Game 6 - St. John Bosco
ST. JOHN BOSCO 28, EAGLES 23 (MISSION VIEJO, Oct. 18, 2002)
Quarterback Joe Suaza scored three touchdowns to lead the St. John Bosco Braves to a 28-23 win over the Eagles before an overflow homecoming crowd at Saddleback College. It their first ever victory over the Eagles in six tries and moved them to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Eagles (5-1, 0-1) suffered their first loss of the season and tumbled out of the national and regional rankings as they regroup to play Servite.
The first quarter looked much like the last game with the Braves as the Eagles moved the ball down the field with ease on their first two possessions only to score three points. After forcing a three-and-out by Bosco, Ashton White returned a punt 27 yards to the Eagle 42. Three plays later he broke a tackle and raced 43 yards before being hauled down by Joe Cowan at the Bosco 13. On third-and-six from the nine Case Colaw hit Chase McWhorter out of the backfield for an apparent touchdown that was called back due to an illegal shift penalty. The Eagles had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Will Johnson to take a 3-0 lead at the 7:02 mark. Bosco responded by going on a nine-play 80-yard drive capped by Suaza's 14-yard keeper on an option with 3:36 left in the quarter to give the Braves a 7-0 lead. On the Eagles' ensuing drive they marched 64 yards on 13 plays with the help of 31 yards rushing by Ashton White (25 carries for 168 yards), but the drive stalled on the Bosco 26 where Johnson's 43-yard field goal sailed wide. On Bosco's next play Doug Reinhardt recovered a fumble at the 19 where four plays later he caught a 12-yard touchdown pass to give the hosts a 10-7 lead. The Braves responded by going on a 10-play 80-yard drive highlighted by a 28-yard run by Derek Williams and capped by Suaza's one yard Td run to make it 14-10.
After advancing to midfield on their next drive Colaw's post pattern to Whithorne was intercepted by Cowan and returned 85 yards for a score to increase the lead to 21-10 with 2:34 left in the half. The Eagles didn't give up as they marched 80 yards on only eight plays on the strength of five receptions by Whithorne (nine receptions for 114 yards) and finished off by White's Walter Payton-like dive with only 0:23 left from one yard out to make it 21-17 at the half.
The Eagles took the first drive of the second half 79 yards to the Brave one where on fourth down an illegal procedure forced the Eagles to settle for a 23-yard field goal attempt. The kick however, was wide and the Braves maintained their four-point lead until the fourth quarter when they went 58 yards on 11 rushing plays as Suaza scored again from one-yard out to make it 28-17. Santa Margarita advanced to the Brave 44 before being stopped on downs, but after stopping the Braves on downs themselves they scored on a 10-yard pass from Colaw (18 of 34 for 211 yards) to Whithorne at the end of the game to make it 28-23.
Slinkard's 14 tackles led the defense; however, strong performances were
also had by Jack Meehan (13 tackles), Reinhardt (eight tackles and two
fumble recoveries) and Matt Rupp (eight tackles and ½ sack).