By the time Santa Margarita Catholic scored in the first quarter on Friday night at St. John Bosco, the Eagles were already behind by 21 points.
And it wasn't going to get much better.
Three quarters later, Bosco had shaken off the Eagles and scored a 42-15 victory to win the Trinity League title, the Braves' first outright league championship since 2002.
Led by former Trabuco Hills coach Jason Negro, who is in his third year at his alma mater, Bosco went undefeated in 10 games on the field, but forfeited four nonleague games because of an ineligible player.
Bosco (6-4 overall, 5-0 in league) is ranked No. 5 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 3 in the Southern Section Pac-5 Division. Playoff pairings are released Sunday, and the Braves will likely be slotted behind top-seeded Ventura St. Bonaventure and second-seeded Mission Viejo, both of which are ranked ahead of Bosco in the Pac-5 poll.
Santa Margarita (8-2, 3-2), the defending Pac-5 and State Division I Bowl champion, finished third in league, behind Bosco and Mater Dei (8-2, 4-1).
Santa Margarita finished second in league to Servite in 2011 before making its championship run. The Eagles are ranked No. 6 in the state and No. 5 in the Pac-5.
But it's the Eagles' second loss in five games without quarterback Johnny Stanton, who suffered a season-ending knee injury prior to league play. In place of the Nebraska-bound runner/passer, Santa Margarita relied on sophomore Kyle Sweet and junior Josh Canty against Bosco.
Sweet connected with River Cracraft for a 58-yard score with 16 seconds left in the first quarter, and Canty had a 36-yard score to Cracraft with eight seconds left in the second quarter.
By the time Cracraft had hauled in his second long touchdown play, Santa Margarita was down 35-8.
Bosco's athletic offense yielded touchdown runs of 2, 28 and 37 yards by Darren Walker, and 7 and 3 yards by Lonell Woodhouse.
Christian Holland's 25-yard interception return gave Bosco a 21-0 lead with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
Ryan Wolpin rushed for 105 yards for Santa Margarita, his first 100-yard game since rushing for 200 against St. Bonaventure in Stanton's last game.