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Football: The Pac-5 Division just became wide open

Johnny-stanton_600

Suddenly, there is no clear-cut favorite to win the Pac-5 Division. That's what a season-ending knee injury to Santa Margarita quarterback Johnny Stanton means to the Eagles and the rest of the contenders.

Coach Harry Welch said on Saturday that Stanton likely would undergo surgery this coming week. Welch said he did not expect Stanton to play the rest of the season. Without Stanton, Santa Margarita's high-powered offense won't be the same. His versatility made him unique among quarterbacks in Southern California.

Santa Margarita is off this coming week and will use the extra time to prepare junior Josh Canty to take over when they resume play in their Trinity League opener. But Santa Margarita's role as favorite is gone. The Pac-5 can be considered wide open.

Many teams, from St. John Bosco to Mater Dei to Mission Viejo to St. Bonaventure to Tesoro to Alemany, have to be considered a contender.

Santa Margarita still has plenty of talent and weapons, but Stanton was the leader and trigger man. Welch is one heck of a coach, but how he and the team deals with the loss of Stanton is going to be quite a challenge.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Photo: Santa Margarita quarterback Johnny Stanton picks up yardage against St. Bonaventure on Friday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Time

 
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