East County Sports

Points, penalties make long night for Griffins




EastCountySports.com staff report


MISSION VIEJO – For the second time in three weeks, the Grossmont Griffins allowed over 75 points in a single football game.

Only this time it wasn’t against the No. 1 team in the state.

Granted, the Saddleback Gauchos are no slouch, but the Griffins certainly made them feel like one of the best teams in the country after hosts racked up nearly 600 yards of offense in a 77-24 win over visiting Grossmont in a National Southern League game Saturday night.

The game took about four hours after the teams combined for 28 penalties (17 by Saddleback) in the first half.

Two weeks ago, Grossmont gave up 78 points to the Fullerton Hornets

Saddleback “rallied” in the first half actually trailing Grossmont, 7-0, after the Griffins scored a little over nine minutes into the contest.

Grossmont’s LUQMAN BARCOO scored on a third-and-goal slant pattern from the 14-yard line on a dart from quarterback BRAD CAGLE with 7:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Cagle and receiver JOHN SUMMERS hooked up on a third-down play to extend the Griffins’ opening drive, which was also aided by a pair of close pass interference calls. The second PI penalty gave the Griffs a first-and-goal at the 9.

After the score, however, Da’Quan Davis returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. The Gauchos executed a pass for a two-point conversion and an 8-7 lead.

On the next possession, Cagle was forced out of the pocket and it was swatted loose and picked up by Saddleback and returned to the Griffin 4.

Saddleback (6-2, 2-1 NSL) scored on a touchdown run to basically turn a 7-point deficit into a 9-point lead in about 20 seconds, following a rush for another two-point conversion.

Grossmont (3-5, 1-2 NSL) had to punt on its next two drives.

Saddleback was sacked on the first play of a late first-quarter drive as DACHELLE JOHNSON had a sack. The Griffins’ defender had two sacks in the game.

The Gauchos led 16-7 at the end of one quarter.

The Gauchos scored quickly in the second quarter on a smooth catch by Clinton Allen from Cam Humphrey, as Saddleback led 23-7.

Saddleback recorded an interception on the Griffins’ next drive to take over at the Grossmont 31.

The Gauchos capitalized quickly and scored another touchdown to extend the lead to 30-7 early in the second quarter on an 11-yard run.

Emari Demercado scored his third touchdown of the first half with under 10 minutes to go before halftime that led the Saddleback staff to start thinking about getting out their record books.

Demercado scored his fourth touchdown with a run over the right side on a short-yardage situation. The score came with 5:13 left before halftime and it gave the Gauchos a 42-7 lead.

Grossmont freshman JEROME JOHNSON, out of Valhalla High, scored a touchdown with around two minutes left before halftime, that brought Grossmont to within 42-14.

Saddleback’s COLTON LARCEVAL, the former Steele Canyon star, came into the game in the second half and had an interception. The Gauchos interception Grossmont five times.

Grossmont’s NELS HALTOM nailed a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 42-17.

Demercado scored his fifth touchdown of the game in the third quarter to make it 48-17 with 10:10 left in the third quarter. That tied the school record.

Grossmont’s MYLIK STEEN grabbed a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cagle in the third quarter with 6:22 left, which brought the Griffs to within 48-24.

Steen led Grossmont with six receptions, while Barcoo added four. DUSTIN BRUNO had three receptions for 38 yards.

Humphrey and Allen hooked up again as Saddleback went put up the fifty-burger with still just under five minutes to go in the quarter, as it was 56-24 with 4:16 left.

The Griffins hosts Golden West (4-4, 2-1 NSL)  in its final home game of the season next Saturday at Grossmont College.


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