St. Margaret's Powers Past Ayala High in CIF First-Round Battle

Despite a game that featured 14 Tartan penalties, St. Margaret's kept a level head and methodically ran roughshod over the visiting Bulldogs. The Tartan defensive unit was stifling, limiting the success of a high-powered Ayala offense in the CIF First-Round 31-17 victory. Led by defensive end Duke Ballard's three tackles and seven assists, the defense flummoxed the Bulldog attack for the majority of the first half. Caden Smith (three tackles, two assists) and Nick Falshaw (three tackles, two assists) played outstanding on the defensive side of the ball. Max Martinez (three tackles, three assists), Langston Sholl (two tackles, one assist) and Marcus Knight (one tackle, one assist) terrorized the Ayala backfield, each recording a tackle for loss.
Offensively, the Tartans started slow but ramped it up in the second and third quarters, putting up 24 points. Quarterback James Mott was 8 for 18 with two touchdowns on 143 yards and one rushing score. Reciever Ryan Cragun was the favored target, hauling in three receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown.
Cragun also featured on special teams, picking up a bouncing punt and taking it 51 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Punter/Kicker Chris Vartanian kept the Tartans out of trouble, averaging 41 yards punting with two dropped behind Ayala's 20-yard line. Vartanian added seven points on the night with one field goal and four PATs.
With the victory, the Tartans advance to the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs to face Fullerton High at Fullerton on Friday, November 17. Game time is TBA; please refer to the Athletics website for updated game information.
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