The American Bowl featured Saddleback College against El Camino. But in the end it was the Gauchos who fell to a 31-28 defeat.
The loss last Saturday night ends the Gauchos football season and their high hopes for a shot at a state championship.
The Gauchos scored three touchdowns in the first quarter jumping out to the 21-0 lead. Nick Hutter caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Brian Shrock.
The first touchdown was a seven-yard pass and the other came from 24 yards out. The third touchdown came on a run from Jay Wisner.
Key Warrior turnovers cost El Camino early in front of a silenced crowd.
In a classic shoot-out game, El Camino scored three touchdowns in the second quarter. At the half the score was tied, 21-21. The tying score was a run by Warrior quarterback James Coy.
Early in the third quarter the Warriors took their first lead of the game on a 44-yard field goal by Brian Blumberg.
A missed field goal by the Gauchos gave the Warriors the momentum, which appeared to be shifting towards the Gauchos. Facing a third down and 14 from the Warrior 28, Coy found Kembrell Thompkins near the 45-yard line. He broke a tackle and ran for the touchdown. The score gave the Warriors a 10-point lead with 3:33 to play.
The Gauchos marched down the field and ultimately scored on a pass by Shrock to Wisner. Making the score 31-28 with just over a minute remaining.
Shrock finished his day going 17-for-27 for 199 yards and the three touchdowns.
The leading rusher for the Gauchos was Jai Morris. He had 45 yards on 10 carries.
The season was counting on an onside kick by the Gauchos. But as the kick was attempted the Warriors jumped on the ball. The Gauchos’ season and hopes came to a disappointing end. The Gauchos finished their season with a 7-4 record. The Warriors advanced to the semi-finals of the state tournmanent and will play College of the Canyons, which beat Antelope Valley.