The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Loss of a perfect season

The perfect record ended after an overtime interception in the end zone giving Pasadena City the drive to score and end the homecoming football game Saturday.

The Warriors will try to rebound this week in their final home game when they host the Saddleback Gauchos at 6 p.m. in Murdock Stadium.

The Gauchos, who won their previous game at home against Fullerton 31-21, combined with the EC, loss moved them into first place and improved their record in the division to 3-0, and 7-1 overall.

In their last three games, the Gauchos have demonstrated that they possess a high scoring offense, as they have averaged 34 points a game and have allowed an average of 22 points on defense.

“Offensively, Saddleback and Santa Ana are going to be our toughest challenge yet,” coach John Featherstone said. “They’re very talented and we’re going to have to play solid defense if we want to win.”

With the loss, the Warriors, 2-1 in the division, and 7-1 overall, not only slipped out of first place and must now win their last two games if they want to continue their playoff run.

“There’s never anything good about a loss,” Featherstone said. “This shows that the Mission Conference is the toughest junior college football conference in the country.”

With two conference games left, EC must win both, especially since one of those games is against Saddleback who has one more conference win than EC does.

Against Pasadena, the Warriors took an early 14-0 lead during the first quarter, but struggled on defense, allowing Pasadena to score 31 unanswered points.

EC’s quarterback Don Poole led another late fourth quarter rally, as the Warriors scored 17 points with under 12 minutes to play. It was Poole’s 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Sanford with 15 seconds left that sent the game into overtime.

Poole completed 18 of his 44 passes, and despite being sacked once and throwing two interceptions, managed to throw three touchdown passes, two of them during the fourth quarter.

For the second consecutive game, the opposition controlled the running aspect of the game, as Pasadena ran for 177 yards compared to EC’s 70 yards, which is their season low.

The Warriors’ rally fell short in overtime, as Poole’s pass, intended for wide receiver LaFerrell Payne, was intercepted in the end zone by one of Pasadena’s defensive backs.

Once again, Payne led all receivers with 120 yards in five catches with one touchdown reception. Not far behind him was Mike Sanford, who had eight catches for 115 yards with one touchdown.

“We had a great comeback in the fourth quarter,” Featherstone said. “What really hurt us defensively was that we weren’t tackling as well as we had been.”

EC’s defensive end Delvondre Gardner led the defense with nine tackles, three on his own, with five quarterback hurries and a sack.

Defensive backs Reggie Doucet and Clavens Charles helped take the game into overtime as they each picked off Pasadena’s quarterback Shane Jackson.

“We had two interceptions and only got field goals,” Matt Dragich.

Turnovers have been a focal point of the Warriors’ games after coming out of the bye week and which were reflected in the results of Saturday’s game.

“It was our fault for not scoring on the two turnovers in the first quarter.” Dragich said.

In the last three previous games, EC has turned the ball over 10 times while only causing eight turnovers of their own.

In same three games, the Warriors are negative two in the turnover ratio.

That is a ratio that was plus nine in their first five games.

Against Pasadena, EC caused two turnovers, but managed to give over the ball three times on a fumble and on two interceptions that would determine the course of the game.

Turnovers have made the Warriors’ games more difficult and challenging than they really ought to be, causing them to struggle during games that they seem to have under control.

“We’ve been making careless mistakes,” Featherstone said. “But overall, we’ve made up for it in sacks; plus, we lead the league with 18 interceptions which is a great stat to have.”

“Maybe it was better that we lost now so it would give us a taste of what it’s like,” Dragich said. “That way we don’t do it again later in the season”

“Coach told us to come out and kick some butt,” Dragich said. “It’s win or go home.”

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