Eagles 21 - Bishop Amat 19

LA PUENTE, CA., October 13, 2000 – The Eagles used a career-high 164 yards rushing from sophomore Ashton White to jump out to a 21-6 lead, but needed a game saving stop on a two-point conversion play to defeat the Bishop Amat Lancers 21-19 before a crowd of 3,300 at Kiefer Stadium. The win was the second in as many years for the Eagles over the tradition-rich Lancers and improved their record to 4-2.

The Lancers (1-5) were coming off the worst loss in school history and were trying to snap out of a 10-game slump started by the Eagles in Week 6 of 1999 when Santa Margarita stunned the No. 17 team in the nation 35-26. Since that game the Lancers had gone 1-9, including a devastating 56-6 loss to Concord De la Salle last week, but they came out ready to play in front of a raucous homecoming crowd. After crossing midfield on their opening drive, Bishop Amat was forced to punt, and Santa Margarita's Cole Devitis blocked it to set the Eagles up at the Lancer 48. However, the Eagles could manage only 18 net yards on nine plays due to three costly penalties and were forced to punt themselves. The Lancers mounted a 91-yard drive later in the quarter aided by a 43-yard run and a key pass interference call and struck first with backup QB Michael Lange hitting John Pfeiffer on a 24-yard scoring pass with 0:36 left in the first quarter to go ahead 6-0. The PAT try was wide and this proved critical. The Eagles came right back with a seven-play 69-yard drive of their own with White gaining 58 of those on six carries including his first touchdown of the season at the 9:51 mark of the second quarter to put the Eagles up for good at 7-6. With 8:51 remaining in the half, Alex Huston, who continued his amazing season with two sacks, two batted down passes and a fumble recovery, recovered his fourth fumble of the season setting up the Eagles at the Lancer 41. From there Tyler Thompson rushed for 10 yards and Matt Dlugolecki found RBs Ryan Whelan and Matt Vogel on 13 and 18-yard pass plays before sneaking over from the one to put the Eagles ahead 14-6 with 5:06 left in the quarter.

Santa Margarita took the second half kickoff and marched downfield on a nine-play, 70-yard drive capped by a five-yard scoring pass from Dlugolecki (10 of 18 for 122 yards) to Curtis Cooper with 7:29 remaining in the quarter to go up 21-6. A 55-yard run by White at the nine minute mark of the fourth quarter seemingly put the game out of reach, but three pass incompletions including a questionable intentional grounding call led to a missed 45-yard field by Cooper goal giving the Lancers new life. Lange led the Lancers on another drive to the Eagle eight early in the fourth quarter, but on fourth down and three Tyler Thompson sacked Lange at the 16 to end the threat. Although Lange was under heavy pressure all night and suffered six sacks, he put on a show using his lively arm to throw for 215 yards in the second half alone (315 total) including a 20-yard scoring pass to Joshua Chamois with 6:33 left in the game to close the gap to 21-12. The Lancers forced Santa Margarita to punt on their next series and Lange led Bishop Amat to the Eagle four where on fourth down Donnie McCleskey picked up his own fumble in the backfield raced around end and dove into the endzone to close the Eagle lead to two at 21-19 with only 2:28 left. The Lancers chance to tie was denied as Lange's pass to Ryan McMillin fell short of the endzone. Dustin Slinkard recovered the onsides Kick and the Eagles ran out the clock.

The Eagle offense did just enough to win the game, but penalties kept them from putting the game away earlier. The season-high six sacks made a difference in limiting the Lancers to 53 yards rushing, but the Eagles were hurt by long pass completions and too many penalties (nine for 77 yards). Besides Huston, other defensive standouts included Trevor Zinn who collected a team-high six tackles, Matt Vogel who added five tackles, ½ sacks and a forced fumble and sophomore DT Chris Cutler had a another good game collecting a sack and batting down a pass of his own.

By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director