Preview of Friday's opponent
Santa Margarita Catholic Eagles
Trinity League power is one of best - ranked third - in Orange County
A look at the Eagles
Orange County Register sports columnist Steve Fryer, who has been covering the Orange County prep football scene for 38 years, predicts that every team in the six-member Trinity League, considered the state’s toughest football loop, will make the CIF Division 1 playoffs. The Register picked Santa Margarita (currently ranked third in the Register’s Orange County weekly poll) to finish third in the league behind title favorites Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, both of whom were regarded as national title contenders heading into the season.
Suffice to say, the Eagles are loaded across the board. Utah commit MALONE MATAELE (6-0, 190) is a top tier athlete who excels as a wide receiver and corner. The senior is also one of California’s best kick and punt returners. Senior returnee CHAD MAGYAR (6-2, 205) leads a potent rushing attack. He gained 1,074 yards on the ground and scored 11 touchdowns last season, which earned him second-team all-league accolades. Magyar rushed for 114 yards and three TDs last Friday in his first action of 2017. Santa Margarita’s passing game was upgraded with the addition of Fullerton Troy transfer JOSIAH NORWOOD (5-11, 175), who shined (four TD passes)in the Eagles’ opening game 56-0 destruction of Downey. Norwood has two outstanding tight ends to whom to get the ball in JOHN McCARTAN (6-5, 225), a Fresno State commit, and JAKE PETERS (6-5, 240). Here are some of the size exponents of the Santa Margarita linemen: 6-5, 300; 6-1, 300; 6-4, 340; 6-1, 280; 6-2, 285; 6-2, 266; 6-0, 282).
Senior linebacker CADEN FITCH (6-0,230), the leading tackler from the Eagles’ 2016 defense, returns with first team All-Trinity League credentials. The kicking game is expected to be strong with the return of senior kicker DYLAN BRADY.
While acknowledging that Mater Dei and Bosco are a cut above the rest of the league, Santa Margarita head coach RICH FISHER does not concede anything. The Eagles, who finished 7-5 last fall, will be in the thick of the race for a Division 1 playoff spot.
The Eagles have talent in every platoon at multiple positions, and it was on full display last Friday as Santa Margarita’s offense rolled up 508 yards of total offense and held Downey’s offense completely at bay. For the Cubs, the must-do list includes shutting down Magyar, corralling Mataele in the kick return and punt return game. For Loyola to have a shot at the upset on Friday its run game has to be operating in high gear and the Cubs must win all of the special teams battles.
Friday’s battle marks the rubber match in the series, which is tied 3-3.
Last year’s Loyola venture to South Orange County to play the Eagles ended in an unmitigated disaster as the Cubs were crushed 37-7 in one of the worst losses ever suffered in program history. In the schools’ first meeting in 2002, Loyola defeated Santa Margarita, 7-0, at Glendale’s Moyse Field in a Serra League battle. In 2003 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, the Cubs downed the Eagles, 21-7 in a Serra League contest. Loyola went on that season to win its fifth CIF Southern Section Large Schools championship. In 2004, the Cubs fell to Santa Margarita, 20-15, but came back the following year to topple the Eagles, 25-18, in their final Serra League tilt. Loyola ended the 2005 campaign as CIF Division I champion. Last season’s Eagles’ victory set up tonight’s tie breaker. A Cub victory could go a long way in potentially earning Loyola a playoff spot come November.
Sean O'Malley '17 wins starting QB job as freshman at Lafayette College
Sean O'Malley '17, who started at QB at Loyola for two and a half seasons, won the quarterback battle as a true freshman at Lafayette College, beating out four other aspirants for the starting signal caller duties. He is the first freshman to start at quarterback for Lafayette since 1986, the year the school joined the Patriot League. O'Malley is Loyola's all-time passing yards leader. An excellent feature on O'Malley's success in securing the starting nod for the Leopards is in the link below.
Former Cub kicker to start at punter for UCLA
STEFAN FLINTOFT '14 was named the starting punter for UCLA yesterday by Bruins head coach JIM MORA whose son is a wide receiver on the Loyola freshman team. Flintoft is one of five former Cubs who is starting for Pac-12 programs this season. The others are former All-CIF lineman CHRIS BROWN '14 (offensive guard USC), 2015 Cub MVP MYLES BRYANT '16 (nickel back University of Washington), REUBEN PETERS '14 (fullback USC), COLEMAN SHELTON '13 (Rimington Award Finalist center University of Washington).
Loyola football diversity
Loyola's 2017 varsity football team is diverse not only in terms of the ethnicity and socioeconomic differences among its players, but also in geographical range, carrying on a tradition of diversity that has been a positive hallmark of Cub Football for decades.
Players on the 64-man roster travel to Loyola each day from 38 different cities, towns and Los Angeles neighborhoods . . . from Newport Beach to Upland, from Hacienda Heights to Encino, from Hermosa Beach to Pico-Union, from Whittier to Burbank, from Lawndale to Toluca Lake, from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena, from Ladera Heights to Pacific Palisades, from Carson to Eagle Rock, from Altadena to Huntington Beach, from Rancho Palos Verdes to Culver City, from Glendale to Mar Vista, from Baldwin Hills to Downey, from Pico-Robertson to Santa Monica, from Arcadia to Inglewood.
The most frequently appearing hometown on the roster is Manhattan Beach, where ten Cubs live. Pasadena is the home of eight players. The longest commutes to 1901 Venice Boulevard are from Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Upland, each over 40 miles one-way. Senior team captain and starting tight end/outside linebacker TOMMY VANIS has the longest one-way commute of nearly 50 miles from Newport Beach.
Preview of Friday's opponent