Eagles 51 - Bishop Amat 45

LA PUENTE, CA., September 7, 2023 – In the 35-years of Santa Margarita Catholic football, there have been many exciting comebacks and numerous games packed with historical achievements. Thursday at Bishop Amat in La Puente was a rare and unique game that was filled with both. The Lancers have a rich and successful tradition on the gridiron and is always a tough place to play. The Eagles found this to be true early.

After going on a distant road trip the previous week and capturing a win, SMC was away from home once again on a short week of preparation. As they fell behind in a 21-0 hole by the early second quarter, Coach Rouzier and staff challenged their club to regroup and turn the table. From that point in the contest, the team responded with vigor and urgency to put themselves in a position to succeed. Indeed the Eagles prevailed 51-45 with the execution of some timely plays. The offense was led by Trent Mosley’s inspiring and dominant play (see below). The defense was able to smother any chance of an Amat comeback win with key stops down the stretch.

The victory was historic in many ways and pushed SMC’s season record to 3-1 before the last nonleague game this week. After a bye week, the Eagles then commence the rugged Trinity League schedule. A few of the remarkable highlights and school records from the contest include:


  • Largest deficit overcome to win - 21 points
  • Second-most combined points in single game by two schools - 96

Trent Mosley

  • Perhaps the best all-around individual performance in a single game in SMC history
  • Tied school record for most touchdowns scored in a single game with six (Also Ryan Wolpin in 2012 vs. Carson)
  • Tied school record for most touchdowns accounted for in a single game with six (with 5 others)
  • Tied school record for most 2-point conversions accounted for in a single game with two (Also Ryan Maxwell in 2005 @ Kealakehe (Hawaii)
  • Tied school record for most receiving touchdowns in a single game with three. Held by many and achieved in several instances
  • Mosley and teammate Sean Embree each broke the 100-yard threshold for receiving yards in a game for the second-consecutive week

John Gazzaniga

  • The best passing debut of any quarterback in SMCHS history by John Gazzaniga: 20-of-30 (66.7%), 377 yards and four touchdown passes. Overall, his effort tied for the twelfth-best single game in school all-time
  • Gazzaniga (377) and Hunter Melton (27) combined for 406 total passing yards -- the eleventh time in school history with team passing for 400-or-more yards

Other Performance Highlights

  • Sean Embree: Eight receptions, 144 yards (18.0 average) and one touchdown, including a 77-yard bomb from Gazzaniga
  • Jack Junker: Freshman enjoyed the best game of his early career with five receptions for 89 yards (17.8 average)
  • Skylar Lendsey: Registered 106 all-purpose yards, besting the triple-digit threshold for the second time this season
  • Daniel Romano: Notched first career interception
  • Gage Burnett: Eight tackles (2 for loss) and one sack
  • Noah Sulick: Nine tackles (1 for loss)
  • LeVar Talley: One sack
Santa Margarita 0 22 21 8 51
Bishop Amat 14 15 7 9 45

BA – Osorio 31 pass from Villalbazo (Ramirez kick)
BA – Osorio 34 pass from Villalbazo (Ramirez kick)
BA – Vasquez 11 pass from Villalbazo (Ramirez kick)
SM – Mosley 34 pass from Gazzaniga (Brody pass from Mosley)
BA – O'Dell 40 pass from Villalbazo (Munoz run)
SM – Mosley 13 run (Gass kick)
SM – Embree 77 pass from Gazzaniga (Gass kick)
SM – Mosley 6 run (Gass kick)
SM – Mosley 49 pass from Gazzaniga (Gass kick)
BA – O'Dell 64 pass from Villalbazo (Ramirez kick)
SM – Mosley 1 run (Gass kick)
SM – Mosley 35 pass from Gazzaniga (Mosley run)
BA – Zertuche 26 run (Munoz run failed)
BA – Ramirez 27 FG

Rushing: SM - Lendsey 10-79, Gazzaniga 6-45, Mosley 6-33;
Passing: SM - Gazzaniga 20-30-0-377, Melton 4-4-0-27;
Receiving: SM - Mosley 9-144, Embree 8-144, Junker 5-89;

Summary by Chuck Nan
Statistics by Shane Mielke


Santa Margarita football stuns Bishop Amat with rally led by new QB and Trent Mosley

QB John Gazzaniga, a 6-foot-7 junior, helps overcome 21-point deficit in his debut with the Eagles, and Mosley scores 6 TDs.

