start after a 35-6 win over Bloomington and a 34-13 win over Lynwood. The Cougars are led by 32nd-year coach Gary Campbell who has 10 league titles, three CIF titles and over 200 wins to his credit.

Santa Margarita has played well over the years against teams from outside Orange County. Last weeks 28-13 win over Lakewood improve the Eagles record to 46-10-2 against non-OC teams, and was the 21st win in 26 tries vs. teams from Los Angeles County. The Norco game marks the sixth time in the last 15 games that the Eagles have faced a team from the Inland Empire. Overall the Eagles are 11-3-1 (821) vs. Inland Empire teams.

Santa Margarita is ranked 20th in the nation by USA Today. Their pre-season No. 12 ranking was their highest ever. They are ranked 4th in CIF-SS Division I, and have been ranked in the Top 10 by the CIF office in 21 of the 24 weekly polls since joining Division I in 1999. They are currently ranked 3rd in Orange County and have also been ranked in the Orange County Top 10 in 63 of the last 71 polls.

Their .745 winning percentage is the best in Orange County.

Head Coach Jim Hartigan
Jim Hartigan, 41, is 110-37-2 (.745) in his 13th season as varsity Head Coach. Overall, Coach Hartigan has a 126-40-3 (.759) record if you include 10-0 and 6-3-1 lower level teams that he led in 1987 and 1988 respectively before the Eagles fielded varsity teams. He has won three league Championships and two CIF Titles - all coming in the past five years. Jim was honored as the both the 1996 and 1997 Daily Pilot Sea View League Coach of the Year, CIF-SS Division V Coach of the Year and the National Football Foundation Orange County Coach of the Year. Coach Hartigan has directed his squads into the playoffs in 11 of their 12 seasons and has never posted a losing season. Jim has coached six High School All-Americans, 68 players who have gone onto play in the collegiate ranks and three who have played in the NFL. His 28-game winning streak from 1996-98 is the second best in Orange County history.

By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director