Saddleback’s Homecoming festivities were held Saturday night, as they stomped on Orange Coast College 57-24, inching them closer to a conference championship with a 3-1 conference record.
After losing to Grossmont College last week, Gauchos quarterback, Ricky Bautista, who threw 270 yards and had two touchdowns, explained why they dominated the Pirates.
“Just coming together as a team basically, is what it is. Last week was a rough game but this week, we came together as a team and we just brought it,” Bautista said, “We were ready. There was a little struggle in the first and second series, but then we started to get after it and scored some points,” he added.
The game opened with OCC putting points on the board from a field goal and two touchdowns, giving them 17 points.
Saddleback didn’t score until the end of the first quarter when Bautista threw a 19-yard pass to freshmen, wide-receiver, Darren Clark, keeping the Gauchos in the game, 17-7.
The Gauchos really picked up their momentum in the second quarter when they scored three touchdowns and a got safety in a little under eight minutes, leaving them with a strong lead of 30-17 going into halftime.
During halftime, The Gaucho Football Alumni Club (GFAC) inducted three former coaches into the Saddleback College Hall of Fame.
President of GFAC and former Gaucho offensive lineman, Steve Renteria, was excited about the festivities.
“The goal of the club, is to bring back players from other years to support new Gauchos,” said Renteria. “I played here in 1983 and 1984 and it’s great to be here, to see ex-players and three legacy coaches, including Mark McElroy. It’s awesome and we got a great event here tonight,”Renteria said. “We’re honoring three inductees into the hall of fame– Coach (George) Hartman, who founded this program, Jim Poettgen, who was actually an unbelievable player under Coach Hartman; and Dick Stuetz, who was the assistant coach here for many years,” added Renteria.
Jim Poettgen gave his take on being back on his old stomping grounds.
“I’m very honored and very humbled by the people I’m being inducted with, Coach Hartman and Dick Stuetz,” Poettgen said. “It’s great to see a lot of my co-athletes. My dad was the equipment manager, so I grew up in 1968, in these fields out here and I used to come with my dad to work. So, this is great today.”
The Gauchos played stronger in the second half as they scored three more touchdowns and added two field goals to end the game with an astounding 33-point spread.
Defensive end, Kyle Kelly, picked off the ball in the middle of the fourth quarter which helped running- back, Kieran Yancy to run in a 19-yard touchdown for Saddleback.
“We forced a lot of turnovers. That’s what really made us dominate this game. And everyone was on fire tonight– the offense and defense,” Kelly said.
The Gauchos would go on to lose their next game against Fullerton College, 21-16. Multiple turnovers and the inability to score in the red zone were key factors to Saddleback’s loss. Saddleback’s now has a record of 3-2 in conference play and 4-5 overall.
Below is a video interview with Saddleback College quarterback Ricky Bautista:
Video/Producer: Adam Kolvites, Reporter: Allison Gale