East County Sports

Griffins saddle up with rival Gauchos

Grossmont's Lane Self (27) in coverage against Orange Coast last Saturday.



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Grossmont College Griffins, coming off a well-earned 37-35 victory at Orange Coast College last week, will travel to meet state 11th-ranked Saddleback College on Saturday for a National Conference Southern League game starting at 6 p.m.

The Griffs are 1-1 in league play and 3-4 overall, while the Gauchos come in also with a 1-1 mark, but a 5-2 overall record.

Grossmont kicker NELS HALTOM was named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Honorable Mention Athlete of the Week after the 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore kicker from Bountiful High School in Bountiful, Utah, kicked field goals of 52, 23 and 32 yards in last week’s win.

Former El Capitan star BRAD CAGLE turned in one of the state’s top passing performances of the week with his 363-yard effort. He fired three touchdown passes, as well.

He targeted wide out LUQ BARCOO for nine catches, totaling 179 yards with two of the scores. Barcoo had the fourth-best receiving performance in the state over the weekend.

Sophomore running back TYREE RANGE, a sophomore out of Rancho Bernardo High, made his Grossmont debut, finishing with 73 yards on 12 attempts.

The Griffins had another outstanding special teams play from sophomore punter BLAKE LESTER, from Helix High, who took the snap with his feet in the end zone, faced a fierce rush and calmly kicked a 48-yard, perfectly placed punt that went out of bounds on the visitor sidelines and ensuring no return.

It was Grossmont’s only punt in the game.

The Gauchos are actually coming off a loss last week, as they played state top-ranked Fullerton College.

The Hornets got the best of Saddleback 56-35, but the Gauchos led 21-14 at halftime.

Saddleback dropped three spots in the week’s poll, but it would hardly seem warranted.

Saddleback wide receiver CLINTON ALLEN caught five passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

Saddleback linebacker Brad Toepfer earned National Southern Division defensive player-of-the-week honors with nine tackles.

Last season, the Griffins lost 57-55 at home to the perennial power Gauchos despite Cagle’s 573 yards on 53 attempts and five touchdown passes in that one.

Saddleback leads the all-time series 19-6-1.



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