Gauchos upset No. 7 Mounties, rise to No. 6 in national rankings

John Franz

The Saddleback College football team proved they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

After starting off the 2009 season 3-0 over weak opponents, the Gauchos dominated No. 7 Mt. San Antonio College last Saturday, 24-14.

With the win, the Gauchos jumped to No. 6 in the “Dirty 30” national rankings as Mt. SAC fell out of the top ten to No. 11 and have a bye next week.

Saddleback will play at Santa Ana College next week at 1 p.m. The Dons are 3-1 on the season.

In a play out of the Miami Dolphins playbook, Saddleback running back Jai Morris completed a 61-yard half back pass to receiver Tre Villahermosa for the early 7-0 lead.

The Gauchos would get a field goal late in the first quarter, a 40-yard kick by Michael Frisina, making the score to 10-0.

The Saddleback defense was superb in the first half, forcing the Mounties to punt on five of their first seven possessions. Mt. SAC tried to fake a punt deep in its own territory. The attempt failed, and the Gauchos got the ball back on downs.

In the third quarter, the Mounties came out with a bang scoring a touchdown on a 32-yard pass from Tyler Vandersee to Chase Alcott. The score cut the Gauchos’ lead to 10-7.

The Gauchos would persevere on a later drive, however, as David Ingram went go five-for-five on passing attempts, including a seven-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Knowles.

The drive went for 70 yards on 10 plays. The score would put Saddleback up 10 with 6:28 remaining in the third.

In the fourth quarter, the Mounties would capitalize on 32 yards of Saddleback penalties. The biggest penalty came on a pass interference call giving Mt. SAC a first down inside the five-yard line. Mt. SAC made it 17-14 on a two yard touchdown run by Lancer Iosefa.

Charles Neal fumbled the ball at the Mounties 30- yard line, giving Mt. San Antonio great field position.

The Gaucho defense stepped up three plays later and intercepted a Vandersee pass at midfield. Cameron Chadwick came down with the pick for the Gauchos.

The Gauchos stormed downfield and faked a field goal on a fourth and one. The play was not successful, but the Mounties were flagged for a facemask penalty.

Keegan Gogerty made Mt. SAC pay for the penalty with a touchdown to make the score 24-14.

The Gauchos led in time of possession 34:26 to 25.34. However, the Mounties led in total yards, edging Saddleback 275 to 264.

The Gauchos committed 13 penalties for 103 yards, while Mt. San Antonio only had seven for 62 yards.

Vandersee finished the game going 18-for-32 for 226 yards for Mt. SAC. Ingram finished the game 16-for-31 for 116 yards and a touchdown for Saddleback.

Spellman-Smith led the Gaucho receiving corps with 51 yards on six receptions.

Morris led Saddleback in rushing with 57 yards on 14 carries.

Chadwick led Saddleback in tackles with eight. Jason Young was second with seven tackles with a sack.

In next week’s match up, the Gauchos take on Santa Ana. Quarterback Jordan Thomas has 13 touchdowns, four interceptions, with 1,023 yards passing this season to lead the Dons.

Wesley Fletcher is their leading runner, and averages 5.2 yards a carry.

Parker Roberts has 12 receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns this season.