The Saddleback football team improved to 3-3 on the season with a 39-20 win at Southwestern College on Saturday night in Chula Vista. The Gauchos dominated the time of possession and scored four touchdowns on the ground in the win.
Saddleback started National Division Southern League play with a statement on Saturday. After a bye week the Gauchos cranked up something that Gaucho fans haven't been too familiar with over the past decade… a dominating rushing attach. Saddleback ran the ball 45 times, averaging 5.3 yards-per-carry and scoring four times on the ground. Quarterback Robbie Patterson was the big beneficiary, rushing for a team-high 110 yards while throwing for 275 and another score through the air. Jerome Johnson did the tough work in the red zone, scoring three short touchdowns on seven carries. In total, Saddleback held a 503-262 advantage in total yardage, carrying a 37:41-to-22:19 advantage in time-of-possession.
Saddleback opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal from Matthew Freem in what was a low-scoring affair to start. Southwestern scored the first touchdown of the game to start the second quarter and grab a 7-3 lead. From that point forward it was a lopsided affair, with Saddleback scoring the next 29 points in holding a 32-7 lead with 13:40 remaining in the contest. The biggest play of the game came with 7:33 remaining in the opening half when Patterson found Austin Derrico for a 67-yard touchdown to give the Gauchos an 11-3 lead following a 2-point conversion.
Saddleback's defense was up to the task the entire night. The Gauchos held Southwestern to 3-of-13 on third down conversions, consistently bottling up the Jaguar offense. Colton Larceval finished with a team-high seven tackles while Gage Roberson had two of the seven tackles the Gauchos had behind the line-of-scrimmage. Rome Innocenzi put a stamp on things with his second interception of the season when he stepped in front of a Marcus Hernandez-Torrez pass in the final minutes.
Saddleback improved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in Southern League play with the win. The Gauchos will try to get above .500 for the first time this season on Friday when they host Orange Coast College (1-5, 0-1) in a rare, Friday night affair. The Gauchos and Pirates are scheduled to start at 6:00 PM on Friday at Mission Viejo High School.