Eagles 33 - Mater Dei 19

SANTA ANA, CA., November 2, 2001 – Santa Margarita used 215 yards rushing from Ashton White, forced three turnovers and recorded six sacks in soundly defeating the Mater Dei Monarchs 33-19 before more than 7,000 fans at the Santa Ana Bowl. The win over the Monarchs was the second in a row by the Eagles over their league rival and moved them into sole possession of first place in the Serra League with a 7-1-1, 2-0 mark. The loss marked the first time Mater Dei had lost to the same Orange County team two years in a row since the 1980's and dropped them to 5-4, 1-1 with one game left in the regular season.

After a monarch punt, the Eagles started out on an eight-play 85-yard drive which ended on a beautiful 42-yard touchdown pass from Marshall Tharpe to Brandon Clark to go up 6-0 with 2:27 left in the first quarter. Two plays later Cole DeVitis forced a fumble by Matt Haugen, which was recovered by Trevor Zinn at the Monarch 46. A 13-yard run by Ashton White gave the Eagles a first down at the Mater Dei 33. After a penalty and two runs, Tharpe found Renny Jackson on a slip screen and the senior speedster raced 33 yards through the Monarch secondary to score at the 11:50 mark of the second quarter to increase the lead to 12-0. On the two-point conversion attempt, after an excessive celebration penalty, Tharpe found a diving Bobby Whithorne at the goal line, but he hit the turf short of the endzone and was denied. Rafael Rice scored on a 39-yard run with 8:00 left in the half to cap a nice Monarch drive and close to gap to 12-7; however, the balance of the half was a stalemate.

The second half began with a bang for the Eagles as they went on an eight-play 90-yard drive highlighted by five runs of over 10 yards and capped by White's 13-yard touchdown at the 8:32 mark to put the Eagles ahead 19-7. Two plays later Zinn (nine tackles on the night) forced a Rice fumble that was recovered by Cappelletti on the Monarch 27. Two runs by Ashton brought the ball to the 13 where DeVitis took an end around and raced untouched for a score to increase the lead to 26-7 with 6:39 still left in the third quarter. Mater Dei proceeded to go on a 14-play drive that covered 74 yards and ate 6:10 off the clock with Rice scoring from two yards out to narrow the lead to 26-13. Santa Margarita ran off an a time-consuming 11-play drive, but their momentum was hurt by three penalties, and they ultimately turned the ball over on downs at the Monarch 31 with 6:41 left in the game. Mater Dei QB Colt Brennan needed just 1:16 to go seven plays and close the gap to 26-19 when he found Kenny Chicoine on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 5:25 left. An Eagle punt pinned Mater Dei at their 29 and on third down senior LB Kyle Rutenbar intercepted a pass at the 2:57 mark and returned it 13 yards to the Monarch 33 to effectively seal the game. On fourth down from the Mater Dei 25 White, who had a career-high 33 carries for 215 yards and five tackles, raced around right end and ran untouched for the score with only 1:48 left in the game. Mater Dei's final possession was thwarted by consecutive sacks on third and fourth down by Brant Jesperson and Brad Dillahunty respectively.

Tharpe had a strong all around game rushing twice for two first downs (25 yards total), and coincidently had nearly identical statistics as Matt Dlugolecki did against the Monarchs last year by completing seven of 10 passes for 111 yards and two scores. Clark's touchdown was his first reception on the year and DeVitis's touchdown was the first of his career as well. DeVitis played well on the other side of the ball as well as he earned Defensive Player of the Game with his seven tackles. Also playing well and helping lead the charge defensively were Zinn, and the defensive end combination of Mike Leiter (four tackles and two sacks) and Dillahunty (three tackles and two sacks) who shared Defensive Lineman of the Game honors.

Santa Margarita 6 6 14 7 33
Mater Dei 0 7 6 6 19

SM – Clark 42 pass from Tharpe (kick failed)
SM – Jackson 33 pass from Tharpe (Tharpe pass failed)
MD – Rice 38 run (kick good)
SM – White 13 run (kick good)
SM – DeVitis 13 run (kick good)
MD – Rice 2 run
MD – Chicoine 14 pass from Brennan
SM – White 25 run (kick good)

Rushing: White 33-215
Passing: Tharpe 7-10-111
Receiving: Clark 1-42, Jackson 1-33


By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director