Saddleback cashes in turnovers to collect win over Western


SANTA ANA – Seven forced turnovers – six fumble recoveries and an interception –were the key to Saddleback defeating Western, 20-14, at the Santa Ana Sports Complex in a nonleague game on Friday night.

The host Roadrunners (1-2) took a 12-7 lead after Alexis Vega picked up a Jonathan De León fumble on the Western 1-yard line with 5:40 left in the first half to cap a drive that lasted approximately two minutes. The ensuing run from Bryan Dorador failed.

This was part of the 20 consecutive points Saddleback reeled off after the visiting Pioneers (1-2-1) struck first on Jordan Hawkins’ 94-yard rush just 1:56 into the game to take a 7-0 advantage.

Hawkins totaled a game-high 102 yards on six carries for Western.

After getting shut out in the opening quarter, the Roadrunners got momentum from Jacob Roa scooping up an untouched punt from the Western 49 and advanced to the Pioneer 21 to set up the Roadrunners’ first score of the night.

De León’s run from 1 yard out put Saddleback on the board 1:30 into the second to conclude a five-play series. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

De León connected with Roa on a 50-yard pass with 5:19 remaining in the contest, which ended up sealing the Roadrunners’ first victory of the season. Valentine Perea ran in the two-point conversion to increase their lead to 20-7.

De León went 11 of 19 passing with an interception for 112 yards, while Roa had seven catches for 96 yards.

Anthony Muñoz earned his only touchdown pass of the night hitting John Ojelabi on a 31-yard pass with 50 seconds to play to conclude a 10-play drive that lasted 1:37.

Muñoz completed 20 of 27 passes with an interception for a 241 yards and Ojelabi racked up six receptions for 89 yards.

Saddleback’s next game will be Friday when it hosts Century at Segerstrom High. Western has next week off and will host Anaheim at Glover Stadium on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

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