Game 7 - Servite

SERVITE 35, EAGLES 20 (FULLERTON, Oct. 24, 2002)

Players of the Game
Offense O-Line Defense D-Line Special Teams
Nienhuis Walsh Meehan Thornberg Whithorne

The Servite Friars pounded out 346 yards rushing led by Joel Rubalcaba's 170 yards in handing the Eagles a 35-20 setback before 5,000 at Cal State Fullerton. The loss was the Eagles second consecutive defeat of the season and dropped their record to 5-2. Servite on the other hand improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1985. The Friars wasted little time taking control of the game marching 80 yards on nine plays to take a 7-0 lead on Dillon Bedard's first of three touchdown runs. On the ensuing kickoff Case Colaw threw a lateral to Bobby Whithorne who raced untouched for what should have been the tying score only to have it brought back due to a clip. Servite's second possession was stopped after one play as nose guard Nick Corrado stepped in front of a screen pass for an inteception at the Friar 38. A 34-yard pass from Colaw to Jason Graban gave the visitors a first and goal at the four; however, the Eagles couldn't punch it in and a 20-yard field goal by Will Johnson was wide left.

Bedard capped Servite's first drive of the second quarter by scoring from 16 yards out, but the Eagles didn't give in as Whithorne returned the kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown to narrow the lead to 14-7. Bedard's third touchdown from 10 yards out with 1:39 left in the half increased Servite's lead to 21-7. Colaw, with all three timeouts at his disposal, took the Eagles 65 yards on nine plays and found Graban with a two-yard scoring pass with only 0:05 remaining in the half to bring it to 21-14.

The second half saw the Eagles start off strong as they drove 72-yards to the Friar 13 but didn't capitalize as Johnson missed a 30-yard field goal at the 9:28 mark. After force a punt on Servite's first drives Colaw threw the first of four interceptions at the 4:59 mark after a 58-yard drive to the Friar 10. After another Friar punt Colaw had another pass intercepted which set up Rubalcaba's ten-yard touchdown with 9:38 left in the game. Another drive into Friar territory ended on an interception as well, and a fumble recovery by Joe Ramsey at the Friar 47 set up the Eagles in great field position, but this drive also ended with an interception. Rubalcaba's 46-yard touchdown run with 3:36 effectively ended the game, but Colaw, who tied the school record for completions with 23 in a career-high 41 attempts for 273 yards, engineered a 71-yard drive that brought them within 15 on the strength of a 58-yard scoring pass to Whithorne (13 catches for 185 yards).

The Eagles were severely hurt by the absences of RB Ashton White and TE/MLB Dustin Slinkard. Without the punishing ball-control running by White they managed to rush for a season low 36 yards on only ten attempts. Jack Meehan filled in admirably for Slinkard at middle linebacker and tied the school record for tackles in a game with 23 but did not get much help as the Friars picked up a whopping 24 first downs - mostly on the ground to control the ball for 29:44 compared to the Eagles 18:16.