2021 EAGLES

Game 10 - Orange Lutheran

SMCHS Eagles (5-4)
Orange Lutheran Lancers (6-3)

at Saddleback College Stadium (Mission Viejo, California)
Friday, October 29, 2021 7:00 p.m.
Original PDF

Last Game Vs. St. John Bosco

Santa Margarita Catholic finished the most grueling three-game stretch of its regular schedule versus the “Top 3” of the Trinity League. Friday’s game was a tough battle with highly touted St. John Bosco. The Eagles had trouble early and couldn’t escape some miscues, and the Braves’ ability to capitalize on them, and fell, 41-16. SMC kept the game close, trailing only 21-3 at half, but two Bosco scoring drives in the third quarter put the game out of reach. Jaxon Potter did throw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter (to Ty Benefield and Blain Eiseman). Blake Wilson led the defense with 10 tackles while Donovan Comestro snagged his third interception of the season. Also, Hero Kanu registered his eighth quarterback sack of the year. The Eagles play their final Trinity League regular season game and home game this week against Orange Lutheran. Both schools will be looking to improve their records in preparation for the CIF-Southern Section Playoffs.

MaxPreps.com: Eagles Have Second-Toughest Prep Football Schedule in the Nation
Of the top nine teams in the nation with the toughest strength of schedule, six are from the Trinity League, according to MaxPreps.com based on the computer calculation by calpreps.com:
1. St. John Bosco - 63.5
2. Santa Margarita Catholic - 63.0
3. Punahou (Honolulu) - 62.2
4. Mater Dei - 59.7
5. Orange Lutheran - 58.7
6. JSerra Catholic - 58.6
7. St. Louis (Honolulu) - 52.9
8. Kamehameha (Honolulu) - 52.9
9. Servite - 55.6

Current Santa Margarita Catholic Poll Rankings - As of 10/24/21
MaxPreps.com - State: 6 / Southern Section: 6 / County: 4
calpreps.com - State: 6 / Southern Section: 6 / County: 4
calhisports.com - State: 12 / Section: 8 / County: 4
yahoo.com / Los Angeles Times - Southland: 7
scorebooklive.com - State: 10 / Southern Section: 6 / County: 3
Orange County Register - County: 4
Dan Albano (ocvarsity.com) - County: 4
High School Football America - Nation: 93 / State: 8 / Section: 6 / County: 3

Santa Margarita Catholic - Overall Statistical Leaders - 9 Games
Passing: Jaxon Potter - 188 / 339, 55.5% 2, 241 yards & 20 touchdowns
Rushing: Jake Foye - 93 atts / 437 yards, 4.7 average
Receiving: Niko Lopez - 51 receptions, 519 yards, 10.2 average & 7 touchdowns
Touchdowns Scored: Niko Lopez and Jalen Jones - 7 each
Total Tackles: Donovan Comestro - 61 /
Quarterback Sacks: Hero Kanu - 8.0 /
Interceptions: Blake Wilson - 4

