Game 4 - Fountain Valley
EAGLES 28, FOUNTAIN VALLEY 7 (Huntington Beach, Oct. 3, 2002)
Santa Margarita shook off a sluggish first half and used the running of Ashton White to score on three of their first four second half possessions to post a 28-7 win over the winless Fountain Valley Barons before 2,500 at Huntington Beach High School. The win improved the Eagles to 4-0 on the season and marks their best start since the 1997 team went 14-0. Fountain Valley fell to 0-4.
The Eagles' opening drive started out promising as a 40-yard run by Chase McWhorter went deep into Baron territory; however it was called back due to a holding penalty and the Eagles were not able to maintain the momentun and turned the ball over on downs. On their second drive, McWhorter, starting in place of White, broke off a 34-yard run to the Baron 32. A 12-yard reception by Mark Restelli gave the Eagles a first down at the Baron 20 where QB Case Colaw found Bobby Whithorne three plays later for a 20-yard scoring strike with 2:13 left in the quarter giving the visitors a 7-0 lead. Fountain Valley responded by going on a 10-play, 74-yard drive capped by Ryan Best's five-yard touchdown run with 10:12 left in the half to tie the score. Clipping and holding penalties sabotaged the nest two Santa Margarita drives once they reached midfield, but the Barons were unable to capitalize and the half ended 7-7.
The third quarter started out with a bang as McWhorter returned the kickoff 46 yards to the Fountain Valley 44. The Eagles didn't score on that drive, but it marked the return of White who sat out the first half. On their next three drives the Eagles marched 62, 71 and 43 yards to turn a tight game into a 28-7 runaway. On the first drive, Whithorne displayed his all-around skill by finding Mark Johnson on a 48-yard end-around pass to set up a first-and-goal on the Baron five. Three plays later White plowed in from the one to make it 14-7 at the 3:03 mark of the third quarter. A Baron first down at the 48 appeared to spark the hosts; however, a key sack by Bubba Jesperson on third down ended the threat and they were forced to punt. White then rushed eight times for 71 yards on the ensuing drive, including a punishing 15-yard jaunt to the five, and scored from one yard out again to increase the lead to 21-7 with 9:37 left. Matt Rupp's fumble recovery on the Baron 43 just 56 seconds later gave the Eagles a chance to put the game away. White then ran around, over and through the Baron defense on a season-long 36-yard run to the Baron seven, then promptly scored his third one-yard touchdown two plays later to make it 28-7.
On the night White rushed for 116 yards on 17 carries and three scored during the four possessions he was in. QB Case Colaw looked good passing the ball as he completed 10 of 12 passes for 103 yards. He also caught a pass for one yard from Whithorne (two of two passing for 49 yards, four receptions for 39 yards) and picked up two tackles on special teams. Dustin Slinkard led the defensive charge collecting 13 tackles, including ½ sack, and deflecting a pass. Rupp continued his strong start to the 2002 campaign by collecting four tackles, 1 ½ sacks and 1 ½ decleaters while fellow juniors Jack Meehan (10 tackles) and Ryan Nienhuis (nine tackles including four on special teams) looked solid.