Saturday night's Mission Conference football game between El Camino College and Saddleback lived up to its hype for a half, but the Gauchos took charge after the break and defeated the Warriors, 35-17, at Murdock Stadium.
Saddleback (4-0) went into the game ranked No. 1 in the state and El Camino (2-1) was No. 2, according to the JC Athletic Bureau.
The Warriors gained only 35 yards in their first six possessions of the second half. El Camino quarterback Jerry Singleton, who completed nine of 28 passes for 144 yards for the game, completed only four of 16 for 27 yards in the second half. He had one pass intercepted.
Saddleback quarterback Tim Snowden completed 14 of 22 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback Marcellus Chrishon had 187 yards and two touchdowns in 36 carries.
The Gauchos started quickly, scoring in their first possession--an 11-play, 88-yard drive. Chrishon rushed for 68 yards in eight carries on the drive and scored on a three-yard run.
Chrishon, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore, had 109 yards in 22 carries in the first half.
El Camino had a difficult time moving the ball in its first possession, but the Warriors tied the score with 5 minutes 56 seconds left in the first quarter. Singleton passed to Latario Rachal for a 46-yard gain and Wilson ran three yards for a touchdown. Tom Dallen made the extra point.
The Warriors took a 10-7 lead when Dallen kicked a 47-yard field goal with 3:25 left in the first quarter. The field goal was set up by defensive back Demitrius Boykins, who recovered a fumble by Snowden at the Saddleback 33-yard line.
Snowden made up for his mistake with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kent Chantung during Saddleback's next possession. After Devon Higgins made the extra point, the Gauchos led, 14-10.
The Warriors responded with a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended with Wilson's 11-yard touchdown run. It gave El Camino a 17-14 lead at halftime.
The Warriors gained only six yards in the opening drive of the second half and Saddleback took control. Snowden passed 43 yards to tight end Dan Zamora for a touchdown and 21-17 lead.
Saddleback's Jeremy Brion intercepted a pass thrown by Singleton and Chrishon scored on a 19-yard run two plays later to give the Gauchos a 28-17 lead.
Larry Roberts replaced Singleton with about three minutes left to play and the freshman from Gardena High had a pass intercepted by Brion, who returned it 52 yards for a touchdown.