Gauchos can’t tame Tigers, lose second straight game

Sophomore running back Myron Buchanan (No. 23, white) gets tackled via his facemask against Riverside City College. (Cliff Robbins)

Sophomore running back Myron Buchanan (No. 23, white) gets tackled via his facemask against Riverside City College. (Cliff Robbins)

The Saddleback Gauchos football team lost their second consecutive game on Saturday to the Riverside City College Tigers, 38-18. The Gauchos move to a disappointing record of 0-2 on the season after the loss.

Saddleback never led in the game and were abysmal on third downs, only converting one out of 14 attempts. The Gauchos were also outplayed on offense and defense, giving up 445 yards of total offense to the Tigers and only getting 305 yards themselves.

“We didn’t really execute as well as we should’ve and practice this week was iffy,” said sophomore wide receiver Dominic Collins. “It’s our fault as an offense by not executing as a whole.”

RCC started the game off with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The Tigers would then get a field goal with 6:21 left in the first quarter taking a 10-0 lead.

Sophomore quarterback Johnny Stanton would change the momentum on the next drive scoring on a two yard touchdown run. Freshman quarterback would then score a 2-point conversion on the extra point, cutting RCC’s lead to 10-8.

On the ensuing drive though, the Tigers would score once again. After a long 41 yard run, RCC quarterback Kevin Olsen would connect on a pass with K.J. Young for a two yard touchdown making the score 17-8.

After a turnover on downs by Saddleback on their next drive, RCC would capitalize and score another touchdown. Olsen once again threw a touchdown pass to Young, this time for 23 yards. This elevated the score to 24-8.

Neither team scored for the next nine minutes, until the Tigers got another touchdown making it 31-8. They would take that lead into halftime.

The second half wasn’t much different for the Gauchos as they could only muster 10 more points the rest of the game. One change head coach Mark McElroy made after the first half was switching quarterbacks from Stanton to Gibson. Collins believes either quarterback will be successful each time they play.

“I like both of them,” said Collins. “I have 100 percent confidence in both of them.”

Saddleback quarterback Johnny Stanton runs past a blocked defender. (Cliff Robbins)

Saddleback quarterback Johnny Stanton runs past a blocked defender. The Gauchos were defeated by the Tigers, 38-18. (Cliff Robbins)

The final score would be 38-18 after all was said and done and the Gauchos remain winless this season.

“It was a tough loss. They had a lot of good players and penetration,” Gibson said. “Sometimes we aren’t clicking together and we’re still a young team.”

McElroy also shared his thoughts on why the Gauchos lost their second straight game.

“We played a really good football team and we made too many mistakes to beat a really good football team,” said McElroy.

Saddleback will hope to turn their fortunes around against El Camino College next Saturday. El Camino is another good opponent and they defeated the Gauchos 40-23 last season.

“Next week we gotta grind, grind, grind and hopefully get a victory,” said Collins.

McElroy believes his team has to control the ball better this time around against El Camino. The Gauchos turned the ball over three times against ECC last season.

“It will be another good program, good team, and we just can’t turn the ball over like we did last year,” said McElroy.

The game against ECC this Saturday starts at 5 p.m. and will be played at Redondo Union High School.