#1-Ranked Saddleback Crushes Cerritos

Saddleback, the #1-ranked team in both the California (COA) and national (JC Grid-Wire) rankings, showed why they are so highly-regarded Saturday night with an impressive 49-21 rout of host Cerritos.

Andrew Nakihei (PHOTO) scored rushed for 171 yards and 4 touchdowns (on just 8 carries) and P.T. Gates scored 2 touchdowns as the Gauchos thoroughly dominated the game.

Things started horribly for Cerritos as return man Genoa Dill fumbled on the opening kickoff.  Saddleback's Michael Davis recovered at the Falcon 27.  Three plays later, Gates scored from 4 yards out (with a little help from a teammate, who gave him a "Reggie Bush push" just before the goal line) to give the Gauchos a 7-0 lead just 2:33 into the game.  And Saddleback led the rest of the way.

Neither team scored again until Nakihei scored his first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter, capping a 10-play, 90-yard drive.  A pair of Nick Nelson passes, one for 22 yards to Steve Melton and the other for 24 yards to Maurice Clark, got the drive started.  The drive chewed up 7:12 off the clock, and seemed to take away any rhythm the Cerritos offense might have developed as the Falcons went 3-and-out on their next possession.  Saddleback then drove into scoring position again and Nakihei was on his way to scoring again until Cerritos' Terrell Cole ripped the ball out his hands at the 2-yard line.

But later in the half, Cerritos suffered a fumble of its own when Rylon Thomas had the ball stripped and the Gauchos' Brad Rife recovered the ball at the 26.  Rife picked up the ball and carried it into the end zone untouched for a touchdown that made it 21-0.

In the second half, Saddleback quickly put the game out of reach.  On the Gauchos' first drive, they faced a 4th down and lined up to punt.  Rather than kick the ball away, however, punter Tim Grasso passed to Kyle Feiler for a 13-yard gain and a first down.  Two plays later, Nakihei took a handoff and burst through the defense for an electrifying 48-yard touchdown run to make it 28-0.  Then, after a short Cerritos punt, Gates capped 6-play, 40-yard drive with a 1-yard dive over the pile, reaching the ball across the goal line to make it 35-0.  And after another Cerritos punt, Nakihei capped another drive, this one consisting of 8 plays, with a 3-yard run for his third touchdown of the night to make it 42-0.

Both teams played reserves in the fourth quarter, and Cerritos' A.J. Toscano quickly got the Falcons on the board with a 77-yard touchdown pass to Cory Rhoane.  Toscano also threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Marquiese Reed, and the speedy Reed took advantage of his chance to perform with 107 yards rushing on just 5 carries in addition to that touchdown catch.  Third-string quarterback Mike Roy also saw some action and threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Pettys for the Falcons' final touchdown.

But in that fourth quarter, Nakihei had the chance to display his amazing speed again.  Taking a handoff from his own 17, he started left and suddenly burst through the defense and down the sideline.  Though a couple of Cerritos players seemed to have an angle, he simply outran them to the goal line for an electrifying 83-yard touchdown run (with a little help from teammate Melton, who apparently took note of the Gauchos' first touchdown and supplied a "Reggie Bush push" for Nakihei).  For the game, Nakihei finished with 8 carries; he was stopped 4 times and scored 4 times while averaging a remarkable 21.4 yards per carry.  

Other standouts for Saddleback included Gates, who rushed for 65 yards and 2 TDs, and quarterback Nelson, who completed 13 of 18 passes for 147 yards and no interceptions.  And then there was the Gaucho defense, which allowed Cerritos just 70 yards of offense, 5 first downs and no points through the three quarters when the starters were in the game.

For Cerritos, Reed led the way on the ground (equaling Nakihei's 21.4 yard per carry average) and Toscano, who was 5 of 7 for 101 yards and 2 TDs, led the way through the air.  Rhoane had 3 catches for 99 yards and a score.  But all of that except for a single 8-yard catch by Rhoane came in the fourth quarter when Saddleback had its reserves in the game and the outcome was no longer in doubt.  The Falcons racked up an amazing 241 yards of total offense in that fourth quarter.

With this most impressive win, Saddleback improves to 6-0 and will travel to Orange Coast for a 1 pm game next Saturday.  Cerritos, which is still winless on its beautiful new playing surface, has a road game at Golden West.

