Stanton, Santa Margarita Take Division 1 State Football Title
Rahshaun Haylock (CBS) — It’s Johnny Stanton’s World and we’re just living in it.
The late game heroics continued for the Santa Margarita quarterback in the Eagles’ 42-37 win over San Jose Bellarmine (12-2) in the CIF Division I State Bowl Game on Friday night at Home Depot Center.
With 1:46 left in the game and Bellarmine on the Santa Margarita one yard line, head coach Harry Welch decided to let them score.
The one-yard rush by Justin Taliaferro put the Bells up 37-36.
On the ensuing possession, the ball was in Stanton’s hands to win the game. The junior signal caller got the Eagles down to the Bellarmine one yard line where they were faced with a 4th and goal.
Instead of trying a potential game winning field goal with 17 seconds left in the game, Welch gave the ball to Stanton. He leaped and stretched the ball over the goal line for the touchdown to cap a nine play, 80-yard drive to clinch the Eagles first win in a State Bowl Game.
“We know if it’s fourth and short we’re probably going for it. John’s (McGrory) a great kicker and he knows how to get the ball in,” said Stanton. “Bellarmine did a good job stopping us at the start of the second half, but I felt like we really had the ball rolling.”
It was Stanton’s sixth touchdown of the night. It’s a new career-high and also ties former Folsom quarterback Dano Graves with most touchdowns in a State Bowl Game.
Stanton had three touchdown passes in the first half and ended with four on the night, which also ties a State Bowl Game record. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 304 yards. On the ground, he had 69 yards rushing and two scores for the Eagles (13-2) who overcame a nine point fourth quarter deficit to take home the state title.
It’s the third State Bowl win for Welch. In 2008, he became the only coach to win a State Bowl at two different schools. Now he’s the only coach to do it at three different schools.
“In 10 years , when I’m sitting in front of the fireplace with my bride, with some hot chocolate then I’ll think about it. But, I doubt that in my lifetime –I don’t think anyone will break that record,” said Welch.