Eagles advance to the CIF playoffs for the 11th consecutive year and 16th time in 17 seasons.
The 2005 Santa Margarita Eagle football team once again recorded a successful season as they managed to secure a 3rd place finish in the tough Serra League and advance to the CIF playoffs for the 11th consecutive year and 16th time in their 17-year history.
Under the guidance of third-year coach Mike Jacot the Eagles opened the season with a late-August road game at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii. Despite the heat and the fact that the hosts had a game under their belt the Eagles prevailed 26-0. Back on the mainland the team took three weeks off before traveling to LA City power Dorsey. The team showed little rust as Ryan Maxwell became the first Eagle to score a touchdown three different ways including a record-setting 88-yard punt return to secure a 27-21 win. The Eagles stumbled at home the following week as future league member Orange Lutheran came back for a thrilling 22-19 win. Santa Margarita held off traditional Division I playoff qualifier Fountain Valley 21-9 to improve to 3-1 before unexpectedly dropping a 22-21 setback to Foothill, which put their mid-season mark at 3-2. A tough 25-18 loss at home to Loyola despite a school-record 26 pass completions by Jon Daniels put the Eagles playoff hopes in jeopardy and a 17-7 defeat at the hands of rival Mater Dei on the road left them at 3-4 and desperately in need of a win.
Traveling to Bishop Amat in week 8 posed a major challenge, but the Eagles responded as John Angelo rushed for 122 yards and Jon Daniels’ completed 18 of 26 passes as the Eagles prevailed 32-22. The following week the Eagles traveled to St. John Bosco and posted a 29-23 win behind the 157 yards from Angelo to improve to 5-4 and set up a showdown with Servite in week 10 for second place in league. Angelo’s record-tying four touchdowns and Daniels touchdown pass to Nick Pizzurro in the final seconds were not enough as a two-point conversion attempt failed and the Friars held on for a memorable 35-34 win. Despite being 5-5 the Eagles were highly competitive as evidenced by the losses which totaled 22 points. The CIF Playoff Selection Committee awarded the Eagles one of the At-Large playoff berths and the squad played Citrus belt League Champion Redlands East Valley to a virtual standstill before eventually succumbing 21-20 in overtime.
Several Eagles enjoyed award-winning seasons as Center Tom Roby and Punter Thomas Hull earned the Serra League’s Lineman of the Year and Punter of the Year honors respectively while also garnishing all Orange County honors. Besides Maxwell’s and Angelo’s heroics Daniels also set records for pass attempts and completions in a career.