After losing two games in a row, the Gauchos football team redeemed themselves by defeating Fullerton College in a very close game on Saturday with a final score of 44-40.
It was their final home game of the season and it was one for the books.
The Gauchos scored shortly after with a 11-yard pass from Ben Gomez to James Poole. The score was 13-7. The second quarter hosted three field goals and two touchdown passes.
Two of the three field goals were by the Hornets and the other one was by the Gauchos. The Hornets scored a touchdown on a 66-yard touchdown pass. The Gauchos connected on a 80-yard touchdown to Rodney Woodland.
At the end of the first half the score was 26-17. The Gauchos had to make a run because they didn’t want to lose a third straight game.
McElroy gave what would be his last home game half time locker room speech.
The second half was a nail biter, especially the fourth quarter. At the end of the third quarter, the score was closer, but Fullerton still kept a close lead. The score read 33-27. The fourth and final quarter had three lead changes.
At 8:24 left in the fourth, the Gauchos took their first lead after a 29-yard touchdown run by James Poole, making the score 37-33. Fullerton would answer back with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 2:44 left in the game. The score was 40-37.
It was turning into a classic. After a fantastic drive, Saddleback scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Keith Lawson with 1:46 left in the game.
The score read 44-40. The hornets had one final drive to try to win the game. They connected on a 50-yard sideline catch, with eight seconds left in the game. They had one final play to try and win the game, but they couldn’t connect. Saddleback was victorious.
Ben Gomez finished 27 of 47, had 394 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Rodney Woodland had 138-yards off of six receptions and a touchdown. Xavier Edwards-Ford also had 110-yards off of six receptions. James Poole finished with 72-yards off of eight rushes and a touchdown.
Kyle Smith and Christian Mejia both had six tackles. Junior Alvarado had four tackles and an interception.
The Gauchos finished the season with a record of 8-2, and the playoffs is all that is on the teams mind. A state championship and a national championship would be huge for the team, but even more important for Coach McElroy.