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Eagles in the OC All-Star Game
Congratulations to seniors Conner Bianchini, Rick Ellison, and Stash Rowley for being chosen to play in the North / South OC All-Star game! This year’s game will be held on July 9th @ OCC – 7:15 pm.
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Crespi 45 - Eagles 13
The Eagles finished the season with a record of 6-5 losing to Encino Crespi (9-1) in the first round of the CIF-SS Pac-5 playoffs.

St John Bosco 58 - Eagles 34
The Eagles fought back from a 10-point deficit to take a 28-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter but couldn't keep pace with the talented St. John Bosco Braves (9-1) and lost 58-34.  The game featured 1,080 yards of offense, 46 first downs and 13 touchdowns.  Despite the loss the Eagles finished 4th in the Trinity League and earned an at-large bid to the CIF-SS Pac 5 Playoffs.  This will be their fourth playoff berth in the past five years and 22nd in 26 varsity seasons.  KJ Costello completed 24 of 42 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns including two to Kyle Sweet who also had a rushing TD from 42 yards out.  Senior safety Metro Malasavage led the defense with a career-high nine tackles. Junior LB Austin Barrette chipped in eight tackles and fellow junior LB Tanner Matthews collected six and intercepted his first pass of the season. 

Mater Dei 19 - Eagles 14
In Week 9, Santa Margarita fell to the Mater Dei Monarchs 19-14 to fall to 6-3 and 2-2 in the Trinity League.  The Eagles were unable to capitalize on two first quarter drives deep into Monarch territory and were only behind 6-0 at halftime due to timely defensive stops.  After Mater Dei extended their lead to 19-0 in the fourth quarter Santa Margarita scored two quick touchdowns to pull within 19-14 with under two minutes left; however, the onsides kick was recovered by the Monarchs who ran out the clock.  Mater Dei outgained the Eagles 370 to 308 but more importantly dominated the time of possession 30:35 to 17:25, turnovers 2-0 and first downs 19-14.  The Eagles were able to stay in the game by limiting the Monarchs to field goals as Mater Dei only scored one TD in ten offensive possessions. Junior QB KJ Costello completed 15 of 30 passes for 240 yards and two scores to Noah Rasheed (six receptions for 108 yards), but the ground game was only able to muster 50 total yards.  Junior LB Austin Barrette led the team with 12 tackles while Rick Ellison, Rick Wade and Tanner Matthews chipped in 10 each. 

Eagles 22 - Servite 17
In Week 8, the Eagles moved closer to securing their first playoff berth since 2012 with an important 22-17 win over Servite.  The Eagles improved to 6-2 and 2-1 in Trinity League play while the Friars fell to 4-4, 1-2.  Senior DB Rick Ellison stepped in at running back and rushed for 118 yards in 16 carries including a 26-yard run with 6:36 left in the game to seal the victory.  Ellison also added eight tackles, a pass broken up and a blocked field goal.  Santa Margarita jumped out to a 15-0 second quarter lead as they used an effective ground game to put up a season high 248 yards rushing and 382 total yards and 22 first downs.  Junior RB Dre Hall (19 carries for 104 yards) plunged in from one yard out to give the Eagles a 6-0 first quarter lead.  Senior WR Conner Bianchini caught a 23-yard scoring pass from KJ Costello in the second quarter to increase the lead to 12-0 before Kyle Sweet tacked on a 21-yard field goal to make it 15-0.  Servite's Travis Waller ran it in from two yards out with 5 seconds left in the half to close the gap to 15-7.  With 2:28 left in the third quarter and the Eagles clinging to a 15-10 lead Grady Higgins (12 tackles) forced and recovered a fumble to stop a Friar drive at the Eagle 22 yard line.   After an exchange of punts Ellison put the icing on the cake with his score.   Rick Wade led the team with 13 tackles while junior LB Austin Barrette chipped in eight.

Eagles 42 - Orange Lutheran 41
In Week 7, the Eagles tied their greatest comeback ever as they overcame a 20-point 4th quarter deficit to defeat the Orange Lutheran Lancers 42-41 at Saddleback College.  QB KJ Costello ran it in on 4th and 3 from the Lancer 5 with just 18 seconds left and Kyle Sweet tacked on the extra point to take their first lead of the game.  Orange Lutheran rushed for 306 yards on the night and looked to be in command of the game as the fourth quarter began with a 41-21 lead, but the Eagles forced three punts in the fourth quarter and capitalized on all three of their possessions led by KJ Costello.  Costello, who set school records for attempts (47), completions (34) and yards (495) in a game, added another score earlier in the quarter to tie a school mark with six total touchdowns accounted for in a game. Kyle Sweet tied his school record with 15 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns while Conner Bianchini caught 10 passes for a career-high 139 yards.  Defensively, the Eagles allowed 229 yards rushing and 17 first downs in the first half but only 77 yards rushing and six first downs in the second half.  Senior ILB Connor Hilburn spearheaded the defensive effort with 13 tackles, fellow senior Rick Ellison collected 10 while newcomer Alec Stewart registered 10 stops with 1/2 a sack from his DE spot in his first action for the Eagles.  The comeback win pulled the Eagles to 1-1 in Trinity League play and kept their league title and playoff hopes alive.  As for the size of the comeback, in 2010 the Eagles fell behind 20-0 at St. John Bosco, but clawed back and won, interestingly, 42-41. 

