Nebraska football recruit Johnny Stanton celebrated his birthday Friday with more than 1,000 of his closest friends – many of them wearing Husker hats, shirts and/or jerseys – by leading Santa Margarita High School to a 55-0 victory over Trabuco Hills.
More than 100 Husker faithful showed up at Mission Viejo High School to watch a dazzling performance by the quarterback who could be leading their team into battle against opponents like Fresno State, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.) and Wyoming in the coming seasons.
Stanton led the Eagles to the their third win of the season by completing 16 of 20 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns while also carrying the ball five times for 89 yards and another pair of TDs.
Time and again Stanton bailed out the offense after tough penalties – a pair of facemask calls and holding infractions after long runs – with long passes or runs that got Santa Margarita out of long third- and fourth-down situations.
Stanton connected three times with both Washington State recruit River Cracraft and Washington commit Connor O’Brien on long passes. Cracraft — who also gave the Eagles a boost with a pair of big punt returns — caught three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown while two of O’Brien’s three receptions for 63 yards went for TDs.
On Saturday, Stanton is scheduled to attend Nebraska’s game at the Rose Bowl against UCLA. Kickoff is set for 6:50 p.m. CDT.