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Santa Margarita goes to ground to take down Dorsey
MISSION VIEJO – KJ Costello has been rock solid early this season for his Santa Margarita football team.
But when the highly regarded quarterback encountered trouble in the first half of Friday’s nonleague matchup, the Stanford-bound senior gladly accepted a little help from his friends.
Running back Trey Green ran for three touchdowns and Santa Margarita, the seventh-ranked team in the Register rankings, forced four turnovers en route to a 33-13 victory over Dorsey of Los Angeles at Trabucco Hills High. Green, a junior, rushed for 116 yards on 18 carries.
Despite Costello passing for an uncharacteristically low 142 yards, the Eagles (3-0) overcame a slow offensive start to hit their stride.
Costello, who passed for 773 yards and eight touchdowns in the first two games of the season, completed just 7 of 18 passes for one touchdown.
Dorsey (2-1), which hasn’t defeated the Eagles since 2004, excelled defensively early on, showcasing its athleticism to hang tough with the Eagles.
After Santa Margarita’s Tanner Matthews made an interception on Dorsey’s opening series, Costello threw four consecutive incomplete passes.
The Eagles defense quickly pushed the Dons into a three-and-out on their ensuing possession, and the Santa Margarita running game went to work.
The Eagles ran on all five plays of the drive, capped by Green’s 21-yard scoring run for an early first-quarter lead.
Darian Fernandez added an interception on the first play of the second quarter for Santa Margarita, leading to a methodical, 72-yard scoring drive, highlighted by Green’s 1-yard scoring plunge.
But Dorsey stood strong. On its second possession of the second quarter, the Dons found success when Marcus Moore caught a tipped ball for a quick score, cutting the Eagles’ halftime lead to 13-7.
Costello hit a wide-open Grant Calcaterra in the middle of the field for a 40-yard touchdown with 2:58 left in the third quarter. The score gave the Eagles a two-score cushion at 20-7.
Costello and Green each added rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cement the victory. Costello’s 23-yard option sprint past the goal line put the game out of reach at 27-7 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.