JSerra 35 - Eagles 28
The Eagles built an early fourteen point lead but couldn't hold on as the JSerra Lions won 35-28 before a raucous full house at Saddleback College. Matt Mark got the Eagles on the board with a one-yard TD run in the first quarter and KJ Costello hit Connor Bianchini on a 20-yard TD pass to build a 14-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. With 6:50 left in the game senior RB Christian Caragao (19 carries for 102 yards) ran for a ten-yard TD to tie the game at 21 all. Later Bianchini (8 receptions for 107 yards) scored on a 22-yard pass from KJ Costello (21/37 for 279 yards) with 1:12 to close the gap to 35-28 but the onside kick failed and despite outgaining the Lions 457-337 the Eagles dropped their Trinity League opener to fall to 4-2 and 0-1 in league play. Senior safety Rick Ellison lead the defense with 13 tackles while LB Grady Higgins chipped in seven tackles and a sack to spearhead the defensive effort.

Eagles 42 - Venice 0
In Week 5 Santa Margarita posted their first shutout since 2012 with a 42-0 win over Venice to move to 4-1 on the season. Senior DE Rick Wade led the way as he registered a career-high 14 tackles, intercepted a pass, broke up another and returned an interception one yard for a score. Overall, the Eagles forced five turnovers and allowed the Gondoliers to gain only 159 yards on 62 plays on the night. Offensively, junior QB KJ Costello completed 13 of 15 passes for 129 yards. Senior WR/K/KR Kyle Sweet had a solid all around game as he returned a punt 65 yards for the opening score, caught six passes for a game-high 79 yards, successfully converted all six of his PAT attempts, registered two tackles and averaged 44.5 yards on his two punts. Senior RB Christian Caragao gained a game-high 80 yards and scored his first two career touchdowns while junior RB Dre Hall added 66 yards and two scores of his own.
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Bishop Gorman 41 - Eagles 10
The Eagles roiled up 420 yards and 19 first downs but committed two turnovers and had trouble preventing the big plays as they fell 41-10 on the road to the nationally ranked Bishop Gorman Gaels (5-0). Kyle Sweet had his second sensational game against the Gaels as he hauled in 10 passes for 199 yards and added a 65-yard punt and his first career field goal. (Last year Sweet caught 13 passes for 294 yards against them.) Senior OLB/TE Grady Higgins spearheaded the defensive effort with six tackles and a sack and caught two passes, while junior MLB/RB Matt Mark chipped in with six tackles and a rushing TD. Junior QB KJ Costello completed 24 of 45 passes for 320 yards.
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Eagles 21 - Dorsey 10
The Eagles outgained the Dons 432 to 236 while junior QB KJ Costello continued his remarkable start to the 2014 season by completing 22 of 35 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns including a 45-yard scoring play to Kyle Sweet as the clock expired in the 2nd quarter to give the Eagles a 14-3 halftime lead. He later hit Matt Mark (11 carries for 31 yards and a four-yard TD run) on a 31-yard scoring pass to build the lead to 21-3 in the 3rd quarter. Sweet caught a school record 15 passes for 210 yards to increase his season totals to 30 receptions for 444 yards. Defensively, junior LB Austin Barrette collected a team-high 13 tackles while senior DE Rick Wade collected 11 with 1 1/2 sacks and a pass broken up thrown in to lead the defensive effort.

Eagles 56 - Santiago 27
Santa Margarita rolled up a school record 613 yards of offense and defeated the Corona Santiago Sharks 56-27 behind the stellar two-way play of junior FB/MLB Matt Mark (14 tackles to go with three rushing TDs), and the all-everything senior Kyle Sweet who caught seven passes for 142 yards, rushed once for 35 yards, was 6/6 on PATs, recorded three tackles and broke up two passes.  Senior captain Rick Ellison recorded 13 tackles and returned an interception 28 yards to set up a score.  Junior QB KJ Costello was solid completing 25 of 33 passes for 407 yards and four TDs, while senior WR Connor Bianchini caught six passes for 111 yards and two scores as the Eagles improved to 2-0.

Eagles 26 - Bishop Amat 21
Junior QB KJ Costello completed a school record 27 passes (in 43 attempts) for 308 yards and two TDs.  Junior RB/LB Matt Mark gained a game-high 96 yards rushing and two TDs and added nine tackles and an interception he returned 20 yards.  Senior DE Rick Wade spearheaded the defensive effort with 13 tackles and 1/2 sack.  In two career games vs. the Lancers Wade has registered 25 tackles and 2.5 sacks.  The Eagles also ran a school-record 86 offensive plays against the Lancers (for 474 yards) breaking the previous mark of 80 against Los Alamitos in 2011.

Rick Curtis is named New Head Coach
Santa Margarita Catholic High School is pleased to announce the hiring of Rick Curtis as the Head Varsity Football Coach and member of the faculty. Curtis will be entering his 37th year as a high school football coach, most recently guiding Northwood High School for the past 13 years. Prior to his tenure as Northwood’s Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, Curtis coached at Servite, University, Laguna Hills, Irvine, and now enters his first year at Santa Margarita. While at Irvine, Curtis served as the Athletic Director for 10 years, was the defensive coordinator for three consecutive CIF Championship teams in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and coached basketball, track, softball and golf. Coach Curtis has 29 years of experience as a business education and physical education teacher and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in the Masters in Athletic Administration and Coaching Program.

Eagles Win Huntington Beach Linemen Competition
Picking up a giant tire and dragging it around isn’t too fun _ unless you’re a lineman. During the lineman competition on Saturday at Huntington Beach High, linemen took turns testing their strength lifting tires that should have been on a tractor trailer. I don’t know if success means they’re going to be able to block or tackle someone, but it sure demonstrates strength, and Santa Margarita’s Rick Wade, a defensive end-tight end, sure made it look easy. And it was impressive that Wade hung out with the linemen instead of his fellow skill-position players who had it pretty easy going out for passes.
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