SANTA MARGARITA PLAYERS TO WATCH

Israel Solomon
#1 | Defensive Back | Junior | 5-10, 170

  • Collected an interception in win at JSerra Catholic

Jaxon Potter
#5 | Quarterback | Junior | 6-3, 170

  • Ranked the No. 4 quarterback in Orange County by Steve Fryer in his “First and 10 for High School Football’s Week 7” (10/04/21) -- Top 10 in order: 1. Noah Fifita - Servite, 2. Elijah Brown - Mater Dei, 3. Malachi Nelson - Los Alamitos, 4. Jaxon Potter - Santa Margarita Catholic, 5. Darius Cowens - Pacifica, 6. Kadin Semonza - Mission Viejo, 7. Trey Kukuk - Capistrano Valley, 8. David Rasor - Corona del Mar, 9. Logan Gonzalez - Orange Lutheran and 10. Parker Awad - Edison. Honorable Mention: Dylan Eldredge - Cypress (Injured - out for season). Described by Fryer as “Better than ever”
  • Threw for a new career-high 387 yards in win at JSerra Catholic. That represents the eighth-most in a game in SMC history. Awarded a weekly “Helmet Sticker” by Michael Huntley in the Orange County Register
  • Threw four touchdown passes -- all in the second half -- in stunning upset win over Los Alamitos, which established a new career-high
  • Completed 29-of-43 passes (67.4%) and set new season-high marks for passing yards (311 - since broken), attempts (43), completions (29) and tied for touchdowns (3 - since broken) in resounding win over Nolan Catholic. Also rushed for one score. Recognized by the Orange County Register’s with “Huntley’s Hits” for Week 4
  • Named Team Offensive Player of the Week vs. St. Augustine
  • Recognized by PrepRedzone.com for one of the Top Passing Performances for Weeks 0, 2, 3, 4 and 6
  • Threw for the second-most passing yards ever by an SMC quarterback in debut game in season-opening win versus San Juan Hills -- 294-yards. Connected for three touchdown passes
  • Ranked the No. 82 overall prospect in the state by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2023
  • Cal-Hi Sports Fall 2021 Preseason All-State Second-Team - Offense (QB)
  • Ranked No. 22 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Ranked No. 5 quarterback in Orange County for Fall 2021 by the Orange County Register
  • Cal-Hi Sports 2021 Preseason Hot 100 - No. 71 in state for Class of 2023
  • Selected to the Summer Showcase Academy Prospect Watch list
  • Demonstrated poise and confidence in helping lead the Eagles to the championship of the 7-on-7 “Battle at the Beach” Passing Tournament at Edison (Huntington Beach) in July
Most Passing Yards in First Career Game at SMCHS - All-Time
Quarterback Yards Opponent Date Class
Peter Costelli 325 Downey 08/16/18 Sophomore
Jaxon Potter 294 San Juan Hills 08/20/21 Junior
K.J. Costello 243 @ Bishop Amat 08/30/13 Sophomore
Josiah Norwood 243 @ Downey 08/25/17 Senior
Ryan World 222 @ Mater Dei 10/19/07 Junior
         

 

Nicholas “Niko” Lopez
#0 | Tight End | Junior | 6-4, 210

  • Was selected Team Co-Offensive Player of the Week in upset win over Los Alamitos with two receiving touchdowns. Streak has now extended to each game this season -- 5 (School record is 10, set by John Minardi overlapping the 1996 and 1997 seasons)
  • Tallied a receiving touchdown in win over Nolan Catholic and in loss at Servite
  • Tied career-high in receptions with nine versus St. Augustine, including a touchdown
  • Tallied a team-high six receptions and scored one touchdown in loss at Norco
  • Recognized by PrepRedzone.com for one of the Top Receiving Performances for Weeks 0 and 2
  • Achieved new career-highs in pass receptions (9) and yards receiving (96) in season-opening win versus San Juan Hills
  • Ranked the No. 178 overall prospect in the state by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2023
  • Ranked No. 63 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Los Angeles Times Potential Breakout Star in the Southland for Fall 2021
  • A significant contributor in the Eagles’ championship run at the 7-on-7 “Battle at the Beach” Passing Tournament competition at Edison (Huntington Beach) in July. Named event Most Valuable Player by PrepRedzone.com
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Offense
  • Had 14 receptions for 164 yards (11.7 average) and two touchdowns in Spring 2021 season
  • Called-up to varsity for the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoff game at Sierra Canyon in 2019 and had one catch for 11 yards
  • A member of the Eagles basketball program who is described as having sound basketball instincts that transfer to the football field, especially when going after and securing the ball

Nick Gallegos
#7 | Wide Receive/Defensive Back | Senior | 5-11, 175

  • Led team with 94 yards receiving in loss at Norco
  • Named to OCVarsity.com Orange County “Bonus List of Top Contenders & Overlooked Players”
  • Hauled-in 6 receptions for 106 yards (17.7 average) in season opening win against San Juan Hills. Also scored one touchdown. This included his longest reception -- 52-yards
  • Recognized as an outstanding player at the 7-on-7 “Battle at the Beach” Passing Tournament at Edison (Huntington Beach) in July by PrepRedzone.com

