In only their third season fielding a varsity squad, and only the second complete season with seniors, the Santa Margarita Eagles continued to establish a winning tradition and success in the playoffs. A young and inexperienced Eagle squad finished the season 7-4-1 and made it to CIF playoffs for the third straight year.
5 Eagles Commit
Congratulations to DL Brian Hauke (Boise State), OL Matt Zaist (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), LB Ryan Zalta (UC Davis), OL Jim Herlehy (UC Davis), and RB Josh Ireland (Saddleback JC) from the class of 1992 who have committed to play football at the next level.
All College Athletes
3 Eagles play in the OC All-Star Game
RB Josh Ireland, OL Jim Herlehy, and LB Ryan Zalta are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Eagles to play in the Orange County All-Star Game. Josh Ireland started on both Offense and Defense. He rushed 4 times for 25 yards, caught 1 pass for 12 yards.
2 Eagles named All-County
OL Jim Herlehy, and RB Josh Ireland become the 2nd and 3rd Eagles to earn All-County honors.
2 Eagles earn All-CIF Division V
DB Sean O'Brien and RB Josh Ireland earn All-CIF Division V honors.
Palm Desert 26 - Eagles 25
A bad snap on a 23-yard field goal attempt by Sean O'Brien with two seconds remaining ended up as an incomplete pass and Palm Desert outlasted the Eagles, 26-25, in a CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal at Saddleback College.
Eagles 29 - Colton 22
Josh Ireland knew it was time to go. His team had blown a 21-7 lead and now trailed, 22-21. There was only 4:55 remaining in the game. So Ireland went – taking the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for the touchdown that gave Santa Margarita a 29-22 victory over Colton in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs.
Eagles 28 - Elsinore 0
CIF playoff hopeful Santa Margarita (7-3) rolled to a 28-0 victory over visiting Elsinore on Saturday night at Saddleback College, thanks to a balanced offense, a 21-point second quarter and a gritty defense.
Eagles 35 - San Luis Obispo 27
Josh Ireland of Santa Margarita had one of the top 10 rushing performances in Orange County history Friday night, gaining 311 yards in a 35-27 non-league victory over San Luis Obispo.
After Rough Journey, They’ll Travel in Style
Life on the road is about to get a little more comfortable for Santa Margarita High School’s football team. Last Friday, Santa Margarita’s sophomore, junior varsity and varsity teams played a tripleheader at Brawley.
The varsity game started at 9:20 p.m. and ended at 11:20. The teams returned to Santa Margarita at 3:45 a.m.
Eagles 42 - Brawley 16
Stalled early by penalties and mental mistakes, Santa Margarita controlled the second half behind the running of Josh Ireland, who scored four times Friday night to lead the Eagles to a 42-16 victory over Brawley in a non-league game at Warne Field.
Eagles 7 - Santa Maria 7
Santa Maria linebacker Mike Hampton blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Santa Margarita with 14 seconds left in the game Friday night to preserve a 7-7 tie in front of 2,000 at Saddleback College.
Eagles 35 - LittleRock 0
A week after upsetting previously undefeated Servite, the Eagles whipped Littlerock, 35-0, on Friday night at Saddleback College.
Eagles 13 - Servite 12
Santa Margarita stopped Servite's attempt for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to upset the sixth-ranked and previously undefeated Friars, 13-12, on Thursday night at Orange Coast College.
Valley Christian 21 - Eagles 19
Despite missing its main offensive threat, Santa Margarita almost rallied successfully in the final 1:16 Friday night against host Valley Christian.
Eagles 55 - Banning 13
Injured Santa Margarita running back Josh Ireland made a late entrance, and barely played in the second half, but his six carries were good for 141 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles ripped Banning of Riverside, 55-13, in their home opener at Saddleback College Friday night.
University 13 - Eagles 12
Senior running back Sammy Hunt ran for 128 yards and a touchdown and University held back a two-point conversion try late in the game to record a 13-12 victory over Santa Margarita in a non-league game at Irvine High on Thursday night.
Rancho Bernardo 37 - Eagles 26
Rancho Bernardo shut down Santa Margarita's Josh Ireland and took advantage of the Eagles' young defense Friday night in a 37-23 Broncos victory before a crowd estimated at 1,000 at Poway High.
Ireland says critics wrong
He's upset that some cast doubt on his 2,737 career rushing yards. When Josh Ireland concludes his high school career this season, he should rank near the top in career rushing yardage in Orange County history. But some might say placing "Ireland's name among the all-time leaders would be joshing.Santa Margarita is not in a league; the parochial school in Rancho Santa Margarita is a free-lance school, so the Eagles play non-leagues games against any school they can schedule.