Freshman linebacker Karson Block (No. 31, white) argues a call after almost getting an interception. Saddleback’s defense held El Camino to only 17 points. (Nick Nenad/Lariat)
The Saddleback College football team looked impressive in their first win of the season defeating the El Camino College Warriors, 42-17. The Gauchos on both sides of the ball were a collective unit. The offense compiled almost 600 yards, while the Saddleback defense held the Warriors offense to 17 points.
“It’s nice to get a victory under our belt and I think really the credit goes to the whole team,” Gauchos head coach Mark McElroy said.
In the first drive of the game Saddleback forced the Warriors to a punt. The ensuing drive by the Gauchos had them go 72 yards down field to the El Camino one yard-line, but the Gauchos were unable to find the end zone, settling for a field goal.
The Warriors quickly responded with a 72-yard run of their own taking a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Gauchos struck 30 seconds into the second quarter as Saddleback’s sophomore quarterback Johnny Stanton completed a pass to sophomore wide receiver Dominic Collins that went 93 yards for a Gauchos touchdown giving them a 9-7 lead.
Later in the second quarter the Gauchos fumbled, but the defense responded, sputtering the Warriors offensive drive and forcing them to kick a 25-yard field goal.
With less than 4 minutes to go in the second quarter Stanton rushed one yard into the end zone for a Saddleback touchdown regaining the lead, 15-10.
On the next Warriors drive the Gauchos defense caused a fumble that was recovered by freshman Kai Ross, setting up the offense with good field position.
The Saddleback offense capitalized on the opportunity quickly with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Stanton to sophomore wide receiver Cody White which gave the Gauchos a 22-10 halftime lead.
The Gauchos opened up the second half with a 12-play 69-yard drive resulting in a Stanton four-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Alexander Coplan extending the Saddleback lead to 29-10.
Zach Davis (No. 11, white) runs away from a defender. The Gauchos defeated El Camino College Warriors, 42-17 and got their first victory of the season. (Nick Nenad/Lariat)
Mid way through the second quarter the Gauchos added another field goal. On the ensuing offensive possesion Stanton threw his fourth touchdown pass of the night to freshman wide receiver Remy Wasserbach, making it 39-10 Saddleback.
A rather lack luster fourth quarter had the Gauchos adding a field goal and the Warriors a touchdown, the final score 42-17.
“It was really about playing with one heart tonight and playing as a team and I think that’s what we did,” said freshman linebacker Karson Block. “We came out here and executed and I have no doubt in my mind that we could play like this for the rest of the year.”
When asked about the defensive effort, Block states that the defense had something to prove during the game.
“We really wanted to make a statement this week that we aren’t a pushover team and I think we did that really well tonight,” said Block.
The Gauchos offense was led by Stanton who passed for 466 yards and four passing touchdowns, while adding one rushing touchdown. After the game Stanton gave praise to his offense and defense.
“The amount of yards we got tonight was such a collective effort and the success that we had was from a whole week of great practices,” Stanton said. “The defense was really on point, I mean holding a team to 17 points after 56 points last week that was great.”
The Gauchos will have a boost of confidence heading into their next game on Sep. 26 at 6p.m. at home against Palomar, a team the Gauchos defeated last year 42-31.