Ben Durham
#9 | Defensive Back | Junior | 5-11, 195

  • Registered a team-high 12 tackles (tied with teammate Donovan Comestro) in loss at Norco
  • Spring 2021 Letterman
  • Listed on PrepRedzone.com’s “Watch List” of state prospects for Class of 2023

Ryan Zolnick
#10 | DE/LB | Senior | 6-1, 215

  • Notched one sack in upset wins over Los Alamitos and at JSerra Catholic
  • Registered a team-high 1 1/2 sacks in win over St. Augustine
  • Ranked No. 85 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League First-Team - Defense
  • Registered 17 total tackles and two sacks in spring 2021 season

Levar Talley
#11 | Defensive Line | Sophomore | 6-3, 205

  • Enjoyed an outstanding game on defense in loss at Mater Dei -- logged five tackles (four for loss) and three quarterback sacks
  • Had one quarterback sack in win over Nolan Catholic. Recognized by the Orange County Register’s with “Huntley’s Hits” for Week 4
  • Named No. 4 “Defensive Riser” for Class of 2024 selection by PrepRedzone.com fro California
  • Spring 2021 Letterman
  • Ranked No. 84 overall prospect in the state by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2024

Gage Grant
#12 | Quarterback/Strong Safety | Athlete | Senior | 6-0| 180

  • Ranked No. 132 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Recognized as an outstanding player at the 7-on-7 “Battle at the Beach” Passing Tournament at Edison (Huntington Beach) in July by PrepRedzone.com
  • Spring 2019 Empire League Co-Defensive Player of the Year at Tustin High School - Strong Safety
  • Saw significant action at quarterback and strong safety for the Tillers who finished in a three-way tie for the Empire League title with Pacifica (Garden Grove) and Cypress
  • As a quarterback, completed 63.8% of pass attempts and threw 10 touchdowns. Rushed for three touchdowns and added one receiving
  • Connected for four touchdown passes in each of the final two games of spring 2021 season for the Tillers versus Kennedy (La Palma) and Valencia (Placentia)

Donovan Comestro
#13 | Defensive Back | Junior | 6-0, 160

  • Had an interception and team-high 14 tackles in loss at Servite and also registered an interception in loss to St. John Bosco
  • Credited with four passes defended to help preserve upset win over Los Alamitos
  • Had one quarterback sack in win over Nolan Catholic
  • Registered a team-high 12 tackles (tied with teammate Ben Durham) in loss at Norco
  • Collected one interception in win over San Juan Hills in season-opener
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Defense
  • Notched 16 total tackles (4 for loss), a half sack, one interception, three pass defenses and forced two fumbles in Spring 2021

Jalen Jones
#18 | Wide Receiver | Senior | 5-10, 180

  • Has received an offer from Morehead State
  • Notched one touchdown reception in win at JSerra Catholic and was selected Team Offensive Player of the Week
  • Recognized by PrepRedzone.com for one of the Top Receiving Performances for Week 4
  • Registered two touchdown receptions in upset win over Los Alamitos
  • Receiving touchdown versus Nolan Catholic was his fourth of the season
  • Ranked No. 58 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Listed on PrepRedzone.com’s “Watch List” of state prospects for the Class of 2022
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Offense
  • Caught 15 passes for 195 yards (13.0 average) and two touchdowns in Spring 2021
  • Has received offers from Valparaiso and Davidson
  • A speed-burner, has run 10.9 in the 100-meters
  • A member of the Eagles track team, participating in the 100, 200 and 4x100 meter relay

Ian Grogan
#19 | Wide Receiver | Senior | 6-0, 185

  • Notched one touchdown reception in win at JSerra Catholic
  • Executed a 2-point conversion on a run vs. St. Augustine
  • Rushed four times while appearing at running back in Spring 2021, scoring two touchdowns. Also added one receiving
  • 2019 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Offense
  • Team leader with 511 receiving yards (21.3 average) in 2019 with two touchdowns
  • Notched career highs with five receptions along with 113 yards receiving in loss at Cherry Creek in 2019

