Saddleback College went back to a no-huddle offense for a half and defeated Riverside, 35-14, Saturday in a Mission Conference football game in front of 2,500 on Wheelock Field at Riverside College.
Saddleback (2-1, 2-2) used a huddle on its first play from scrimmage then went to the no-huddle offense, the same one used in 1985 when Saddleback was 11-0. The Gauchos took a 28-0 lead and had 273 yards in total offense in the first half. Saddleback finished with 446 yards in total offense. Quarterback Howard Gasser completed 19 of 27 passes for 211 yards and 3 first-half touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We've been working on the no huddle all along, and I just decided it was time to use it," Saddleback Coach Ken Swearingen said. "The reason we haven't been using it was that our defense wasn't playing that well. But we just told them that they were going to have to do the job this time."
Saddleback's defense, which gave up 42 points in a 42-38 loss to Orange Coast last week, responded with seven sacks, including three by linebacker Gary Renteria. He also deflected two passes. Saddleback allowed 218 yards in total offense to Riverside (2-1, 2-2).
Riverside scored two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter, but Saddleback responded with a 17-play, 70-yard drive that ended on a two-yard touchdown run with 3:32 left in the game to give Saddleback a 35-14 lead.
Gasser completed a 25-yard pass for a touchdown to Scott Miller for the final score in the first half. Miller had a game-high 10 catches for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Riverside was caught in a seven-man blitz and Miller ran a slant screen over the middle, catching the ball near the 15 and following his blocking to the end zone to give Saddleback a 28-0 lead with 3:34 left in the half.
Miller also caught the first scoring pass of the game. On Saddleback's first possession, the Gauchos scored on a 7-play, 77-yard drive.
Gasser ended the drive on a nine-yard pass for a touchdown to Miller. J.B. Hollis made the first of five extra points and Saddleback lead, 7-0 with 11:02 left in the first quarter.
Defensive end Brad Schmidt recovered a fumble on the Riverside 38 to set up the second Saddleback touchdown.
Gasser ran the ball 15 yards, then completed passes of 8 and 13 yards to Miller before Aly Diaz scored on a two-yard run to give Saddleback a 14-0 lead with 8:47 left in the first quarter.
A poor punt gave Saddleback possession on Riverside's 48 and Gasser finished the six-play scoring drive with a seven-yard pass to Russell Jenkins for a touchdown.
The score gave Saddleback a 21-0 lead.