Gauchos get to the QB in big win. (Morgan Smith/Lariat)
Saddleback football get the win over Moorpark 36-20 at Mission Viejo High School on Saturday, Sept. 28. The team showed an immense amount of composure and will to obtain long drives ending in mostly touchdowns.
As the game kicked off, the Mission Viejo weather went into action, starting to rain right after the kickoff. Players and fans showed no change in emotion from the rain ad keep their spirits high.
The Gauchos started the slightly raining game with a long 79-yard drive that ended when QB Chance Nolan found WR Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda for the 16-yard touchdown pass. With the early momentum, the Gauchos decided to go for the two-point conversion and Nolan did so passing to TE Colin O’Brien successfully for the two points.
Moorpark responded to the early score in the second quarter, with an 82-yard drive from QB Isaiah Johnson finishing it off to WR Blake Batarse for the touchdown. The Raiders went for the two-point conversion but got denied by the Gauchos.
Saddleback took no time to answer the Raiders score, going 65 yards in 12 plays. Nolan found WR Elijah Jefferson for a 4-yard Touchdown and also converted the two-point conversion making the Gauchod lead increase to 10.
The Gauchos ended the half by attempting two field goals from kicker Matthew Freem who made the first and had his second blocked by the Moorpark defender. Gauchos went into the half leading 19-6.
Gauchos received the ball in the third quarter. With their impressive read-option running game, the Gauchos were able to get down the field and get another field goal from Freem.
As teams started to adjust after the half time talk, the game seemed to slow down for the players. Both teams needed big plays to spark their respected sides.
Raiders struck first with a big trick play, pitching to the RB Tyree Morrison who threw a 55-yard pass to Alex Sarti to sway the momentum. Moorpark went for two following the play and converted shrinking the Gauchos lead to only eight.
The Gauchos got the big play they needed immediately on the ensuing kickoff with a 71-yard return from Shawn Poma, to put the ball in the Raiders’ territory. Gauchos WR Eliah Jefferson got in the endzone four plays later to push the lead back up to 15.
Late in the game, it felt wrapped up with the Gauchos pinning the Raiders on their 1-yard line. The Raiders went on to put an impressive 99-yard drive against the Gauchos. QB Isaiah Johnson ran in the two-yard touchdown and looked to cap off the drive with a two-point conversion but was unsuccessful in doing so.
With a nine-point lead, the Gauchos ran the ball with ease to build up a nice drive for the team and also take some time off the clock. Gauchos RB Johnathan Jefferson took the drive into the endzone with a nine-yard run and made the game out of reach for the opposing Raiders.
The Gauchos end the game with 387 total yards and with a huge performance from the defense/special teams and also from QB Chance Nolan. Nolan ran for 71 yards and threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Saddleback looks to defend their 4-0 record against Mt. San Antonio in their next game this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Covina District Field.