Saddleback Gauchos 49 Cerritos Falcons 21

Saturday, October 14, 2006 – 7 pm – Falcon Stadium  - Norwalk

Mission Conference – National Division


1st Quarter:

S – Gates 4 yd run (Carr kick) 13:27 (7-0)

2nd Quarter:

S – Nakihei 1 yd run (Carr kick) 12:36 (14-0)
S – Rife 26 yd fumble return (Carr kick) 0:59 (21-0)

3rd Quarter:

S – Nakihei 48 yd run (Carr kick) 11:23 (28-0)
S – Gates 1 yd run (Carr kick) 6:49 (35-0)
S – Nakihei 3 yd run (Carr kick) 0:32 (42-0)

4th Quarter:

C – Rhoane 77 yd pass from Toscano (Striuksma kick) 14:50 (42-7)
C – Reed 4 yd pass from Toscano (Striuksma kick) 6:33 (42-14)
S – Nakihei 83 yd run (Carr kick) 5:56 (49-14)
C – Pettys 7 yd pass from Roy (Striuksma kick) 2:45 (49-21)


First Downs:  Cerritos 13 (10 rush, 3 pass), Saddleback 21 (11 rush, 8 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:  Cerritos 29-181, Saddleback 43-302
Passing Yds:  Cerritos 130, Saddleback 173
Comp-Att-Int:  Cerritos 8-19-0, Saddleback 15-20-0
Return Yds:  Cerritos 111, Saddleback 134
Sacks-Yds:  Cerritos 0-0, Saddleback 3-20
Fumbles-Lost:  Cerritos 2-2, Saddleback 1-1
Penalties-Yds:  Cerritos 3-25, Saddleback 11-85
Time of Possession:  Cerritos 25:51, Saddleback 34:09


Rushing:  C 22-Reed 5-107, 24-R.Thomas 10-31, 26-Mingo 4-26, 25-Jenkins 4-19, 5-Manis 6-(-2); S 16-Nakihei 8-171, 1-Gates 18-65, 33-DuBois 8-41, 10-Nelson 3-16, 21-Lammle 2-9, 12-Trujillo 2-2, team 2-(-2)
Passing:   C 14-Toscano 5-7-0-101, 2 TDs; 5-Manis 2-11-0-22; 14-Roy 1-1-0-7, 1 TD; S 10-Nelson 13-18-0-147; 12-Trujillo 1-1-0-13; 13-Grasso 1-1-0-13
Receiving:   C 3-Rhoane 3-99, 7-Jer.Nutt 1-14, 85-Crow 1-8, 19-Pettys 1-7, 22-Reed 1-4,  26-Mingo 1-(-2); S 3-M.Clark 3-47, 1-Gates 3-20, 6-Melton 2-37, 28-Feiler 2-34, 17-Tinolo 2-11, 18-Flanagan 1-13, 33-DuBois 1-8, 7-Robinson 1-3
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds:  C 8-Cole 1-9; S 11-Rife 1-26, 39-Davis
Sacks-Yds:  C none; S 46-Guzman 1-9, 26-C.Clark 1-8, 86-Oakes 1-3
Punters:  C 41-Giambona 5-34.0 avg, 5-Manis 1-34; S 13-Grasso 3-39.7 avg
Kick Returns:  C 18-Dill 5-76, 12-Moore 2-21; S 28-Feiler 2-52, 19-Russo 1-22, 21-Lammle 1-8
Punt Returns:  C 17-Perkins 1-5; S 19-Russo 2-26

Notes:  Saddleback ent. 5-0, #1 in California and the nation (JC Grid-Wire).  Cerritos ent. 2-3, #17 in South.  Dill fumbled on the opening kickoff; Davis recovered and Gates scored 3 plays later.  Cerritos had just 70 yds of offense in 3 quarters vs. the Saddleback regulars.  Cole snatched the ball out of Nakihei's hands for the fumble, which was about the only misstep for the speedy Nakihei all evening.  Manis started at QB for Cerritos; Toscano had 2 series and Roy had 1 series in the 4th qtr.  Grasso's pass for Saddleback was on a fake punt early in the 3rd qtr.  4-Laing of Cerritos put the hit of the night on Robinson early in the 3rd quarter.  But Robinson held onto the ball and got right back up.  This is the most points Cerritos has allowed since Pasadena had 51 November 10, 2001 when PCC's Jonathan Smith set a national JC record with 515 all-purpose yards.



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