By Fred J. RobledoStaff Writer
Bishop Amat gave it everything it had against mighty Santa Margarita High School in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs, and for a few moments it looked like the undersized Lancers might pull off a stunning second half comeback. But the Eagles were simply too overpowering, amassing over 500 yards total offense and closing the game with three fourth-quarter touchdowns to end the Lancers’ season, 45-21 on Friday at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. (To continue click thread)
Friday’s CIF-SS Playoff Results
Santa Margarita 45, Bishop Amat 21 — Rio Ruiz came out firing, completing 22 of 29 for 279 yards and three touchdowns, and the Lancers only trailed 24-21 going into the fourth. But the Eagles wore them down, scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns, and amassing over 500 total yards with a school record 30 first downs.
Rancho Cucamonga 39, Chino Hills 38 — Rancho Cucamonga’s Dimitry Morales connects on a Hail Mary pass with no time left as the Huskies blow an 11-point lead late.
Charter Oak 63, Corona Saniago 21 — Another spectacular night for the area’s No. 1 team. Now you really have to wonder, can they beat Upland. If they do, I say it’s Charter Oak’s finest hour.
Vista Murreita 38, Damien 13 — The Spartans were never in it, falling behind early and not able to catch-up. It was a good run for the Spartans, who should be much better in 2012.
West Covina 38, Norwalk 8 — Jimmy Frazier and the crew went nuts against Norwalk, but there’s still a long way to go. I’m wondering what happens the next time the Bulldogs are in a close one.
Pasadena 57, California 43 Put this in the “oh my” category. I can’t rememer the last time the Bulldogs won a playoff game.
Arcadia 39, Bonita 13 — Was it really this easy. And is there anything going to stop a West Covina-Arcadia semifinal?
La Mirada 35, Crescenta Valley 33 — Well, someone in the Suburban league had to win.
Los Altos 37, Burroughs 29 I called this on the Tribskin Pick’em. The Conquerors are a dangerous, dangerous team.
La Serna 47, Mayfair 34 — There goes my prediction of a West Covina-Mayfair final. Like Governor Perry said, “oops.”
Diamond Ranch 35, Bellflower 33 Was there any doubt? Well, actually there was, but the Panthers pulled it out, just like they always do come playoff time.
Muir 39, Santa Fe 7 — I thought all along Santa Fe wasn’t a number two and Muir proved it. I’m loving the DRanch-Muir second round game.
Covina 36, South El Monte 14 — You knew the Colts would be too much, and they will be too much for Alhambra next week too. Pencil them in to the semifinals.
Alhambra 20, La Puente 14 — The close score is just what I thought, that it could have gone either way. Too bad for the Warriors, a tough ending after a 9-0 start. Shades of Amat, 2010.
Whittier Christian 40, El Monte 16 — The final score ought to make Monrovia a little nervous, since the Cats get the Heralds next.
Monrovia 24, Pomona 7 — This proves to me that when Monrovia plays Covina in the semifinals, that IS for the Mid-Valley title.
San Dimas 31, San Marino 21 — The Saints weren’t as impressive as I thought they would be, but then again, the Titants were better than I thought too.
Azusa 35, Cerritos Valley Christian 14 — Great win for coach Scherf and the boys. I’m not sure San Dimas wants to face these guys again after beating them early in the season.
San Gabriel 9, Maranatha 3 — The most surprising result in the first round of the Mid-Valley. I thought the Olympic was better than this.
Arroyo 42, Sierra Vista 14 I’m loving my Knights prediction to go to the finals because I’ve got Steven Rivera and a gritty group that is going to lay it all on the line.
Santa Margarita quarterback Johnny Stanton threw for 193 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 79 more. Alex Suchesk rushed for 135 yards and two TDs and Ryan Wolpin finished with 119 yards and a touchdown at the Eagles improved to 9-2 to advance to next week’s second round at Tesoro.
“I thought our kids held them in check some, but we got worn down, they’re a big physical team,” Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said. “We didn’t want them to beat us inside, but they beat us outside on the option.”
Bishop Amat quarterback Rio Ruiz, who hadn’t played since injuring his knee in Week 9 against Loyola, started and the Lancers leaned on him. But even with Ruiz
completing 22 of 29 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns, it wasn’t enough.
Trailing 17 points at half, Ruiz got Amat back in it with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Adam Sanchez on the first drive of the second half, cutting Santa Margarita’s lead to 24-14.
Santa Margarita was looking to extend their lead when Wolpin fumbled on the Amat 7. The Lancers’ Darren Andrews jumping on it.
Ruiz led them right back, completing five passes, finishing with an 11-yard TD pass to Jalen More, who had eight catches for 110 yards, which cut the Eagles’ lead to 24-21 with 4:32 left in the third.
It stayed that way until the fourth, and that’s when the game changed for good.
Santa Margarita, facing a fourth and 5 at the Amat 7, scored on Stanton’s seven-yard TD pass to Cory Mendoza to go up 31-21 with 9:15 left.
Amat, facing a fourth-and-11 with just under eight minutes left, went for it with a trick play on a hook-and-ladder, but Moore was stuffed in the backfield. A couple plays later, Santa Margarita extended their lead to 38-21 on Suchesk’s one yard touchdown with 7:08 left.
Suchesk scored again with 1:06 left for his second TD to put the game out of
“We needed to get stops to have a chance, but the kids played really hard,”
Hagerty said. “I thought we had a chance to sneak back in it but we had to be perfect on offense and have a little resistance on defense.
“But, I’m glad we had the opportunity to play them. They’re a good football team and will probably play deep into the playoffs. It’s good for us to know what we have to do to get where they’re at.”
Bishop Amat gave up ten points in the final minute of the first half to fall
Amat trailed 14-7 with 5:26 left until half when Ruiz, who started the game
seven-for-seven for 95 yards, was picked off near midfield by the Eagles’ Connor O’Brien.
The Eagles made them pay, Wolpin scoring on a five-yard TD to go up 21-7 with with 50 seconds left.
Ruiz, who tried a desperation pass hoping to get the Lancers in field goal range, was picked off with 43 seconds left near midfield
Santa Margarita quickly moved to the Amat seven, and got a 32-yard field goal from from John McGrory as time expired to go up 17.
“Obviously it wasn’t in the cards tonight,” Ruiz said. “We came in confident and did all we could and the two turnovers were crucial (at the end of the half). I take some (responsibility) for that, that’s my fault.
“But I love my team to death. They’re my brothers and they will forever be my brothers. I didn’t expect anything else but a hard-fought game and that’s what we gave them.”
After the Eagles marched on their opening drive and scored on Stanton’s one-yard touchdown run, Ruiz brought the Lancers back, completing five straight passes, finishing with a 26-yard TD pass to Jalen Moore to go up 7-6 with 5:02 left in the opening quarter.
Santa Margarita quickly regained the lead on Wolpin’s 1-yard touchdown run in the final seconds of the quarter to go up 14-7 after making a two-point conversion.
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