Servite 50 - Eagles 42

NORWALK, CA., October 20, 2023 – After capturing a dramatic 34-31 victory at JSerra Catholic with a field goal as time expired, SMC traveled to Cerritos College to take on Servite in continuing Trinity League play. Unusually, the contest was a three-hour affair as the result of excessive penalty calls, a number of officials’ conferences and clock stoppages from incomplete passes. When in action, the two schools exploded for 1,020 yards of total offense with Servite narrowly outgaining SMC 513-507. Combined with kick return yards, the Eagles posted an impressive 661 all-purpose yards.

Trailing 50-28 with about six minutes remaining, SM overcame miscues and questionable calls to tack on two scores to close with 50-42 with a bit over two minutes left. After that the Friars were able to string together a pair of first downs and kill the last 1:30 to hold on for a 50-42 triumph. 

After John Gazzaniga threw for 202 yards, James Johnson was called upon in the fourth quarter and was able to spark the offense -- guiding the club to their final two touchdowns. The junior, seeing action for the first time since he was injured in the first quarter of the first game of the season, was 8-of-10 (80.0%) for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

Skylar Lendsey had the best game of his career thus far. The rugged sophomore back tallied 140 yards on 16 attempts (8.8 average) and reached the end zone twice.

Sensational Trent Mosley continued his spectacular season as he closed in on several statistical categories in the all-time record book. It was more of the same as he scored four touchdowns (2 each rushing and receiving). Mosley torched the Servite secondary with 12 pass receptions for 221 yards (18.4 average). His 141 kickoff return yards contributed to his total of 351 all-purpose yards.

Servite 0 14 14 14 50
Santa Margarita 7 22 14 7 42

SER – Naudin 68 pass from Hannan (Cabrera kick)
SM – Lendsey 48 run (Gass kick)
SER – O’Callaghan 20 pass from Hannan (O’Callaghan pass from Hannan)
SER – Rosenkranz 10 pass from Hannan (Cabrera kick)
SM – Lendsey 10 run (Gass kick)
SER – Trevizu 2 pass from Hughes (Cabrera kick)
SM – Mosley 2 run (Gass kick)
SER – Carr 5 run (Cabrera kick)
SM – Mosley 5 run (Gass kick)
SER – Carr 31 pass from Hannan (Cabrera kick)
SER – O’Callaghan 1 run (Cabrera kick)
SM – Mosley 84 pass from Johnson (kick failed)
SER – O’Callaghan 23 run (Cabrera kick)
SM – Mosley 8 pass from Johson (Mosley pass from Johnson)

Rushing: SM - Lendsey 16-140; SER - Carr 22-112
Passing: SM - Gazzaniga 15-29-1-202, Johnson 8-10-0-144; SER - Hannan 21-28-0-343
Receiving: SM - Mosley 12-221, Junker 6-76; SER - Rosenkranz 7-52, O'Callaghan 5-92

Summary by Chuck Nan
Statistics by Shane Mielke


Servite football knocks off Santa Margarita for critical, and emotional, league victory

Leo Hannan passes for four touchdowns as Servite wins a high-scoring battle for its first Trinity League win since 2021.

NORWALK, CA., October 20, 2023 – Servite’s football players took the field Friday with the memory of a fallen classmate in their hearts.

The Friars left Cerritos College with their biggest victory of the season.

Quarterback Leo Hannan threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half and running back Quaid Carr scored twice in the second half to lead Servite past Santa Margarita 50-42 in an explosive Trinity League game.

Servite (5-4, 1-3), ranked sixth in Orange County, boosted its playoff chances by claiming a fifth victory to ensure that it will finish with at least a .500 record, a key component for receiving an at-large berth.

The Friars also recorded their first Trinity League win since 2021 as they played for fallen classmate and former teammate Jack Kennedy. The senior died suddenly this past week, the school stated Friday.

Servite honored Kennedy with a moment of silence before kickoff. Most of the team then prayed in the end zone after marching onto the field.

“This game was dedicated to him and I think we definitely pulled out a great win,” said senior running back Johnny Merrill, who counted Kennedy as one of his best friends. “We stood together as a team even through this tough week.”