Romen Christensen - #24 | Linebacker/Punter | Senior | 5-10, 180

  • Had six punts for a 41.0 average and a long of 57 yards in loss at Mater Dei
  • Collected an interception in win at JSerra Catholic
  • Launched a 51-yard punt in upset win over Los Alamitos
  • Had one quarterback sack in win over Nolan Catholic
  • Selected Team Special Teams Player of the Week vs. San Juan Hills
  • Led the team with nine total tackles in season-opening win against San Juan Hills

Blake Wilson - #34 | Defensive Back | Junior | 5-11 , 170

  • Had team-high 10 tackles is loss versus St. John Bosco
  • Registered one interception in upset win over Los Alamitos and at JSerra Catholic
  • Was selected Team Special Teams Player of the Week in win over Nolan Catholic
  • Connected for a successful 46-yard field goal in loss at Norco
  • Recognized by PrepRedzone.com as one of the Top Defensive Performances for Week 0
  • Selected Team Defensive Player of the Week vs. San Juan Hills and St. Augustine
  • Registered 2 interceptions in win over San Juan Hills in season-opener -- first two of his career
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Defense
  • Second on team in Spring 2021 in total tackles with 32
  • Handles the team’s kick-off duties

Jake Foye
#42 | Running Back | Junior | 5-10, 190

  • Was selected Team Co-Offensive Player of the Week in upset win over Los Alamitos
  • Named to OCVarsity.com Orange County “Bonus List of Top Contenders & Overlooked Players”
  • Selected Team Offensive Player of the Week vs. San Juan Hills
  • Rushed for a career-high 181 yards on 21 attempts (8.6 average) in season opening win against San Juan Hills. Also scored one touchdown

Noah Sulick
#43 | Linebacker | Sophomore | 5-10, 180

  • Enjoyed the best game of his young career against Nolan Catholic: four tackles, three tackles-for-loss and one-and-a-half QB sacks. Recognized by the Orange County Register’s with “Huntley’s Hits” for Week 4

Jacob Bower
#44 | Linebacker | Junior | 6-2, 175

  • Registered a career-high 10 tackles in loss at Servite
  • Had another monster game on defense in win at JSerra Catholic - two sacks and one interception
  • Enjoyed the best game of his career thus far with two interception, a 27-yard fumble recovery and return for a touchdown and nine tackles in upset win over Los Alamitos in Week 4
  • Named the Cal-Hi Sports (calhisports.com) SoCal “Defensive Player of the Week”
  • Awarded a weekly “Helmet Sticker” by Michael Huntley in the Orange County Register
  • SBLive (scorebooklive.com) nominee for “Southern California High School Athlete of the Week

