Eagles 35 - St. John Bosco 17

BELLFLOWER, CA., October 26, 2001 – Santa Margarita opened Serra League play with an impressive 35-17 win over the St. John Bosco Braves before 4,000 fans at St. John Bosco High School. Ashton White led the charge earning offensive, defensive and special teams Player of the Game honors with one of the greatest individual performances in Eagle history as the junior standout rushed 32 times for 283 yards and scored four touchdowns, registered a team-high 12 tackles, forced a fumble that thwarted a Brave scoring chance and set up a score with a career-long 29-yard punt return. The carries and yardage totals were career highs and the four touchdowns tied the school record. The win improved the Eagles to 6-1-1, 1-0, while the Braves dropped to 5-3, 0-1.

The Eagles got out to a quick 21-0 lead as they scored touchdowns on their first drives covering 79, 80 and 54 yards. White went off tackle and raced 60 yards to paydirt to give the visitors a 6-0 lead just 2:12 into the game. White's second touchdown, with 2:01 left in the quarter, covered three yards and was set up by 26-and10-yard completions from Marshall Tharpe to WR Bobby Whithorne. The Braves punt on their next possession was returned 68-yards by White for an apparent touchdown, but it was called halfway back due to a clipping call. The penalty didn't slow the Eagle attack as they went 54 yards on eight plays highlighted by a 27-yard run by White and capped by a 10-yard scoring strike from Tharpe to TE Dustin Slinkard with 8:46 left in the half. An interception by Bosco of a Tharpe pass was returned to the Eagle 8; however, the Braves gained only one yard on three plays and had to settle for a 25-yard field goal to go into the half down 21-3.

The Braves' first drive of the second half took them down as far as the Eagle one, but on fourth down Ashton forced a fumble which was recovered by Mike Leiter (4 tackles and a sack) at the seven preserving the 21-3 lead. Santa Margarita then went on a 10-play, 93-yard drive as White carried nine times for 85 yards including a two-yard scoring run with 0:41 left in the quarter to put the Eagles up 28-3. A Derek Williams touchdown run from 20 yards out with 9:28 left closed the gap to 28-10. LB Jack Meehan returned an interception to the Brave 24 on Bosco's next series setting up White's record tying fourth touchdown from 17 yards out at the 3:38 mark to give the Eagles a 35-10 lead. A late Td run by Joe Suaza closed out the scoring.

Tharpe had an effective if unspectacular day as he completed seven of 15 passes for 71 yards with one touchdown and one interception. White's efforts were not only extraordinary, but strikingly similar to those of Tyler Thompson who also scored four touchdowns in a 35-17 win at St. John Bosco exactly two years earlier. The offensive line led by Spencer Hollison (2½ decleaters and Offensive Lineman Player of the Game) and John Finneran (five decleaters) did a great job in helping the team rush for a season-high 328 yards. Defensively, besides White's 12 tackles, strong performances were put in by Brad Dillahunty (Defensive Lineman of the Game), Thomas Cappelletti (nine tackles) and Meehan (eight tackles).

Santa Margarita 14 7 7 7 35
St. John Bosco 0 3 0 14 17

SM – White 60 run (kick failed)
SM – White 3 run (Stone pass from Tharpe)
SM – Slinkard 10 pass from Tharpe (Graben kick)
SJB – FG 25 Matuz
SM – White 2 run (Graben kick)
SJB – William 11 run (Matuz kick)
SM – White 18 run (Graben kick)
SJB – Souza 1 run (Matuz kick)

Rushing: SM - White 32-276, Tharpe 2-23; SJB - Souza 15-73, William 11-94
Passing: SM - Tharpe 6-15-1-71; SJB - Souza 5-17-1-42
Receiving: SM - Whithorne 2-36, Slinkard 2-19; SJB - Sablan 2-10


By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director