Saddleback Edges Cerritos in OT

Brock Farrel threw a TD pass to Michael O'Gorman in OT to lead Saddleback to a win over host Cerritos in the Cerritos Strawberry Bowl December 7th. Ferrel finished the night with 3 TDs passing and another rushing to help the Gauchos hand Cerritos its first-ever Strawberry Bowl loss.

The game was a tough defensive battle for three quarters, as Cerritos led 14-7 entering the final stanza. But the teams combined for 5 TDs in that 4th quarter, and by the time the horn sounded the game was tied at 28.  Saddleback's Aaron Barret tried a potential game-winning 39-yard field goal on the final play of regulation time, but Cerritos' Justin Burks got a finger on the ball and it fell well short of the goal line.

In overtime, Saddleback got the ball first.  Facing a 3rd and goal from the 5, Ferrel dropped back and found O'Gorman in the right corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. 

And when Cerritos got the ball, Saddleback's defense stopped star RB Jermaine Whiten on both 3rd and 4th downs to win the game for the Gauchos.

Saddleback opened the scoring by driving for a touchdown on its first possession of the game.  Farrel scored on a 1-yard sneak less than 3 minutes into the game to make it 7-0.  The drive was kept alive when a defensive holding penalty negated an apparent interception by Cerritos' Doug Stewart.

After an exchange of punts, Cerritos evened the game midway through the first quarter.  A 44-yard pass from Glenn DeBerg to WR Andrew Harris got the ball to the Saddleback 8, and moments later DeBerg hit Randy Raphiel with a 7-yard scoring pass to tie things up.

The game stayed tied until Cerritos' RB Jermaine Whiten almost singlehandedly created the Falcons' next TD.  His 9-yard run gave Cerritos the lead, but he also had runs of 22 and 24 yards earlier on the drive.  Those two runs, however, would be his most productive plays of the night.

The remainder of the first half and the entire third quarter were scoreless as the defenses took control of the game.  Saddleback nearly drew even early in the third quarter when Wale Dada intercepted a DeBerg pass and returned it 30 yards for an apparent TD, but the play was negated by a roughing the passer penalty.  So it stayed 14-7.

Late in the third quarter Saddleback got a break when Whiten fumbled, and Teralle Bush recovered at the Saddleback 37.  Saddleback had driven to the Cerritos 31 when the third quarter horn sounded.  And that's all it took for the points to start coming for both teams.

Saddleback pulled even on the first play of the 4th quarter when Farrel connected with Jeff Diulio on a 31-yard scoring pass. 

But the lead was short-lived.  Cerritos took the ensuing kickoff and drove down the field in just 1:16, taking the lead on a spectacular catch by Randy Raphiel.  The Falcon receiver jumped to make the catch in the end zone but was spun around into the air by a Saddleback defender.  But he held on, giving Cerritos a 21-14 lead with 13:37 left in the 4th quarter.

Then Saddleback pulled even again.  And again it was a Farrel-to-Diulio pass that did the trick, this one coming from 13 yards out.  The entire drive took just 2:22.  That left the score tied at 21 with 11:15 left in regulation.

Though Cerritos got the ball back on the kickoff, it was Saddleback's turn to score next.  CB Jeff Dixon jumped in front of a Falcon receiver and intercepted a DeBerg pass at his own 31 and returned it 69 yards down the left sideline for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:23 left in the 4th.

Saddleback appeared ready to take control of the game when the Gaucho defense forced a Cerritos punt.  But the game took a surreal turn next when Cerritos' Burnell Jordan intercepted a Farrel pass and returned it 69 yards – the same distance as Dixon's score – for the game-tying TD with 5:17 left in the quarter.  Jordan's TD return tied the score at 28.

After an exchange of punts, Saddleback had one last chance to win the game in regulation.  A 20-yard pass from Farrel to Diulio got the ball to the Cerritos 22, and the Gauchos called timeout with 4.9 seconds left to set up a field goal attempt.  But when Burks deflected the kick, regulation time ended with the score tied, setting up Farrel's game-winning TD pass in OT.

For the game, Farrel finished 14 of 23 passing for 186 yards and 3 TDs.  He also rushed for 27 yards on 25 carries, but that includes 52 yards lost on 7 sacks (so without the sacks he rushed 18 times for 79 yards).  RB Chris Smith ran for 106 yards on 18 carries, caught 4 passes for 40 yards and returned 4 kickoffs for 79 yards (giving him 225 all-purpose yards).  And WR Jeff Diuliu caught 5 passes for 85 yards including a pair of TDs.

