In a game dominated by the offense, Golden West's two key defensive plays were the difference as the Rustlers beat Fullerton, 41-37, in a Mission Conference Central Division game Saturday at Orange Coast.
Golden West (4-4, 2-2) took the lead for good when Charles Chatman scored on a 20-yard run with 3 minutes 42 seconds left in the game. It was the seventh lead change.
But Fullerton started right for the Golden West end zone on its next possession.
The Hornets (2-4-1, 2-1) reached the Golden West 16 but inside linebacker Vince Zavala intercepted quarterback Eric Hannah's second-down pass over the middle. Zavala returned it 18 yards to the Golden West 30. The Rustlers then ran out the final 1:01.
"That was a hell of a game," Golden West Coach Dennis Dixon said. "Our guys on offense just kept coming back."
Fullerton had 603 yards in total offense but was one of nine on third-down conversion attempts.
That resulted in three Chris Diaz field goals of 27 yards or less.
Golden West had 425 yards in total offense and Chatman scored three touchdowns and rushed for 81 yards. Mike Jacot had a career-high 167 yards.
Fullerton led, 17-14, at the half and the score was tied, 27-27, after three quarters.
Diaz broke the tie with a 19-yard field goal with 11:42 left.
Golden West took the lead, 34-30, when Eriq Withers went four yards up the middle for a touchdown with 8:38 left.
The Rustlers got the ball on the four when Chris Flowers recovered a fumbled punt at the Fullerton four.
Fullerton took the lead again, 37-34, when Hannah threw two yards to Morris Luevano with six minutes left.
In other Mission Conference games:
Orange Coast 41, Southwestern 23--Orange Coast rushed for 391 yards, the most in 45 years, in its victory over Southwestern in a Central Division game. William League rushed for 136 yards in 23 carries and scored one touchdown for the Pirates (3-4, 2-1).
The rushing total is the second most in school history. Orange Coast rushed for 446 yards against L.A. Valley in 1950.
Orange Coast took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but Southwestern (2-5, 0-4) bounced back and cut the lead to 17-16.
However, League opened the third quarter with a 13-yard touchdown run and Orange Coast went on to outscore the Apaches, 24-7, in the second half.
Rancho Santiago 31, Pasadena 13--Down, 13-7, Rancho Santiago (5-2) rallied for 24 fourth-quarter points behind quarterback Mark Fausto. Fausto had three touchdown passes in the quarter and four in the game.
Chad Flick caught three of Fausto's four touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter, as both players tied a school record.
Fausto, who finished 14 of 18 for 166 yards, has the single-game record with his four touchdown passes.
Flick's three receptions not only tied the single-game record, it also gave Flick nine on the season, tying a single-season record. Flick finished with six receptions for 97 yards.
Flick's second and third touchdown receptions, of 40 and 12 yards, came within the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. After Casey Wilson added a 32-yard field goal, Fausto found Kris Fisher with a nine-yard touchdown pass and a 31-13 victory over Pasadena (3-4).
Saddleback 30, Riverside 17--Quarterback Justin Vedder completed 23 of 29 passes for 335 yards and three touchdowns for host Saddleback.
Vedder found Jackie Conners on seven passes for 193 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Gaucho kicker Matt Davenport had field goals of 36, 42 and 21 yards.