“I’ve had my moments (of struggle),” Merrill added, “but football is a great outlet to leave it all out on the field. Kind of get your anger out, get your emotion out.”

Santa Margarita (5-4, 1-3), ranked third in the county, secured its fifth victory last week to ensure that it will finish with at least a .500 record.

Hannan passed for a season-high 338 yards to help Servite hold off the Eagles and Trent Mosley, who scored four touchdowns and had 11 catches for 219 yards.

The teams combined for 1,008 yards of offense. Servite outgained Santa Margarita 513-495.

“Our offense is super sweet,” said Hannan, who completed 20 of 27 passes and tossed touchdowns to four different players. “We get better every game. We’re peaking at a good time.”

“We’re very excited,” Hannan added. “Playoffs are a big deal for us. We did not make it last year.”

Servite grabbed a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter as Hannan lofted a third-and-9 pass for a 68-yard strike to Ethan Naudin. The score arrived after an interception at the 1-yard line by Friars senior safety Beau Jako.

Santa Margarita responded early in the second period with a 48-yard touchdown burst by running back Skylar Lendsey.

But Hannan kept Servite’s offense revving. He threw a 20-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion to tight end Aidan O’Callaghan.

The junior then capitalized on a botched Santa Margarita punt. One play after the Friars took over at the Eagles 15 following a high snap and miskick, Hannan threw a touchdown to Quinn Rosenkranz as Servite opened a 22-7 with 5:16 left in the opening half.

The teams then traded scores before intermission.

Lendsey scored on a 10-yard TD run after the Eagles received a 54-yard kickoff return from Mosley. Lendsey rushed for 147 yards in the first half.

But Servite answered with a 78-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Camren Hughes to Jacob Trevizu.

Santa Margarita started the second half well, driving for a 2-yard touchdown run by Mosley from the Wildcat formation to trim the Friars’ lead to 29-21.

Servite’s offense, however, continued to roll. The Friars marched 92 yards to take a 36-21 lead on a 5-yard scoring run by Quaid Carr (110 yards).

The teams traded scores later in the third quarter. Mosley scored his 22nd touchdown of the season on a 4-yard run but Hannan kept Servite in control by throwing a 31-yard TD to Carr. The score came after Santa Margarita narrowly missed recovering an onside kick.

Servite’s defense made the first stop of the second half as cornerback Tristin Ordaz broke up a third-down pass intended for Mosley with 1:18 left in the third. The Friars promptly drove for a 1-yard touchdown run by O’Callaghan on a third-and-goal for a 50-28 lead with 6:33 left.

On the drive, Servite aggressively converted a fourth-and-5 from the Santa Margarita 41 thanks to a 9-yard reception by O’Callaghan coming out of a timeout. The Friars considered punting but brought their offense back onto the field for what proved to be the game-winning drive.

“Something (was) speaking to me,” first-year Servite coach Chris Reinert said of the decision. “I looked at my brother (Matt) and my brother just looked at me and shook his head, ‘Yeah, you got to go for it.’ “

The decision proved to be significant. On the ensuing possession, Mosley caught a pass over the middle and turned up along the sideline for an electric 84-yard TD from James Johnson. The quick strike cut Servite’s lead to 50-34 with 4:24 left.

Santa Margarita then recovered an onside kick and drove for an 8-yard TD caught by Mosley, who also grabbed the 2-point conversion to make it 50-42 with 2:26 remaining.

“He is a special football player,” Reinert said of Mosley. “He’s unreal.”

But so was Servite’s determination this week as it grieved for Jack Kennedy.

“This game was totally for him,” said O’Callaghan, who helped the Friars run out the clock on their final drive.

“We stick together,” Hannan added. “Our brotherhood is one of the most things at the school. I’m happy it shows.”

Next week on Oct. 27, Servite closes out the Trinity League by playing host to JSerra (4-5, 1-3) at Cerritos College while Santa Margarita takes on Mater Dei (8-1, 3-1) at Santa Ana Stadium.

By Dan Albano
Friday, October 20, 2023
The Orange County Register