Cerritos was led by Whiten, who had 117 yards on 28 carries, but nearly half that yardage came on 3 carries on a single drive.  Whiten was also stopped twice in OT, ending the game.  DeBerg finished 7 of 17 passing for 120 yards with 2 TDs and 2 ints.  WR Randy Raphiel caught both of DeBerg's TD passes.  DE Armando Calderon led the defensive line with 2-1/2 of the Falcons' 7 QB sacks on the night.

Saturday, December 7, 2002 – 7 p.m.
at Falcon Stadium, Norwalk, CA

The 9th Annual Cerritos Strawberry Bowl

Saddleback College (Gauchos)  35
Cerritos College  (Falcons)  27 

1st Quarter:

S – Farrel 1 yard run (Davenport kick) 12:17 -- 7-0
C – Raphiel 7 yard pass from G.DeBerg (Sonntag kick) 7:35 -- 7-7

2nd Quarter:

C – Whiten 9 yard run (Sonntag kick) 9:23 -- 7-14

3rd Quarter:

No Scoring in 3rd Quarter

4th Quarter:

S – Diulio 31 yard pass from Farrel (Davenport kick) 14:53 -- 14-14
C – Raphiel 13 yard pass from G.DeBerg (Sonntag kick) 5:17 -- 14-21
S – Diulio 13 yard pass from Farrel (Davenport kick) 11:15 -- 21-21
S – Dixon 69 yard int return (Davenport kick) 8:23 -- 28-21
C – Jordan 69 yard int return (Sonntag kick) 5:17 -- 28-28


S – O'Gorman 5 yard pass from Farrel (Davenport kick) -- 35-28

Team Statistics: Cerritos Saddleback
First Downs 16 (5 pass; 7 run; 4 pen) 24 (9 pass; 12 run; 3 pen)
Rushes – Yards 37-142 48-134
Passing Yards 138 186
Comp - Att – Int 10-22-2 14-23-1
Return Yards 273 179
Sacks – Yards 7-52 3-14
Fumbles - Lost 5-1 0-0
Penalties – Yards 9-80 5-64
Time of Possession 28:41 31:19

Individual Statistics:


C:  30-Whiten 28-117, 16-Keeling 5-27, 2-G.DeBerg 3-0, 40-Herrera 1-(-2)
S:  4-C.Smith 28-106, 11-Farrel 25-27, 3-Shorter 2-4, 33-Sullivan 2-0, 29-Cunningham 1-(-3)


C:  2-G.DeBerg 7-17-2-120, 2 TDs; 16-Keeling 3-5-0-18
S:  11-Farrel 14-23-1-186, 3 TDs


C:  11-Bajza 3-49, 7-Raphiel 3-24, 8-Harris 2-54, 15-Kirkpatrick 1-6, 40-Herrera 1-5
S:  18-Diulio 5-85, 4-C.Smith 4-40, 31-O'Gorman 3-28, 1-Crosby 1-24, 88-Lyon 1-9


C:  39-Cornejo 7-34.4  avg
S:  46-Berneking 8-36.9 avg

Kick Ret:

C:  80-Endemano 4-103, 24-Jordan 1-28
S:  4-C.Smith 4-79, 33-Sullivan 1-9

Punt Ret:

C:  10-Hicks 5-60, Hicks to Jordan 1-13
S:  17-Moon 4-22

Int-Ret Yards:

C:  24-Jordan 1-69
S:  6-R.King 1-0, 5-J.Dixon 1-69

Fumble Rec:

C:  none
S:  2-T.Bush


Cerritos 7:  55-Calderon 2½, 60-Bowen 1½, 6-Miller, 70-Ko, 45-Kailahi ½, 58-Fletes ½ 
Saddleback 3:  59-Parsons 2, 19-K.Jones

Missed FG:

S:  48-Barret 39 yards (tipped by Burks on final play of regulation time)


Both teams entered 8-2.  Cerritos was ranked #7 in South, #18 JCGW; Saddleback was ranked #8 in South, #21 JCGW.  This was the 7th time Cerritos has played in this Bowl and their first loss in it.  Each team had an INT negated by a penalty – Stewart of Cerritos and Dada of Saddleback.  Stewart's would have stopped Saddleback's first scoring drive.  Dada's int would have been returned for a TD.  Saddleback scored 1st in OT.  Their defense stopped Whiten on 3rd and 4th downs to win the game.  DeBerg started at QB for Cerritos but he and Keeling both saw plenty of action.  Diulio's 1st TD came on 1st play of 4th qtr and followed the fumble recovery. Whiten had 3 runs for 55 yards including the 9-yarder on the drive that led to his TD.

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