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Community College Football : Saddleback Hoping to Win . . . and Play Well

Times Staff Writer

Saddleback College won its first three football games this season, but Coach Ken Swearingen kept saying he wasn’t very impressed.

“Playing poorly and winning is my second favorite way to win,” Swearingen said.

Saddleback finally played poorly enough to lose last Saturday. Mt. San Antonio beat the Gauchos, 24-19.

“We’ve played awful all season and it finally caught up with us,” Swearingen said. “We sure helped Mt. SAC a lot. It was combination of things done poorly. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”

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Saddleback (3-1 overall and 2-1 in Mission Conference play) hopes to rebound at 7 tonight in a conference game against Pasadena (3-1, 3-0).

The Saddleback defense has allowed 391 yards a game--most in the conference--and that’s just a part of the reason for team’s struggles. The Gauchos have been pushed around the field, but opponents have had a hard time scoring.

Saddleback has allowed only 7 touchdowns and a total of 52 points, which ties it with Orange Coast for fewest points allowed in the conference.

“That’s really the bottom line,” Swearingen said. “If you can keep the team out of the end zone then you always have a chance. We just need to get better on both sides of the ball.”

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In other Mission Conference games:

Rancho Santiago (3-0-1, 2-0-1) at Cerritos (1-4, 0-3), 7 p.m.--Rancho Santiago was picked last in the conference but has been impressive in three victories. Cerritos started the season ranked second in the nation in the J.C. Grid-Wire poll and has done almost nothing to back the ranking. Rancho Santiago’s Eric Turner will start at quarterback over Scott Wood, who has started the past two games for Rancho Santiago. The Dons leads the conference in total offense with 402 yards a game.

Grossmont (0-4, 0-3) at Fullerton (4-0, 3-0), 7 p.m.--Fullerton’s defense is tops in the conference, allowing just 201 yards a game. Hornet running back Jeff Andrews is averaging 142 yards a game. Grossmont has been outscored, 111-40, while Fullerton has outscored opponents, 135-49.

Orange Coast (3-1, 2-1) at San Diego Mesa (1-3, 1-2), 7 p.m.--OCC has lost three starters on its offensive line but has continued to move the ball on the ground with running back Brian George. George tied an OCC single-game record with 4 rushing touchdowns against San Diego City last Saturday. George is also averaging 39 yards a punt, second best in the conference.

Golden West (2-1-1, 1-1-1) vs. Palomar (1-3, 0-3) at San Marcos High School, 1:30 p.m.--Golden West’s Blaise Bryant took over the conference lead in rushing with 277 yards in the 31-31 tie with El Camino. Bryant has 592 yards in 119 carries to lead the state. Palomar has the top passing offense in the conference behind quarterback Duffy Daugherty. Daugherty is 86 of 157 for 1,045 yards and 5 touchdowns, but has thrown 11 interceptions.


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