Tartans Defeat Fullerton 34-28 in Thrilling Quarterfinal Matchup
Sure-footed placekicker Christopher Vartanian had clutch 22 and 34-yard field goals in the fourth quarter to put the Tartans through to the CIF-SS Semifinals in playoff action Friday night at Fullerton High School. Vartanian and the Tartan special teams were stellar all night, preserving St. Margaret's field position and limiting Fullerton's offensive starting points.
Defensively, St. Margaret's had a tall order containing a bruising Indian rushing attack and a seasoned Fullerton quarterback who stood at an imposing 6'4" and 230 lbs. Senior Max Martinez led the way with four tackles, five assists, one tackle for loss and a crucial fumble recovery early in the second half that led to a Tartan score on offense. Secondary mates Nick Falshaw (three tackles, two assists) and Ryan Cragun (two tackles, one interception) contributed to keeping the Indians off the scoreboard for the entire second half.
After going ahead on two Vartanian field goals in the final quarter, the Tartans were faced with stopping a last-minute Fullerton drive from St. Margaret's 33-yard line. After two incompletes and with one second left on the clock, Duke Ballard, Kyle Juergens and a host of Tartans brought down the Quarterback with a game-ending sack.
On the offensive side of the ball, James Mott was 25/36 passing for 288 yards and one touchdown. Halfback Marcus Knight was elusive all evening, rushing for 73 yards, scoring two touchdowns, hauling in seven passes for 67 yards and even throwing for a touchdown early in the game. Receivers Ryan Cragun (13 catches for 158 yards) and Alex Lanham (3 catches for 49 yards) had a touchdown each for the Tartans.
Click here to read OCVarsity.com's coverage of the game.
The Tartans will face North Hills League powerhouse El Modena High School on the road in the CIF-SS Semifinals on Friday, November 24. Please refer to St. Margaret's athletic website for updated game time and location.