As players tumble in front of him, Saddleback ruuning back Jojo Binda (No. 20, white) looks for a hole to run through. Binda and the other Gauchos rushers could not muster up much and only got 90 yards on the day. (Cliff Robbins)
The magical season ended for the Saddleback College football team on Saturday when they fell to City College of San Francisco, 26-14 in the California Community College Athletic Association state championship game. The Gauchos had won 10 consecutive games going into the national title contest, but were unable to stop the efforts of, among others, CCSF running back Namane Modise and quarterback Anthony Gordon.
Modise had 253 rushing yards on the day and also contributed two touchdowns. Gordon only threw for 172 yards, but he had two key touchdown passes in the game. Gordon’s low passing total can be directly attributed to Modise’s outstanding game running the ball.
The Gauchos were led by sophomore quarterback Johnny Stanton, who had 345 all-purpose yards and two passing touchdowns. Stanton, who recently committed to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, also converted a two-point conversion late in the game.
The game started out very sloppy for both teams, as there were five turnovers on the first five possessions. After Saddleback fumbled for the first time in first quarter, the Rams took advantage and got a six yard touchdown reception from tight end Andrew Vollert.
Saddleback’s Carlton LaFrance (No. 54, white), Marcus Meredith (No. 36, white) and Anthony Hickey (No. 45, white) attempt to tackle a Rams player. The Gauchos fell to City College of San Francisco, 26-14 losing a chance at a state and national championship. (Cliff Robbins)
For the rest of the first half, defense dominated. Neither team could score and the halftime tally was 6-0 in favor of CCSF.
The second half started the same way, with Saddleback forcing the Rams to go three-and-out. After a promising effort by the Gauchos on the ensuing drive, they were forced to punt the ball away. CCSF widened there lead on their next drive with Modise going in for a one yard scamper to make it 13-0.
Once again, the teams defenses came up big and at the end of the third quarter the score was still 13-0.
The Rams started off the fourth quarter with a bang, getting another touchdown rush from Modise, after a four play drive that also saw him get a 57-yard run. This score seemed somewhat of a dagger to the Gauchos who were down 20-0 with just above 10 minutes remaining in the game.
CCSF gained another touchdown on their next drive making the score 26-0 and seemingly putting the game away.
Saddleback would fight back a little bit and get two touchdowns late, but their efforts proved futile and the Rams captured the state and national title, winning in commanding fashion, 26-14.
CCSF’s final season record stands at 12-1 and Saddleback’s went to 10-3. This was the Rams 10th national championship and their eighth California state championship.
Gauchos wide receiver Dominik Collins (white, center) attmepts to catch a pass from quarterback Johnny Stanton. Collins had two touchdown catches on the day, but his efforts were not enough to give Saddleback the victory against City College of San Francisco. (Cliff Robbins)