When Fullerton College played El Camino College last season, the Warriors were undefeated and the top-ranked team in Southern California.
El Camino took advantage of eight Fullerton turnovers that day to defeat the Hornets, 27-26, and went on to an 11-0 season that included a victory over Taft in the PONY Bowl. The Warriors were eventually named 1987 national champions by the J.C. Grid-Wire.
El Camino is again undefeated and the top-ranked team in Southern California entering tonight’s Mission Conference game against Fullerton at El Camino College at 7.
But Fullerton also brings some impressive numbers into the meeting.
Both teams are 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference, with Fullerton holding the No. 3 spot in the Southern California poll.
The Hornets lead the Mission Conference in total defense, allowing 161 yards a game, and pass defense, allowing only 54 yards a game. Last week, Fullerton scored an impressive 33-0 victory over Cerritos while El Camino had to struggle to defeat Orange Coast, 10-9.
“I really don’t know where we are at this point,” Fullerton Coach Hal Sherbeck said. “We played very well last week and we don’t have anybody hurt going into this game, which is always a plus.”
El Camino ranks fourth in the conference in total defense, allowing 239 yards a game, and is the top team against the run, allowing 50 yards a game. But the El Camino defense faces Fullerton’s Jeff Andrews, who has rushed for 275 yards in two games.
“El Camino has things going again,” Sherbeck said. “They are coming off a national championship and are still winning. It should be interesting to see what happens.”
In other Mission Conference games:
Rancho Santiago (2-0, 1-0) at Long Beach (1-1, 1-0), 7 p.m.--The Dons have two capable quarterbacks in Eric Turner, who has started two games, and Scott Wood, who will start tonight. Turner was ejected in the first quarter last Saturday and was replaced by Wood, who completed his first nine passes. Wood finished with 247 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Rancho Santiago to a 46-26 victory over San Diego City.
“Scott (Wood) deserves to start this week,” Rancho Santiago Coach Dave Ogas said. “It’s not a demotion for anyone. Scott just played too well for him not to start.”
Saddleback (2-0, 1-0) vs. Palomar (1-1, 1-0) at San Marcos High School, 1:30 p.m.--The Saddleback coaches were trying to figure out a way to let all three quarterbacks--Phil Marks, Scott Stark and Lance Stewart--play this season. So Marks moved to a slot back with Stark and Stewart sharing time at quarterback.
Stark replaced Stewart last Saturday and was impressive, completing 19 of 32 passes for 249 yards and is expected to start today.
Orange Coast (1-1, 0-1) at Mt. San Antonio (2-0, 1-0) , 1:30 p.m.--The last couple of seasons, OCC has had plenty of offense and not much defense. But now, it’s the other way around. OCC is second in the conference in total defense, and 12th in offense.
Quarterback Mike Angelovic was intercepted 4 times in the 10-9 loss to El Camino last Saturday and could be replaced by backup Steve Calhoun if he continues to struggle.
Golden West (1-1, 0-1) at Southwestern (1-1, 0-1) , 7 p.m.--Golden West will be looking to regroup from last Friday’s 56-16 loss to Pasadena.
Golden West has lost three starting offensive linemen, including guard Kevin Fairman who has a severely sprained ankle.
“We were embarrassed by our play last week,” Golden West Coach Ray Shackleford said. “We just gave Pasadena too much too quick and too easy.”
It will be the first time the colleges have played.