Game 3 - Dorsey Dons
EAGLES 5, DORSEY 0 (MISSION VIEJO, Sept. 27, 2002)
The Eagles posted their first shutout since 1998 as senior linebacker Dustin Slinkard forced two key turnovers to lead Santa Margarita to a workmanlike 5-0 win over defending City Section Champion Los Angeles Dorsey before 4,000 fans at Saddleback College. The win improved the Eagles record to 3-0, while the Dons fell to 1-2.
The game was a match-up of solid defensive units as neither team was able to consistently threaten the other. The first three Eagle and Don drives produced only five first downs each and their fourth drives ended on downs in opponent territory. The most exciting play to that point occurred early in the second quarter when Eagle QB Case Colaw just missed a wide open Bobby Whithorne down the middle of the field for what would have been an easy score. Eagle fortunes changed later in the second quarter as Dorsey's fifth drive was a complete disaster. A sack by Bubba Jesperson and Matt Rupp with 0:14 left at the Don 40 should have been the last play of the half; however, the Dons tried one more pass play which resulted in a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery by Dustin Slinkard at the Don 25 with 0:03 on the clock. A 42-yard field goal by Jason Graban gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead at intermission.
The second half was much more productive offensively for the Eagles as they crossed into Don territory on four consecutive drives only to turned back by penalties and other miscues. Ashton White (21 carries for 106 yards) and backfield mate Chase McWhorter (11 carries for 82 yards, three receptions for 43 yards) helped the Eagles control the clock for nearly eight minutes in the third quarter as they led Santa Margarita to the Don 17, but a 34-yard field goal attempt by Graban with 0:21 left in the quarter was missed. After a Joe Ramsey punt pinned the Dons back at their 13 yard line with 5:52 left in the game a holding penalty moved Dorsey back to the six Josh Thornburg's sack with 5:22 remaining increased the lead to 5-0. The Dons got the ball back once more and managed to reach midfield, but Slinkard's leaping interception at the Eagle 18 with 0:33 left sealed the victory.
Although it was the lowest scoring output ever in an Eagle win, and Ashton
White's touchdown streak ended at 13 games, the game was not without standout
performances. Several defensive players besides Slinkard and Thornburg
(1 ½ sacks) had outstanding games. Rupp (two sacks) and Jesperson
(five tackles, one sack and Defensive Lineman of the Game) helped limit
the Dons to 96 yards rushing and eight first downs, while safety Joe Ramsey
(Defensive Player of the Game) dropped six punts inside the Dorsey 20-yard
line, broke up two passes and led a secondary that allowed only two pass
completions (in 15 attempts) for 39 yards.