LA PUENTE, CA., September 7, 2023 – Santa Margarita spotted Bishop Amat three first-quarter touchdowns before charging back for a 51-45 victory in a nonleague game Thursday at Bishop Amat High School.

Junior quarterback John Gazzaniga, who was playing his first game for the Eagles (3-1), and sophomore wide receiver Trent Mosely led the comeback.

Gazzaniga is a 6-foot-7 transfer from Orange Lutheran who began this season as the Lancers’ backup QB. Gazzaniga apparently left Orange Lutheran last week and his transfer papers were approved by the CIF Southern Section just hours before Thursday night’s kickoff.

He completed 19 of 28 passes for 376 yards and four touchdowns and Mosley scored six touchdowns — three rushing and three receiving.

“I think the thing that you’ve seen with our group is that we’re resilient, we stick together and we’re finding ways to win during tough contests,” Eagles coach Anthony Rouzier said. “You know, it’s not always going to be clean. I’ve got to remind myself of that. But I’m just really proud of these guys. I love coaching this team. It’s about as much fun as I’ve ever had coaching football.”

The Eagles, who are ranked No. 6 in Orange County, put themselves in an early hole with penalties and botched plays and the Lancers (1-2) took advantage almost every time.
The Lancers, who are ranked No. 2 in the San Gabriel Valley, led 29-7 with 3:28 left in the second quarter, but the Eagles scored three second-quarter touchdowns to get to within 7 points at halftime.

The first score during that burst came on Gazzaniga’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Mosley, who then scored on an 11-yard run from the wildcat formation on the Eagles’ next drive.

Gazzaniga then connected with Sean Embree for a 77-yard touchdown.

“We started off slow and obviously, we just need to wake up,” Mosley said. “And our coach gave us a great speech to help us. It was a team game. Everyone played their part. We just need to work on coming out faster. But you know, we all did our parts.”

The Eagles tied the score on their first drive in the third period with Mosley’s 5-yard touchdown run, which also came out of a wildcat formation.

Santa Margarita then took its first lead, 36-29, on Gazzaniga’s 49-yard scoring pass to Mosley.

The Lancers tied the score on Frankie Villalbazo’s 64-yard touchdown pass to Talan O’Dell.

Santa Margarita then took the lead back for good on Gazzaniga’s 49-yard scoring pass to Mosley.

Gazzaniga credited his performance to the offensive line and spending a lot of time with his coaches to become familiar with the Eagles’ system.

“When you have that much time back there and great receivers, you just got to put the ball in the right spot,” the junior said. “We had set plays going into tonight and we executed them to a T. I dedicated myself to this team and this program because this is a special program. I think we can do great things.”

By Lou Ponsi
Friday, September 8, 2023
The Orange County Register


Trent Mosley’s six touchdowns rallies Santa Margarita past Bishop Amat

QB John Gazzaniga, a 6-foot-7 junior, helps overcome 21-point deficit in his debut with the Eagles, and Mosley scores 6 TDs.

LA PUENTE, CA., September 7, 2023 – With Santa Margarita down 21-0 and 29-8 on Thursday night at Bishop Amat, the Eagles started turning to the versatile Trent Mosley, a sophomore with tremendous offensive skills.

Mosley responded by contributing six touchdowns — four running and two receiving — to help the Eagles rally in the second half for a 51-45 victory. He also passed for a two-point conversion and ran for a two-point conversion.

The other big story involved Santa Margarita’s new quarterback, 6-foot-7 junior John Gazzaniga.

Quarterbacks have been transferring around Southern California since last January. They’ve transferred in the winter, spring and summer because that’s what they do looking for playing time. They’re even transferring in the middle of the high school football season. Gazzaniga began this season playing as the backup quarterback to TJ Lateef at Orange Lutheran.

Then last week, he checked out of Orange Lutheran and apparently moved, because Santa Margarita cleared him to play Thursday night with a “valid change of residence,” according to the Southern Section transfer portal. That made him eligible immediately. He came off the bench during Santa Margarita’s third possession of the game, got comfortable and helped ignite the offense.

Gazzaniga passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a 77-yarder to Sean Embree.

Bishop Amat led 29-8 in the second quarter after former quarterback Richie Munoz completed a touchdown pass off a trick play from the running back position.

But Santa Margarita closed to within 29-22 by halftime and dominated the second half, opening a 51-36 lead. Bishop Amat quarterback Frankie Villalbazo passed for four touchdowns.

By Eric Sondheimer
Friday, September 7, 2023
The Los Angeles Times