The Saddleback football team will host Bakersfield College in the Patriotic Bowl this Saturday night at Mission Viejo High School. The Gauchos and Renegades have met only four times in 50+ years.
Saddleback battled back from a rugged start to begin the season and impressed the Bowl Committee enough to get themselves into a bowl game. It's the 16th time in the past 17 years that the Gauchos have advanced to the post-season, and they did it by going 4-1 down the stretch.
Saddleback and Bakersfield have met only four times, all of which have come during the Mark McElroy era. The Gauchos dropped games to Bakersfield in 2005 (19-29) and 2010 (24-41) while beating the Renegades in 2006 (48-21) and 2011 (31-17). None of those games were during the post-season, however, marking the first time the two programs will play for something a little more special.
Saddleback (6-4, 4-1) finished in second place in the National Division Southern League, falling to Riverside City College (7-28) on the final night of the season in a battle for the league title. Bakersfield (6-4, 3-2) finished in third place in the National Division Northern League, dropping league games to both Ventura College (10-23) and College of the Canyons (30-42).
Saddleback enters with the No. 24 scoring offense in the state, averaging 31.7 points-per-game. For the Gauchos, their success was hitched to the offense this season as they averaged just 9.8 points-per-game in games they lost while averaging 46.3 in games they won. Conversely, Bakersfield's success is tied to their defense. The Renegades come in at No. 8 in the state, giving up 17.9 points-per-game. Bakersfield allowed just 9.7 points-per-game in games they won, recording two shutouts. The Renegades, however, gave up 30.8 points-per-game in losses.
Game time on Saturday night is scheduled for 5:00 PM at Mission Viejo High School.