Eagles 21 - Mater Dei 14

FULLERTON, CA., November 3, 2000 – Cal State Fullerton was once again the site of one of the greatest wins in Santa Margarita history as the Eagles defeated the nationally ranked Mater Dei Monarchs 21-14 in front of an estimated 6,700 fans. The convincing win erased doubts that the Eagles could play with the three-time defending Division I Champion Monarchs, ranked No. 7 in the nation per USA Today, and eased the suffering from last season's devastating 34-0 loss at the hands of the Monarchs. The victory now ranks with the two CIF Championship wins as one of their three greatest ever, and put the Eagles (7-2, 2-0) in position to win their first ever Serra League Championship. The loss dropped the Monarchs to 7-2, 1-1.

The keys for the Eagles going in were establishing a running game, winning the battle of special teams, rebounding from Monarch scores and creating turnovers. Santa Margarita did these, and, in fact, dominated all aspects of the game by using key plays on offense, defense and special teams. On the Monarch's opening drive Tyler Thompson stripped Cameron Carmona of the ball and Ashton White scooped it up and returned it 43 yards to the Mater Dei nine. On the next play Thompson ran untouched into the endzone for a 7-0 lead only 2:09 into the game. After a three-and-out by mater Dei forced them to punt, the Eagles marched down the field on a 14-play 71-yard drive highlighted by a key 26-yard pass completion from Matt Dlugolecki to Curtis Cooper on a third-and-four situation and capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Dlugolecki to Thompson to make it 14-0 with 1:37 left in the first quarter. Mater Dei struck back with an eight-play 62-yard drive helped by a personal foul by the Eagles and finished off with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Matt Linert to Jeff Diulio at the 10:11 mark of the second quarter to make it 14-7. After an exchange of punts the Eagles drove to the Monarch 38, but the drive stalled and Matt Vogel's punt pinned the Monarchs on their eight. After three incomplete passes Brian New's punt from the endzone was blocked by Ashton White and recovered by Alex Huston on the Mater Dei one. Two plays later Dlugolecki (seven of 10 for 111 yards and one Td) took it in himself for a 21-7 lead with 1:40 left in the half. The Monarchs wasted little time as they drove to the Eagle 21 in six plays before Linert connected with Diulio again, this time from 21 yards to close the gap to 21-14 at the 0:36 mark. In the second half the Eagles kept it simple and focused on ball control drives that ate time off the clock. Dominating the time of possession caused the Monarchs to see the ball three times in the second half where they managed only 90 yards and scored no points. The start of the second half began with an interception by Trevor Zinn at the Eagle goal line to end a Monarch threat. After an Eagle punt the defense came up big with a key stop on 3rd down at the 50 forcing the Monarchs to punt. A 10-play drive by the Eagles netted 54 yards, but most importantly ate five minutes off the clock. On mater Dei's last possession a sack by Matt Vogel and Chris Cutler put Mater Dei into a punting situation where Vogel's block of another New punt gave the Eagles first down at the Mater Dei 41. A holding penalty was overcome by the hard running of Thompson (31 carries for 92 yards) and White (11 carries for 47 yards). Later at the Monarch 21 Dlugolecki's QB sneak for a first down at the 2:02 mark sealed the game. Defensively, the Eagles limited the high-powered Monarch offense to 238 total yards and only 12 first downs (including two that were the result of Eagle penalties). Thomas Cappelletti, Johnnie Walker and Thompson spearheaded the Eagle defensive effort with six tackles apiece.

By Adrian Peters
Sports Information Director