Blaise Bryant of Golden West College and Jeff Andrews of Fullerton--the nation’s top two community college running backs--face off tonight in a 7 p.m. Mission Conference Central Division game at Orange Coast College.
Bryant, a 6-foot 1-inch, 200-pound sophomore from Cypress High School, has rushed for 514 yards in his last 2 games. He has 829 yards at the halfway point of the season. Andrews, a 5-10, 185-pound freshman from Diamond Bar High School, has rushed for 721 yards. He has gained more than 100 yards in each of his 5 starts.
Fullerton (5-0 overall and 4-0 in Mission Conference play) is the top-ranked community college team in Southern California and is ranked fourth in the J.C. Grid-Wire national poll.
Golden West (3-1-1, 2-1-1) is ranked 10th in Southern California.
In other Mission Conference Central Division games:
Saddleback (4-1, 3-1) at Orange Coast (3-2, 2-2), 1:30 p.m.--Orange Coast has the best defense in the conference, allowing 205 yards a game. OCC held San Diego Mesa to a conference record low 78 yards but still lost, 16-9, last Saturday. Linebacker Joe Hester leads the team with 53 tackles and linebacker Gari Calhoun has 43. Nose guard Bruce Dubois leads the team with 3 1/2 sacks and has 40 tackles overall.
Orange Coast’s problem has been its lack of offense. Quarterback Mike Angelovic broke his ankle 3 weeks ago and is out for the season. Replacement Steve Calhoun has completed 35 of 63 passes for 480 yards with 2 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions in 3 starts.
Saddleback’s defense continues to baffle everyone. The Gauchos are last in the conference, allowing 382 yards a game. But figure this out: Saddleback has allowed a conference low 59 points.
Saddleback’s offense is led by quarterbacks Scott Stark and Lance Stewart. Stark has started 3 games and Stewart 2. Both are expected to play today. Stark also has become an outstanding punter, leading the conference with a 39.4-yard average. Scott Miller’s 38 catches are third best in the nation.
Riverside (4-1, 3-1) vs. Rancho Santiago (4-0-1, 3-0-1) at Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.--Eric Turner and Scott Wood will continue to split time at quarterback for Rancho Santiago. Turner will start the game and Wood the second half.
Rancho Santiago, picked to finish last in the division, has moved to fifth in the Southland poll but will have its toughest games in the next 5 weeks. The Dons’ pass defense is second worst in the conference, allowing 215 yards a game, but leads in interceptions with 16.
Riverside believes the way to win is on the ground. The Tigers average 207 yards a game, third best in the conference. Quarterback Randy Payne is 28 of 65 for 616 yards and 3 touchdowns.