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Tartans too much for Sage

High School Football

Lightning score first, but St. Margaret's takes control to remain perfect in Academy League.

November 04, 2011|By Matt Szabo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Fans at the football game between St. Margaret's and Sage Hill thought they had endured the worst of the rain Friday night.

Mother Nature had other plans. A downpour started minutes before kickoff, just as the host Tartans were about to take the field.

It wasn't too bad. The rain stopped midway through the first quarter.

The Tartans' reign over the Lightning continues.

St. Margaret's sophomore quarterback Josh Davis threw five touchdown passes, four to senior Byron Manzo, as the Tartans rolled over Sage, 38-3, in a meeting of Academy League rivals. St. Margaret's has still never lost to Sage Hill in 10 varsity meetings.

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St. Margaret's (7-2, 2-0 in league), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division, moves into sole possession of first place in league with one game to go. The Tartans are going for their ninth straight title.

Sage Hill (3-6, 1-1) still can clinch at least a top-two finish in the four-team league, and a playoff spot, by beating Brethren Christian at home Friday. Brethren Christian and Crean Lutheran (both 0-1 in league) play Saturday.

"Next week, our last game of the season, our senior night, we still have everything on the table," Sage Hill Coach J.R. Tolver said. "Everything that we've worked for since February is still in play."

Friday night's game looked in play, too, at least early. The Lightning's Thomas Fenner recovered a St. Margaret's fumble on the Tartans' second play from scrimmage, and Sage worked the ball downfield. Joe Melita kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Sage a 3-0 lead.

The Lightning also stopped the Tartans on their second series.

"I don't know if we exactly matched their intensity at the beginning, or if we were too wired up," St. Margaret's Coach Rod Baltau said. "They came out and they were ready to play."

But Sage was hurt by a bad snap late in the first quarter. The ball sailed over the punter's head and St. Margaret's took over at the Lightning 26-yard line. Four plays later, Davis found Martin Burke on fourth down for an eight-yard touchdown pass.

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