COD (0-1) opened up the 2017 season at home and held the #16 team in the nation, the Mission Viejo Saddleback Gauchos (1-0) to a 13-0 lead at the half, but some key miscues lead to a home loss for the Roadrunners, 41-7.
Penalties ruled the evening as both teams combined for 32 flags and 320 yards.
Freshman quarterback Tristan Swensen (Salem (UT) Salem Hills) lead the team, going 14 of 30 for 160 yards and the only score of the night for the Roadrunners, a 75 yard pass to freshman wide receiver Tyius Evans (Rockford (AL) Central of Coosa Co.) with 11:44 left in the fourth quarter.
Freshman kicker/punter Luis Castellanos (Cathedral City H.S.) was very busy as he had 9 punts, totaling 307 yards with a ling of 46 and two kick offs totaling 110, including a touchback and connecting on his only extra point attempt on the evening.
Sophomore linebacker Austin Holt (Palatka, FL) led the team with eight total tackles, including four solo and 2.5 tackles for loss, totaling a loss of five yards on the evening.
Saddleback opened up the scoring in the first quarter with a 5-play 60-yard drive that lasted 52 seconds as they scored from 11 yards out to give the Gauchos an early 7-0 lead with 7:42 left.
Saddleback would put up another touchdown in the second quarter, as Desert had the Gauchos in their crosshairs, but Roadrunners penalties bailed out the visitors from Mission Viejo. Eventually the Gauchos found the end zone with 10:29 left in the half and after missing the extra point, would take a 13-0 lead.
Just before the half, Desert found themselves to be the benefactor of a Saddleback mistake as a 41-yard touchdown pass was called back for offensive pass interference.
Unfortunately, the Gauchos would take the opening kick off to the end zone on an 80-yard return, putting the Roadrunners in a 20-0 hole early in the second half.
On the Gauchos very next drive, they went 43 yards in nine plays and connected on a 15 yard passing play to add another seven points and make the score, 27-0.
With 2:26 left in the third quarter, Saddleback struck again, as they pulled a quarterback sneak for a 45-yard touchdown run, putting the Gauchos up, 34-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, Desert finally struck pay dirt, as Swensen found Evans in the flat on the first pass from scrimmage and Evans darted and weaved 75 yards to the end zone.
Photo by Michael Bukraba
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.