June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: St. Margaret’s stuns Orange in league game for biggest win of the season

St. Margaret’s players celebrate the victory over Orange Friday night. (Photos courtesy Wendy Ballard).

St. Margaret’s High School’s football team notched its biggest win of the season Friday night, knocking off Orange 28-22 in an Orange Coast League game at El Modena.

Orange and Santa Ana were considered the favorites to win the league title going into the season.

St. Margaret’s, coached by Dan O’Shea, moved into a tie for second place with Orange. Santa Ana and Calvary Chapel are tied for first place. The Tartans can still earn a share of the league title and most likely improved their hopes of advancing to the CIF playoffs.

“A phenomenal win for the Tartan football program and the school community,” O’Shea told OC Sports Zone Saturday. “Orange High School has long been the standard of excellence within the Orange Coast league, and we are thrilled to walk away with such a hard-fought victory for the players of St. Margaret’s.”

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Quarterback Max Ruff led St. Margaret’s (2-4, 1-1) completing 23 of 33 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Russell Frye had nine catches for 135 yards and two TDs, Matt Arena had five catches for 28 yards and two touchdowns, Will Viola had five catches for 73 yards and Luke Newman three catches for 19 yards.

Arena rushed for 92 yards on 21 carries and Ruff 11 had carries for 31 yards and a rushing touchdown.

On defense, Battle Gideons had six solo tackles and eight assisted tackles, Newman had five solo tackles and three assisted and Jack Klausner and Sebastian Salazar two solo tackles and five assisted.

St. Margaret’s got off to a fast start scoring on its opening drive of the game when Ruff passed hit Frye on a TD pass.

After an onside kick by Nathaniel Kim recovered by the Tartans, the offense scored again on a 21-yard run by Ruff. The Tartans held Orange to 26 yards of offense in the first quarter, O’Shea said.

In the fourth quarter, St. Margaret’s took a 28-14 lead when Ruff connected on an 18-yard TD pass to Frye, then hit Viola on a two-point conversion.

Orange cut the lead to 28-22 when quarterback Hype Grand hit Wes Lundell on a 17-yard TD pass and Ardwon Morris ran in for the two-point conversion.

St. Margaret’s then burned seven minutes off the clock with the the solid running of Arena behind the line of Jerry Gao, Jack Wagner, Cooper DeVries, Danny Lowenthal and Anthony Gallo, according to O’Shea.

“This proved to be the winning combination, as Orange had no timeouts and could not get past the 50 with the remaining time on the clock,” O’Shea said. “Angel Cruz-Sanchez sealed the game with an interception on the last play, the second of the night with Luke Newman having the first one. The defense was led by Battle Gideons, Luke Newman, Jack Klausner and Sebastian Salazar.” 

It was the biggest win of the year for O’Shea, the first year coach, who previously coached at Corona del Mar.

Orange (2-4, 1-1) has a bye this week before playing Calvary Chapel on Thursday, Oct. 5 at Segerstrom. St. Margaret’s hosts Estancia Friday night.

—-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com