The Saddleback College Gauchos suffered another loss at home Saturday night, 40-23, when they took on their long-standing rivals, the El Camino Warriors, bringing their record to 0-3 so far this season.
Although a couple of players had some outstanding stats, Saddleback could not keep the ferocity of the Warriors offense and defense at bay.
El Camino had 23 first-downs compared to the Gauchos 16 and also had a total of 221 rushing yards with the help of their defensive player, Cory Sanicky, who ran in three touchdowns alone. This also gave the Warriors an edge on their competition while they held on to the ball for almost twice as long as Saddleback with a total time of possession of nearly 39 minutes.
In El Camino’s first two drives, Eddie Garcia kicked two field goals to bring the score to 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Freshmen kicker Erik Harris put the first points of the evening on the board for Saddleback in the start of the second quarter which put them back in the game at 6-3.
A fumble by the Gauchos shortly after led to the first touchdown of the night by the Warriors star-player of the night, Sanicky to make the game 13-3.
It wasn’t too long until Saddleback answered back with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Bautista to wide receiver Forrest Dunivin. That would be the last score for either before the halftime and the score was 13-10.
The third quarter started out with an interception by El Camino. This led to another touchdown by Sanicky, bringing the score to 20-10.
The Gauchos then chose to sit down Bautista and sent in their second-string quarterback, Anthony Berg, whose first pass was intercepted. This would lead to another 1-yard touchdown by Sanicky and El Camino led 27-10.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Gauchos couldn’t catch a break as the Warriors kicked another field goal to boost their score over the Gauchos by 20 points, 30-10.
Saddleback sent Bautista back in to throw, and it proved to be a wise decision, as he sent a long pass to running back Drake Griffen for the touchdown to make the score 30-17.
Soon after, the Warriors kicked another long field goal (45 yards) to quickly make the score 33-17.
The Gauchos gained a slight momentum with a little over five minutes to play, when Bautista threw a 54-yard pass to get the Gauchos into the red zone. Soon after, Bautista threw a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Dimry for a touchdown, making the score 33-23.
Saddleback decided to go for a 2-point conversion that would have put them within eight points, but were unsuccessful. The Gauchos then attempted an onside kick but did get the ball back.
Sadly, in the final two and a half minutes of the game, they lost their brief momentum when Bautista threw another interception which led to the final touchdown of the night for either team, ending the game at 40-23, El Camino.
The Gauchos hope to redeem themselves and gain their first win of the season when they play the Palomar Comets at Escondido High School at 6 p.m., on Saturday Sept. 27.