Howard Gasser recovered from throwing two interceptions to lead Saddleback to a 45-34 victory over Rancho Santiago and the Mission Conference football title Saturday night at Santa Ana Stadium.
Saddleback (8-2, 8-1) finished a game ahead of Orange Coast, which lost to Citrus, 36-26, Saturday.
Gasser had gone six games and 187 passes without an interception when he was intercepted twice in the third quarter on consecutive attempts.
The first was by defensive end Don Peterson, who returned it 28 yards for touchdown to tie the score, 24-24, with 14:07 left in the third quarter. Gasser was intercepted in the next series by Kirk Anderson. The interception set up a 30-yard field goal by Tim Snitko and Rancho Santiago led, 27-24.
Mike Miscione later scored on an eight-yard run as Rancho Santiago took a 34-24 lead with 6:50 left in the third quarter.