Hero Kanu
#45 | Defensive Tackle | Senior | 6-5, 300

  • A Top-100 national and Top-10 California 5-star prospect currently with 26 offers from Division 1 Power Five conference schools. On July 9, officially narrowed down to ten: Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, Washington and Texas. After the win over JSerra Catholic on October 1, announced that the list was whittled down to five: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Georgia and LSU
  • Web feature profile on americanfootballinternational.com (AFI) / Hero Kanu: Europe’s First Five-Star NCAA Prospect? (Alex Malchow - 10/21/21)
  • Ranked No. 1 defensive lineman in state by scorebooklive.com -- 10/15/21. Criteria = 2021 spring and fall statistics, film review, discussions with coaches and college interest
  • Nominated for Cal-Hi Sports (calhisports.com) State and SoCal Defensive “Player of the Week” for performance in win at JSerra Catholic. Selected as a “State Stat Star of the Week”
  • Web feature profile on rivals.com / California Preps: Four-Star DL Hero Kanu Ready to Announce Top List (Adam Gorney - 09/28/21)
  • Enjoyed the most dominating game of his prep career in win at JSerra Catholic: 2 1/2 sacks, two tackles (both for loss), a blocked PAT and two quarterback hurries
  • Experienced a solid game with two sacks, four tackles (two for loss) and one quarterback hurry in upset win over Los Alamitos
  • Registered first full quarterback sack of the season in victory over Nolan Catholic
  • Numerous profile and highlight videos on youtube.com - 2021
  • Feature on E:FB Insider | Episode 3 (03/31/21)
  • Web feature profile on theathletic.com: Suh Comparisons: DT Goes from Geltendorf, Germany (pop: 5,600) to 10 Quick Scholarship Offers
  • Web feature profile on: seismicsportscoverage.com: German Import @HeroKanu Is a Hero at Santa Margarita Catholic
  • Television / Web feature interview on Bally’s Sports West / SoCal Prep Zone: “From Germany to So Cal High School Football”
  • Web feature interview on Spectrum News 1: “Santa Margarita Eagles Build New Culture Centered on Diversity, Family”
  • Newspaper / Web feature interview in Orange County Register: “Hero Kanu is a Marvel”
  • scorebooklive.com Fall 2021 State Defensive Player of the Year nominee
  • Recognized by PrepRedzone.com for one of the Top Defensive Performances for Week 2
  • Led team with three tackles-for-loss in win over St. Augustine (Also notched 1/2 sack)
  • Featured in four 247Sports.com online highlight videos in 2021
  • Ranked No. 1 Top Prospect for Class of 2022 by Europe’s Elite / europeselite.com
  • Ranked No. 1 Prep Prospect from Germany for Class of 2021 / 2022 by Europe’s Elite / europeselite.com
  • Ranked No. 9 football recruit in state for Class of 2022 by stacker.com
  • MaxPreps.com Fall 2021 Preseason All-State Team - Defense (DL)
  • rivals.com Prospect Rankings: National: 80, Position: 8 and State: 8
  • Ranked No. 6 by USA Today High School Sports in Top 25 Class of 2022 High School Players from California
  • Ranked No. 6 by yahoo.com Sports in Top 25 Class of 2022 High School Players from California
  • Ranked No. 7 prospect by ESPN / ESPN 300 in Class of 2022 High School Players from California
  • Cal-Hi Sports Fall 2021 Preseason All-State First-Team - Defense (DL)
  • Cal-Hi Sports Fall 2021 Preseason All-Orange County First-Team - Defense (DL)
  • scorebooklive.com Fall 2021 Preseason All-State Team - Defense (DL)
  • scorebooklive.com Fall 2021 Preseason All-CIF - Southern Section Team - Defense (DL)
  • SI.com All-American Watch List - Top Interior Defensive Linemen - “Notable”
  • Ranked No. 10 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Ranked No. 1 defensive lineman in Orange County for Fall 2021 by the Orange County Register
  • Ranked No. 12 prospect in the state and No. 189 in the nation on the On300 2022 (on3.com) Football List
  • Los Angeles Times Top 10 Defensive Linemen to Watch in Fall 2021
  • Los Angeles Times Prep Rally: “Big Men to Watch” in Fall 2021
  • MaxPreps.com compares to Kanu to Cameron Hayward of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Ranked No. 8 overall prospect in the state by MaxPreps.com
  • Ranked No. 1 prospect in the state and No. 7 in the nation at defensive tackle by MaxPreps.com
  • Ranked No. 9 overall prospect in the state and No. 1 at defensive tackle by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2022
  • Cal-Hi Sports Fall 2021 Preseason Hot 100 - No. 11 overall in state for Class of 2022
  • Orange County Register’s - “Juniors Who Will Reign in the Fall of 2021”
  • 2022 San Antonio Sports All-Star Football Game invitee -- January 8, 2022: Will announce college selection
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity First-Team League - Defense
  • Ranked No. 8 defensive lineman in the state after Spring 2021 season by scorebooklive.com
  • scorebooklive.com Spring 2021 All-State Football Team (DL)
  • Cal-Hi Sports Spring 2021 All-State Second-Team - Defense (DL)
  • Cal-Hi Sports Spring 2021 All-State First-Team - Defense - Junior Team (DL)
  • MaxPreps.com Spring 2021 All-State Second-Team - Defense (DL)
  • Los Angeles Times Spring 2021 All-Star High School First-Team - Defense (DL)
  • Class of 2022 “Stock Risers” selection by PrepRedzone.com for California
  • Cal-Hi Sports Winter 2021 Class of 2022 Top-100 recruit

