TRABUCO HILLS – Santa Margarita beat Mayfair 21-0 Thursday night in a matchup between two good defensive teams. Here are five takeaways from the game.

DEFENSE RULES THE DAY

Both of these teams came into the game having only given up more than 24 points once each, despite some serious competition. Neither of them have particularly explosive offenses relative to their defenses, despite consistent fundamentally sound play on both sides of the ball. So a well-contested, low-scoring battle was to be expected. In fact, the score was 2-0 at halftime after Santa Margarita’s Ian Grogan and Tyler Whitman forced a safety on a blocked Mayfair punt.

Santa Margarita went on to finish the game without allowing any points. They were too big, too fast, and too good for a Mayfair team with a much smaller offensive line. Additionally, of the Eagles’ three touchdowns, one came on a blocked punt recovery and the other came on a rushing touchdown that was directly set up by a forced fumble.

TOP PERFORMERS

It’s difficult to give Player of the Game honors to any one Eagle, because their whole defense was impeccable. But of all the standouts, Derek Wilkins takes the cake. In addition to possibly leading the team in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks, he finished with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

That said, practically every member of the Eagles’ defense/special teams had a standout performance. Greg Doyle, Billy Oberholtzer, Tyler Wetmore, Tyler Whitman, Mark Ard Jr., Ian Grogan, Tyler Hartigan, Shane Cova, Anthony Comestro, and Mitch Messier all had major contributions. Messier had two interceptions and Whitman returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. That probably doesn’t even cover the list of impact players on defense.

Offensively, Nick Barcelos stole the show. He finished with two touchdowns despite the Monsoons’ defense being highly keyed in on him most of the night. On both of his touchdowns, he received excellent blocking by Kilian O’Connor, Zack Morris, and Jason Schillig.

IT WAS OVER WHEN

In all due respect to Mayfair, this game seemed close to over as soon as Santa Margarita got on the board with the safety. Mayfair just never got close to scoring at all in the first half, and the sense was that wasn’t going to change. It didn’t. It’s just a testament to how great Santa Margarita’s defense/special teams played. And once Santa Margarita got a couple touchdowns early in the second half, a comeback was still possible but just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

THEY SAID IT

“It always starts with a great defensive scheme, and I think coach Vieselmeyer brings that to the table every week,” Wilkins told Scorebook Live after the game.

“We always know what we’re going to do, we always scheme to them, and that’s really what helped us out. So it allows us to play fast, and just, you know, play football.”

MAYFAIR’S DEFENSE ENCOURAGING

Mayfair struggled offensively tonight, but they held a Trinity League team to two offensive touchdowns. And one of them was enabled by excellent field position because of their special teams. All in all, Santa Margarita was held to one full-field touchdown drive. Mayfair should be in great shape when league play and Division 5 playoffs come around based on defensive performances like this.

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