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No. 1 Santa Margarita keeps rolling
MISSION VIEJO – Santa Margarita generated a school-record 610 yards and quarterback Johnny Stanton surpassed Carson Palmer for the school record for career total offense in last week's 55-0 rout of Trabuco Hills.
What could the Eagles possibly do for an encore?
Well, Santa Margarita, ranked No. 1 in the county, No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 2 in the nation by ESPN, broke school records for most points in a half, most points in a game and senior running back Ryan Wolpin scored six touchdowns to break the school record as the Eagles blew out Carson, 72-0, in a nonleague game on Friday night at Saddleback College. There was a running clock for the entire second half.
Wolpin was tied with nine other Santa Margarita players with the school record of four touchdowns in a game. He broke that record when he scored his fifth touchdown of the first half. Wolpin finished with 174 yards on 16 carries and scored on runs of 9, 4, 11, 8, 35 and 50 yards.
"I don't really pay attention to that as the game's going on," Wolpin said. "I usually find out about it later, but, I mean, it's really exciting to do that stuff. You can't focus on that stuff and neither can the whole team, but it's pretty exciting."
Coach Elijah Asante took Carson to the CIF L.A. City Section Division 1 finals last season before leaving the Colts to take the head coaching job at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs. Some of Carson's top players from last season transferred to Marine League-rival Narbonne of Harbor City.
First-year Carson coach Jimmy Nolan, a former Laguna Beach head coach, still had the schedule Assante set up from last year, which is one of the most brutal nonleague schedules in Southern California. Carson (0-4) has losses to Long Beach Poly, 42-26, Edison of Fresno, 26-21, Mater Dei, 48-13, and now Santa Margarita. The road doesn't get any easier for the Colts, who play host to Centennial of Corona, ranked No. 16 in the state, next Friday.
"That never entered my mind," Eagles coach Harry Welch said of Carson's situation. "I'm more concerned about the Eagles than I am about the other opponent."
Nebraska-commit Stanton had another strong performance for the Eagles. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He also scored on a 9-yard run to cap Santa Margarita's first possession.
River Cracraft was Stanton's favorite target, finishing with seven catches for 123 yards, including touchdown catches of 20 and 21 yards.
Santa Margarita's 65 first-half points broke the single-half school record of 48 points set against Servite in 1997. The Eagles had broken the school record for points in a game by halftime. They scored 63 points against Corona del Mar in 1997 and they scored 63 points against Canyon in 2008.
Santa Margarita (4-0), the defending CIF-SS Pac-5 Division champion and CIF Division 1 state champion, has a big game on the schedule against St. Bonaventure of Ventura, ranked No. 14 in the state, next Friday at 7 p.m. at Saddleback College.
"St. Bonaventure is one of the two or three best teams in the state," Welch said, "so we are really aware of that."
Wolpin is looking forward to the matchup against St. Bonaventure.
"They are a great team," Wolpin said. "We gotta prepare all week for them. They just have a powerhouse.
"We just gotta come out and play the best we can against them because we know they are not going to take it easy against us."