Game 2 - Redlands Terriers
EAGLES 38, REDLANDS 14 (MISSION VIEJO, Sept. 20, 2002)
Santa Margarita, behind a punishing ground game and an active defense, soundly defeated the fourth-ranked Redlands Terriers 38-14 before 5,500 at Saddleback College. The Eagles, entering the game ranked seventh in Division I, used 180 yards rushing on 29 carries by tailback Ashton White and 108 on 14 totes from fullback Chase McWhorter to control the clock for over 33 minutes and rack up 460 total yards of offense (including 365 on the ground). The win improved the Eagles record to 2-0 for the first time since 1998 heading into their intersectional match-up with Los Angeles Dorsey.
Redlands (1-1), which was 11-1 in 2001, had a reputation for it's own physical run-oriented style using their wing-T attack, but they had no answers on either offense or defense once they fell behind. Eagles never punted and churned out their most yardage and first downs since the Servite game in 2000 behind the blocking of tackle Nick Corrado (nine decleaters) and guard John Walsh (four). Corrado's nine decleaters were one short of the school record and he earned Offensive and Defensive Lineman of the Game honors for his efforts in the trenches.
The Eagles needed only six plays and 2:26 to take a lead they never relinquished. On their first offensive series senior QB Case Colaw converted a flea-flicker into a 40-yard completion to junior wideout Ryan Nienhuis. After a White run set up first-and-goal on the nine McWhorter scored from there on the next play to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 9:34 left in the first quarter. Redlands took advantage of a 16-yard run by Zach James and a 15-yard facemask penalty to drive to the Eagle 25 before Bubba Jesperson recovered a fumble by Terrier QB Brandon D'Amico that ended the threat. The turnover set up a 14-play, 73-yard drive that ate up 6:24 and was capped by a three-yard Td run by White. (Ashton ran nine times on that drive for 59 yards, and his touchdown marked the 13th consecutive game were he has scored at least one.) The Terriers next drive was their best of the night as they capitalized on a 42-yard reception by Brian Walsh to help set up a two-yard scoring run by James at the 10:27 mark of the second quarter to close the gap to 14-7. After White returned the kickoff 33 yards to the Eagle 42 the home team went on an 11-play drive that appeared to end with a 11-yard Td reception by Nienhuis; however, a holding penalty negated the score and the Eagles had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Jason Graban with 4:38 left in the half to increase the lead to 17-7. A 51-yard field goal attempt by Graban at the end of the half fell short.
The second half was more of the same. Redlands was forced to punt after a three-and-out on their first series and the Eagles needed only three plays to increase their lead to 24-7 as a 38-yard run by McWhorter set up a four-yard Td run by White at the 9:44 mark. Three minutes later Ashton rushed 11 consecutive times for 72 yards before Colaw hit sophomore TE Frank Guzman from five yards out for his first career touchdown pass to make it 31-7. (Colaw, who managed only 12 yards of offense vs. El Modena, connected on eight of nine passes for 95 yards and added 26 yards rushing to earn co-Offensive Player of the Game honors.) Dustin Slinkard's fumble recovery set up McWhorter's second tuchdown, this one from four-yards out, with 8:35 remaining to push the score to 38-7. The Terriers took advantage of separate facemask and personal foul penalties to move deep into Eagle territory where they fed the ball to James (124 yards) who scored a meaningless Td with 2:50 remaining to close out the scoring.
Despite James' efforts the defense played the best it has in a long
time. They forced four turnovers, surrendered only 12 first downs and
shut down the Terrier's potent rushing attack for the better part of three
quarters. Junior CB Mark Restelli collected a career-high eight tackles
and Nienhuis and had seven to go along with three receptions on offense.
Standout WR Bobby Whithorne, despite catching only two passes on the day,
played well at free safety collecting seven tackles and picking off his