El Camino College football Coach John Featherstone probably doesn’t give much credence to preseason polls after the Warriors lost to Golden West, 30-23, Friday night at Orange Coast College.
El Camino entered the season-opening game ranked 19th in the nation and sixth in the state. Golden West was unranked after finishing 4-6 in 1992.
"(Friday’s) game was very uncharacteristic of our kind of football game,” Featherstone said. “We take a lot of pride in our coaching staff and I thought we were well prepared. But (Golden West) exposed every weakness we had and made us pay.”
The Rustlers outgained the Warriors, 354-252, and did not commit a turnover. El Camino had four turnovers.
“It was a real disappointing loss because I really thought we would do better in our first game,” Featherstone said. “I give Golden West a lot of credit because they outplayed us in all facets of the game.”
The bad news for El Camino is that it must play host Orange Coast, ranked seventh in the state, at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Co-defensive coordinator Steve Schmitz is optimistic that El Camino can correct its flaws.
“We just made too many mental mistakes,” he said. “You’d have to attribute it to our lack of experience. The positive thing was there was a lot of enthusiasm out there and the things we did wrong are correctable.”
Golden West was able to frustrate El Camino with a ball-control offense. The Rustlers rushed for 233 yards.
“Out of 30 minutes in the first half we only had (the ball) for six,” Featherstone said. “We only had it for about 20 out of the 60 minutes in the game, which is an incredible statistic.”
But it was a second-quarter touchdown by former West Torrance receiver Ryan Bustos that put Golden West ahead to stay. Bustos raced for an 80-yard score after catching a pass from quarterback Steve Walker with 1 minute 28 seconds remaining in the half to give the Rustlers a 17-14 lead.
Golden West extended its lead to 30-14 in the fourth quarter before El Camino scored on a touchdown and a safety.
Warrior freshman running back Morell Ollis scored touchdowns on a three-yard run and a five-yard pass. Sophomore quarterback Steve Sarkisian completed 15 of 29 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown.