After suffering a tough loss the previous game, the Gauchos walked on their home field this past weekend looking for a comeback, and indeed they did. By the end of their ninth game of the season against the Orange Coast Pirates, the Gauchos posted 615 yards on offense, which limited OCC to just 282 yards in the game.
The defense carried the way for both teams at the beginning of the game, but it was the offensive lineup which provided the crowd pleasing plays with their back and fourth scoring exchanges.
Orange Coast put the first score up on the board.
Pirate’s running back Ahmed Mokhtar ran for 11 yards, taking advantage of a Jai Morris fumble at midfield.
However, Saddleback answered back when SS Ricky Pemasa found the end zone on an 13 yard interception, and tying the game at 7-7.
With three minutes left to go in the first quarter, an 11-yard completed pass from Quarterback Brian Shrock to wide receiver Nick Hutter gave Saddleback a 14-7 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Saddleback kicker Christian Lepore punted a beautiful a 25-yard field goal, giving Saddleback a 17-7 lead.
The Pirates managed to tie the score at 17-17 with 2:54 remaining on the clock, with OCC’s quarterback Taylor Hughes completing a 30 yard pass to wide receiver Ricky Carroll, followed by a 25 yard field goal from kicker Ryan Casano. In the first half before Saddleback put together a 7-play, 75-yard drive which reached its height in a 3-yard touchdown run by Gaucho running back Jai Morris to put Saddleback up 24-17 at halftime.
Orange Coast made their best effort to catch up, tying the score at 24-24 midway through the third quarter on a 5-play, 75-yard drive of its own.
With three minutes left in the third quarter, Gaucho’s Morris made a 2 yard run, scoring yet another touchdown to put Saddleback up 31-24.
OCC managed to keep their heads up, finishing off the quarter by scoring on a 20-yard pass play to keep the score at 31-31.
Opening the fourth quarter, the Gauchos managed to fake a field goal attempt that resulted in a touchdown when free safety Cameron Chadwick tossed the ball to Pemasa, who ran 24 yards to score.
As Saddleback looked to dominate the remaining quarter, OCC answered back just minutes later with an astounding 80 yard completed pass by quarterback Taylor Hughes to wide receiver Cameron Hall, and putting the scoreboard at 38-38.
Saddleback regained momentum just two plays later as Pemasa sprinted 22-yards to get the ball into Pirate territory, and running back Jai Morris carried it another 39 yards on the next play to put Saddleback up 45-38.
As tension grew in the final minutes of the game, OCC took the immediate kickoff and returned the ball 48 yards, getting to the Saddleback’s 35-yard line.
Playing to their full potential, Gaucho cornerback Jeremy intercepted Pirate quarterback Hughes’s pass, ending any chance of scoring. Saddleback managed to breeze by the last 2:30 off the clock before kicker Lepore’s second field goal, sealing the victory for the Gauchos, 48-38.
Saddleback is now 6-3 overall, and 4-1 in the Southern Conference. The Gauchos will have this week off, before wrapping up the regular-season schedule at Grossmont on November 15. The game is set to kick off at 1:00 p.m.