Tenacious Defense Leads Tartans to 48-7 Win Over Laguna Beach
St. Margaret's faced off against Laguna Beach High School Friday night looking to get back on track after last week's home loss to The Bishop's School. The Tartan defense immediately set upon the task of stifling the Breakers' offense, holding Laguna Beach to 141 total yards (76 passing, 65 rushing). Laguna's quarterback was hurried or hit on almost every Breaker pass attempt while the Tartan secondary kept targets covered consistently.
A raft of Tartan defenders featured in the win, with linebacker Duke Ballard leading with three tackles and five assists and notching one tackle for loss. Alex Lanham and Roger Penske each added a sack in the defensive effort. Caden Smith and Brandon Wu combined for four tackles and two assists on the night while defensive back Ryan Cragun returned an interception for a touchdown. Langston Sholl anchored the defensive line, adding two tackles and three assists with one tackle for loss.
Offensively, the Tartan attack was rejuvenated after being held to just 131 offensive yards against Bishop's last week. Led by quarterback James Mott's 255 yards passing with three touchdowns, the Tartans quickly dismantled the Breakers' defense before halftime. All-purpose back Marcus Knight gained 105 yards rushing on the night with one rushing touchdown and 39 yards on five receptions. Wideout Ryan Cragun was uncoverable, pulling down 182 yards on ten receptions with three touchdowns. Alex Lanham added a rushing touchdown to cap the scoring for St. Margaret's.
Excellent line play on both sides of the ball was the difference for St. Margaret's while special teams protected the Tartan lead all night. Kicker Chris Vartanian was six for seven on extra points and return man Ryan Cragun had a touchdown on a 39-yard punt return.
The Tartans will travel to Downey to square off against St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy next Friday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m.