Rancho Santiago, Saddleback Vie for Title and Bowl Berth


The Central Division title and an automatic bowl bid are on the line when Rancho Santiago travels to Saddleback for a Mission Conference football game at 7 tonight.

Saddleback (6-3, 4-1 in the division) has a four-game winning streak and is coming off a 41-10 victory over Orange Coast.

Rancho Santiago (6-3, 4-1), the defending division champion, had its five-game winning streak stopped last Saturday when the Dons lost to Fullerton, 24-17, after leading, 17-10, at halftime.

The winner of the game will be extended an invitation to play in the Simple Green Orange County Bowl Dec. 2 at Orange Coast College.


Rancho Santiago, slowed by injuries to several starters in recent weeks, is expected to be near full strength. Running back Jermaine Gray, defensive lineman Perry Dionisiou and defensive back James Stewart are all probable after missing the Fullerton game.

In other 7 p.m. games:

Orange Coast (4-5, 3-2) at Riverside (1-8, 1-4)--Orange Coast’s William League has 909 yards but suffered a leg injury against Saddleback last Saturday. League hasn’t practiced all week but is expected to try to play.

Southwestern (2-7, 0-5) vs. Fullerton (3-5-1, 3-2), CS Fullerton--Fullerton’s Eric Hannah is what Gene Murphy called the best-kept secret in Orange County. Hannah has thrown for 1,908 yards and also has 14 touchdown passes.