Taurian Nash
#47 | Running Back | Freshman

  • Was selected Team Special Teams Player of the Week after upset win over Los Alamitos. Also scored one rushing touchdown
  • Gained 68 yards rushing and scored his first-career touchdown on a 46 yard romp in win over St. Augustine

Jalani Liva
#62 | Offensive Line | Junior | 6-4, 320

  • Has received an offer from Arizona Christian
  • Recognized as a “Lineman on the Rise” in Orange County for Fall 2021 by the Orange County Register
  • Spring 2021 Letterman
  • Ranked the No. 124 overall prospect in the state by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2023 and Outstanding Newcomer

Kilian O’Connor
#67 | Offensive Line | Senior | 6-2 , 285

  • Has received an offer from Columbia
  • Cal-Hi Sports Fall 2021 Preseason All-State Second-Team - Offense (OL)
  • Ranked No. 5 offensive lineman in Orange County for Fall 2021 by PrepRedzone.com
  • Ranked No. 61 by Orange County Register of Hot-150 Top Impact Players for Fall 2021
  • Ranked No. 6 offensive lineman in Orange County for Fall 2021 by the Orange County Register
  • Listed on PrepRedzone.com’s “Watch List” of state prospects for the Class of 2022
  • Spring 2021 All-Trinity League Second-Team - Offense
  • Cal-Hi Sports Winter 2021 No. 63 state prospect for Class of 2022
  • Cal-Hi Sports Summer 2020 No. 59 state prospect for Class of 2022
  • 2019 All-Trinity League First-Team - Offense

Kyle Brody
#88 | Tight End | Sophomore | 6-4 , 230

  • Ranked No. 84 overall prospect in the state by PrepRedzone.com for Class of 2024
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: Orange Lutheran

SMCHS Season Game No. 10 / Trinity League Game No. 5
Game Day / Date: Friday, October 29, 2021 @ Saddleback College (Mission Viejo), 7:00 p.m.
School Location: Orange
Nickname: Lancers
Head Coach: Rod Sherman 6-3 (.667) - First Season as Head Coach School
2021 Fall Record: 6-3 Overall | 1-3 Trinity League
Last Week: Won @ JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano), 9-7
2021 Spring Season: 1-4 Overall | 1-4 Trinity League (5th)
2019 Season: 5-6 Overall | 1-4 Trinity League (5th) | 0-1 CIF-SS Playoffs
All-Time Series: Orange Lutheran leads 9-8 (Including forfeit in Spring 2021) / Note: No game in 2007 due to Trabuco Canyon fire
Last Game: On-Field - OLu won 28-14 in 2019 / SMC won by forfeit in Spring 2021, 2-0 (due to COVID issues)
Last SMCHS Win: On-Field - 38-31 in 2017 / Forfeit win in Spring 2021, 2-0
Players to Watch:

  • Anthony Tena | Senior | Offensive Tackle
  • Brendan Hale | Senior | Cornerback
  • Bryce Brown-Johnson | Senior | Safety / Wide Receiver
  • Desmin Jackson | Senior | Running Back
  • Gabe Morin | Junior | Running Back / Linebacker
  • Jaylen Lynch | Senior | Wide Receiver
  • Logan Gonzalez | Senior | Quarterback
  • Malik Blackmon | Senior | Wide Receiver / Cornerback
  • Pierce Brown | Senior | Wide Receiver
  • Zack Miller | Senior | Offensive Line

In Brief: First-year Head Coach Rod Sherman returned to OLu this season where he enjoyed much success as offensive coordinator during the Lancers’ successful playoff run in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now, he is extremely focused on injecting more confidence and drive into the program that had challenges over the past few seasons. The Lancers have revamped their program with new, key support staff. Notably they hired former OLu star quarterback Aaron Corp as offensive coordinator, former Mater Dei standout Chris Ward as an offensive line coach and former Mater Dei strength coach Bubba Reynolds. At the start of the season, Sherman indicated that protecting returning quarterback Logan Gonzalez was the top priority. Gonzalez is blessed with numerous talented receivers that can catch the football including: Desmin Jackson, Pierce Brown, Jaylen Lynch and Malik Blackmon. The responsibility for protecting Gonzalez falls to very capable offensive tackles Anthony Tena and Zack Miller. The defense is led by returners Gabe Morin at linebacker and Brendan Hale at cornerback.

