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By Jim Shilander
The St. Margaret’s football team dominated in all three phases of the game Friday at Capistrano Valley High School, as the Tartans won their season opener against the Eagles 40-0.
The Tartans scored on all but their final drive of the first half, when they chose to run out the clock.
Junior Nick Shanks had three touchdowns on the day and opened the scoring with an eight-yard run after workhorse running back Oscar Gomez had to sit for a play following the loss of his helmet. The Tartans then picked off Eagles (1-1) quarterback Riley Babick inside his own territory, but settled for a 38-yard Charlie Beall field goal and a 10-0 lead.
The Eagles’ best shot at scoring came on the ensuing drive, as Babick utilized several receivers to move the ball into the Tartans red zone. However, a botched handoff led to a fumble recovery by the Tartans defense.
The ensuing 12-play drive ended with Gomez powering in from three yards, and from then, the Tartans didn’t look back. An Eagle fumble on the ensuing kickoff set up the Tartans with good field position, and Beall added another three points to put them up 19-0. Gomez was the plow horse again the next drive, ultimately scoring form 20-yards out just before the half.
Shanks then put on a show in the opening minutes of the second half, beginning with returning the opening kick 95 yards for a score. He followed that up with two receptions, including a 52-yard catch and run on third down, to score again for the day’s final tally.
The Eagles were held to just 142 yards for the game, with 118 yards coming from Babick and his receivers. St. Margaret’s senior quarterback Ryan O’Hare finished with 103 yards on just six completions, including the touchdown pass to Shanks. Gomez carried the ball 21 times for 130 yards, with Shanks adding another 110 yards combined receiving and rushing.