Football: Santa Margarita 55, Trabuco Hills 0

Johnny Stanton performs in front of about a hundred Nebraska fans who check him out in person, and Trabuco Hills is the unfortunate victim on a night when Santa Margarita puts it all together.

If Erik Bunte transferring to Mission Viejo was a distraction this week for Santa Margarita Catholic, you sure couldn’t tell by the Eagles’ performance on Friday night.

Santa Margarita turned in its best performance of the season, a 55-0 nonleague victory over Trabuco Hills. The game was played at Mission Viejo High because of work being done on the homefield site at Saddleback College.

For SMCHS coach Harry Welch, it was his 300th game as a head coach; his lifetime record is now 245-52-2.

Johnny Stanton, Santa Margarita’s Nebraska-bound quarterback, was his stellar self in front of about 100 Nebraska fans who are in town for the UCLA-Nebraska game on Saturday. No fewer than six Nebraska broadcast entities were on hand to get a first-hand look at their future quarterback, and he didn’t disappoint on his 18th birthday.

  • Check back later for video from the game.

He had two TD runs and two TD passes—in the first half. He helped the Eagles build a 35-0 lead that allowed them to coast in the second half. The scoreless fourth quarter was played with reserves and a running clock.

The victory by Santa Margarita (3-0) over Trabuco (2-1) was particularly impressive because a year ago—when Santa Margarita won the Southern Section Pac-5 title and the State Division I Bowl Championship—the team was not particularly impressive against the Mustangs.

This season, Trabuco came in with a 2-0 record, but they clearly have a ways to go before reaching elite status.

Santa Margarita held a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but scored three times in last four minutes before halftime.  Stanton passed 22 yards to Connor O’Brien, 24 yards to River Cracraft, and after consecutive passes of 14 and 26 yards to Ryan Wolpin, scored from one yard on a sneak.

There’s nothing sneaky about Stanton, though. He finished 16 of 20 passing for 302 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed five times for 87 yards and two scores.

Stanton, with seven games to go before the playoffs, broke Carson Palmer's record for total offense in a career (5,257). Stanton needed 214 to break the record and now has 5,413 yards.

Wolpin had a good night, too. He scored from 17 yards to give the Eagles the lead, and added touchdowns of four and 31 yards in the third quarter. He  rushed 15 times for 173 yards.

This was the Eagles’ first game since the transfer of Bunte, a 6-7, 323-pound guard who had committed to UCLA. Bunte had not been playing full time despite expectations, and he transferred to Mission Viejo, which has lost in the Pac-5 semifinals or finals the past three seasons.  

In Bunte’s place was sophomore Austin Maihen (6-4, 265), and he was part of an offensive effort that ran 48 plays and gained 587 yards.

In all, it was a good night for Santa Margarita, a team that has been near the top many national rankings since the preseason but had hardly looked the part.

Until Friday night.

Skunkman September 08, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Glad to see our future star here at Nebraska had a good game! Mr Stanton we will take very good care of you when you turn into a HUSKER!
Martin Henderson September 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Hey now, don't be giving him free cars and stuff. You're getting a player with the It Factor. Dude knows how to win, and guys follow him. That can't be coached. He's going to be a hit in Lincoln.
George White September 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The most impressive Player of the game was Sophmore Austin Maihen. It is only his second year ever playing the game of football and he didn't seem to miss a block. The nerves of his first start and didn't get to him. He also showed true heart when he had to be helped off the field was replaced for a few a plays by another impressive Sophmore (Will Sorenson) but he came back in and limped around the field for the rest of the game, nothing was lost when Bunte left because of the Strength of Austin Maihen and his very large predescesor Will Sorenson
Martin Henderson September 10, 2012 at 05:53 PM
We have added about 35 photos from the game that are now available for viewing, thanks to photographer Mark Hume.
Jodi Perry September 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Martin - I have a video that would go great with the picture that was posted titled: River Cracraft eludes Trabuco Hills' Nathan Perry (in white). Credit: Mark Hume May I upload it? :)


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