NEXT WEEK’S OPPONENT: CIF Southern Section Playoffs

Day / Date / Time: Friday, November 5, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Opponent: To be determined (See selection information below)
Location: To be determined (See selection information below)
Game Information Detail: www.cifss.org or www.smhs.org/athletics/teams-page/football or twitter: @SMCHS_Football
Broadcast: Check ballysports.com or twitter: @prepzone for details if game is televised or streamed live

CIF-Southern Section Playoff Details and Selections
Sunday, October 31 @ 10:00 a.m.

  • Trinity League schools are projected to be placed in either Division 1 or Division 2 based upon final ranking
  • Division 1 will be either an 8 or 10 team bracket and Division 2 will be a 16 team bracket
  • Rankings utilized in selection process will be taken from calpreps.com

       * * * Santa Margarita Catholic - calpreps.com - State: 6 / Southern Section: 6 / County: 4

  • All brackets will be released by the CIF-SS office and available online at www.cifss.org
  • Game locations and times to be announced

CIF-Southern Section Football Playoff Game Schedule
1st-Round Games (of 16): Friday, November 5
Quarterfinals: Friday, November 12
Semifinals: Friday, November 19
Championship Games: Friday, November 26 and Saturday, November 27 (Thanksgiving Weekend)

CIF-Southern California Regional Championship Bowl Game Schedule
Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4

CIF-State Championship Bowl Game Schedule
Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11
Note: Division 1 Championship Game will be at Cerritos College

Trinity League

Regular season complete

CIF-Southern Section Playoffs - Friday, November 5, 2021: Schools, match-ups and locations to be determined

HEAD COACH Anthony Rouzier

Anthony Rouzier begins his second season as the Head Varsity Coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Prior to taking the reigns of the program in the spring of 2021, Rouzier coached at SMC for three seasons, first serving as the linebacker coach and then as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator. The path to Head Coach started on August 27, 2020 when Rouzier was named on an interim basis. He replaced Tim Walsh after his resignation from the position to focus on a medical issue. On February 5, 2021, Rouzier was named fulltime Head Coach by school President Andy Sulick.

Rouzier played collegiately at the University of Connecticut in 2005. There he was the first true freshman walk-on to start in the Division-era of the school. He then transferred to the University of Massachusetts as a scholarship athlete and was a member of two Colonial Athletic Conference championships teams. In the classroom, Rouzier earned All-Academic All-Conference honors in 2007 and 2008.

After his collegiate playing days, in 2014, Rouzier coached at Amherst Regional High School (Massachusetts) where he started as the linebacker coach and was promoted to Defensive Coordinator mid-season. Rouzier then proceeded to coach the outside linebackers at Winston-Salem State University (North Carolina) in the spring of 2015. Shortly after that, he returned as a graduate assistant at his Alma Mater, the University of Massachusetts. There he worked with the defensive backs in 2015 and linebackers in 2016.

Rouzier then found his way to Europe to coach with the Hamburg Huskies of the German Football League. There, in 2017, he was the interim Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator. For his success, Rouzier was promoted to and accepted the Head Coaching position. Rouzier was also the Defensive Coordinator for the Under-17 Hamburg State All-Star team and worked with a recruiting service that helped European prospects earn Division 1 college scholarships in the United States. One of the other German coaches was current SMC assistant coach Sean Embree. It was Embree who convinced Rouzier that coaching at SMC would be worth his while and he soon found his way to South Orange County.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rouzier married his wife Elwira, who he met in Germany in 2018. He holds Juris Doctor and Master’s of Business Administration degrees from Florida International University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He is the co-creator of a children’s book and non-profit organization that promotes health and wellness.

Compiled and edited by Chuck Nan. Game and historical statistics by Shane Mielke