Gauchos enjoy early candy rush against Pirates

photo c/o Cliff Robbins
photo c/o Cliff Robbins

The Saddleback football team improved to 7-0 with a 58-7 win at Orange Coast College on Saturday night in Costa Mesa.  The Gauchos rolled up 524 yards of offense in the win against the Pirates.

Halloween arrives this Thursday but Saddleback wasted no time in dipping into the bucket for a pre-holiday sugar rush.  The Gauchos sprinted out to a 30-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game, cruising to an easy win.

Saddleback started quickly, scoring in two plays on their opening drive in taking an 8-0 lead.  Chance Nolan connected with Cole Harrity (below) for a 49-yard touchdown, and then a two-point conversion to Markus Sullivan made it 8-0.  It was one of five touchdown passes on the night for Nolan, who now has 24 for the year.

Nolan connected with Elijah Jefferson (pictured) for a 14-yard score late in the quarter as Saddleback drove 72 yards in 13 plays, consuming over five minutes off the clock.  It was one of three touchdowns on the night for Jefferson, who later caught a 32-yarder from Nolan in the third quarter to give the Gauchos a 44-7 lead.  On the following drive, Jefferson scored his third touchdown when he raced 11 yards for a score as part of a 10-play drive, putting Saddleback over the half-century mark.

Saddleback finished with a 524-208 advantage in total yardage for the game.  The Gaucho defense was stellar all night, sacking Orange Coast quarterbacks two times while holding Pirate runners to 2.2 yards-per-carry on the ground.  Tyriek Bell was again the headliner, recording a team-high eight total tackles, a sack, a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry.  Emmanuel Ukhueligbe was also tough in the middle of the defensive front, recording four tackles and two tackles-for-loss.

The 51-point win on Saturday was the 10th largest margin of victory in Saddleback history.  The largest win in Gaucho history was a 72-7 win against Mt. San Jacinto College in 2009.

Saddleback is now 7-0 for the first time since 2011 when the Gauchos started 7-0.  The last time Saddleback started 8-0 was in 2006 when they opened the season with 11 straight wins before falling to El Camino College in the state semifinals.

Saddleback will look for an eighth straight win next Saturday when they host Golden West College at Mission Viejo High School.  The Gauchos and Rustlers are scheduled to start at 6:00 PM.