Moorpark, Calif. – With 159 yards passing and 94 yards rushing, Saddleback’s freshman quarterback Brian Shrock led the Gauchos into Moorpark College’s Griffin Stadium and came out with a win.
After trailing Moorpark during the first quarter 10-7, Shrock and the Saddleback offense outscored their opponent 34-3 to raise their record to 2-0.
“They [Moorpark] were really good,” Shrock said. “We came into the game knowing they were going to be a tough team.”Having multiple options on offense especially with the running back position allowed Shrock to become more mobile with the ball.
“I think since we have so many good running backs, the defense keys on them so it gives me a little bit of open lanes to run in,” Shrock said.
After Moorpark fumbled the ball on the missed snap by the punter in the second quarter, running back Josh Farrell made his way for a touchdown a yard out on a seven play drive. The Gauchos never looked back from there defeating the Raiders 41-13.
“I’m proud of them, but we still have a long way to go,” said Saddleback’s head coach Mark McElroy. “We are now 2-0, but it means nothing until game 10. We have to come back each week and be prepared to play.”
As the second half started, Saddleback’s Andrew Nikahei found the end zone 19 yards out for his first touchdown and then again in the fourth quarter on an 11- yard run.
Nikahei finished the game with 57 yards on six carries, with an average of 9.5 yards per carry.
Cheyne Verhagen, led all backs with 104 yards rushing as the Gauchos out-rushed Moorpark by 180 yards.
“In order to be successful, we have to run the football well and cause people problems,” McElroy said.
The defense also was focused, as they held the Raiders to 284 yards total and sacked the Raider’s quarterback five times.After two games, Saddleback leads the Mission Conference in scoring defense, holding to opponents to 6.5 points per game, and third in total defense with 212 yards per game.
“We started slow, but we came together and we just took off from there,” said Saddleback’s free safety Rico Russo. “They got one lucky drive in the beginning, but we just came together and made big plays.”
The Raiders had no answer to Saddleback, as Moorpark’s offense gave up an interception returned 60 yards for a touchdown by Aaron Brown to finally put the game away. “I’m very excited about this team and the potential we have,” McElroy said. “If we come together as a family, we’ll have a great future this year.”
The Gauchos remain on the road next week as they will face the Long Beach City College Vikings on Sept. 15. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.