Eagles 28 - St. Paul 14

SANTA FE SPRINGS, CA., October 12, 2001 – Ashton White posted career highs with 30 carries for 171 yards and scored two touchdowns, while QB Marshall Tharpe ran for two touchdowns himself as the Eagles used an effective ball control attack to defeat St. Paul 28-14 before 3,000 at Monsignor Cranham Stadium, aka "The Pit". The win improved Santa Margarita's record to 4-1-1 on the year, and marked the third win against no losses on the road vs. Division I teams in 2001. With the loss, the Swordsmen fell to 3-2.

After an early exchange of punts, the Eagle capitalized on a 25-yard punt return by Johnnie Walker to begin a drive on their own 46. A series of short, but effective, runs and passes moved the ball to the Swordsmen 18 where White broke off a 13-yard run to set up first-and-goal at the five. On third-and-goal from the one Tharpe sneaked over for a 7-0 lead with 34.5 seconds left in the first quarter. The Eagle defense looked sharp early forcing two more punts and limiting the Swordsmen to 18 yards and only one first down through the first quarter and a half. Santa Margarita's third drive was hurt by a downfield clipping penalty on third down and ended with a punt.

On the Swordsmen's fourth drive they mounted a 62 yard drive on eight plays helped by a 30-yard completion from Jeff Magdaleno pass to TE Chris Pina and capped by Magdaleno's five-yard Td run with 4:45 left in the half. With the score tied, Santa Margarita responded by going on a 65-yard drive on the strength of eight runs by Ashton White and a six-yard completion from Tharpe to Renny Jackson to recapture the lead at 14-7 going into the half.

The third quarter began with Santa Margarita going on a nine-play, 68-yard drive highlighted by a spectacular 43-yard over-the-shoulder grab by Bobby Whithorne between two St. Paul defenders on a key third-and-14 conversion. A 12-yard run by Tharpe set up a first-and-goal where the senior signalcaller called his own number three plays later from the one to put the Eagles up 21-7 with 8:21 left. Santa Margarita had a chance to put the game away on the next offensive play, when Trevor Zinn recovered a St. Paul fumble at the 35; however, the drive produced no yards and the Eagles came away empty. A nice punt from Lief Nylander (Special Teams Player of the Game) was downed at the two.

The Swordsmen, with their backs against the wall, proceeded to go on an impressive 11-play, 98-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. A 36-yard run by fullback Bo Aramo moved the ball into Eagle territory and running back Michael Weber finished the drive by scoring from 11 yards out with 11:53 left to close the gap to 21-14. Santa Margarita responded by calling White's number eight consecutive times as the junior standout rushed for all 73 yards of the drive including a spectacular 16-yard scoring run where he broke three tackles before crossing the goalline at the 7:31 mark to give the Eagles a 28-14 lead. LB Jeff Prenovost effectively ended the Swordsmen's chances with an interception at the Eagle 44 four plays later with 5:31 remaining.

Tharpe had a relatively quiet day throwing the ball as he completed seven of 12 passes for 77 yards, but the modest showing was more than offset by key scrambles and the two touchdowns. White's two scores marked the sixth consecutive game that he scored at least two touchdowns breaking the school record of five he shared with Josh Ireland. Prenovost and fellow linebacker Jack Meehan led the defensive charge with nine tackles apiece, while SS Thomas Cappelletti added seven. DE Mike Leiter added five with one sack and DT John Pollak added five too.

Santa Margarita 7 7 7 7 28
St. Paul 0 7 0 7 14

SM – Tharpe 1 run (kick good)
STP – Magdaleno 5 run (kick good)
SM – Jackson 6 pass from Tharpe (kick good)
SM – Tharpe 1 run (kick good)
STP – Weber 11 run (kick good)
SM – White 16 run (kick good)

Rushing: SM - White 30-171
Passing: SM - Tharpe 7-12-77; STP - Magdaleno 9-18-113


By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director