Phil Marks stood on the sloppy LeBard Stadium field at Orange Coast College Saturday trying to explain that he isn't a running quarterback.
But after Saturday's opening game of the PONY Bowl doubleheader, Marks will be remembered as the quarterback who ran 44 yards around left end for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Saddleback College a 21-14 victory over Cerritos in front of 3,800.
Marks, a freshman, replaced starter Howard Gasser, who left the game after he hurt his left ankle on a pass play with 1:07 left in the third quarter.
Gasser was 14 for 24 for 208 yards with 2 interceptions and a touchdown for Saddleback (9-2).
With the score tied, 14-14, and 6:15 left, Marks faked to running back Aly Diaz and went around left end and down the sideline for a touchdown.
"I think of myself as more of a passer than a runner, but I was having trouble getting my footing when throwing," Marks said. "We ran the same play twice in a row, and the second time it was just wide open."
Marks completed 1 of 4 passes for 8 yards and ran 6 times for 51 yards on a field that was mostly mud after Friday's thundershowers.
After Marks' touchdown, Saddleback's defense provided the key plays to clinch the victory.
Cerritos (6-4-1) had driven to the Saddleback 37 with 3:33 left, but linebacker Chris Dickerson made a one-handed interception at the Saddleback 20. The Gauchos kept the ball for 1:33 before they had to punt from their 27. Saddleback punter Jeremy Skiver then hit a career-long 54-yard punt to the Cerritos 18.
Gasser completed a 19-yard pass for a touchdown to Kelly Ryan with 12:57 left in the second quarter to tie the score, 7-7. Diaz later scored on a two-yard run with 1:03 left in the half for a 14-7 Saddleback lead.
Cerritos tied the score, 14-14, in the third quarter when Jerrell Waddle scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run with 1:34 left. He scored on a nine-yard run in the first quarter.
Saddleback's defense limited Cerritos to 261 yards in total offense. Andre Wooten of Cerritos, who set a career rushing record in the South Coast Conference with 2,307 yards, was held to 75 yards in 23 carries.