May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Saddleback stuns Century 20-19 with late 90-yard TD in coach’s first game

Isaias Ramirez (left) caught a 90-yard TD pass from quarterback Alberto Jorge Marquez Friday night. (Photos: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Saddleback Coach Glenn Campbell couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling finish to his first game as the Roadrunners coach.

The Roadrunners used some magic in the final minutes to rally for a 20-19 victory over Century in the season opener for both teams at Segerstrom Friday night.

Trailing by five, the Roadrunners got the ball back on their own 10-yard line with a little over a minute remaining of Friday’s game against Century. Then on third down, quarterback Alberto Jorge Marquez connected with Isaias Ramirez over the middle near the 50-yard line and Ramirez scampered to the end zone to complete a 90-yard TD play.

Century returned the ensuing kickoff to the Saddleback 40, but the Roadrunners defense held to help the team secure the victory.


Both teams showed first-game jitters in the game that lasted almost three and a half hours. Century had four turnovers, one on an interception and Saddleback had two fumbles. Saddleback was plagued by numerous penalties but in the end, made the big play when it counted.

Saddleback, which did not field a team in the abbreviated spring season, did not have a scrimmage while Century had one vs. Los Amigos.

“We were trying to get it in at least a manageable situation,” said Campbell, a former Saddleback High football star. “We had no timeouts, we were trying to continue to keep the momentum on our side and at least get a completion and then see where we are in field position. At that point, I thought we could take a shot at their corner …. so that’s what we went after.

“It’s a good first game, it was shaky for a minute but I’m proud of the boys, we fought back hard and we dealt with adversity. There were a lot of times that the old Saddleback guys would have quit, but we’re trying to change things and believe in each other and as we believe, we will achieve.”

Ramirez and Marquez were both thrilled to get the victory in front of their jubilant home fans at Segerstrom, Saddleback’s home field.

“My quarterback put the ball in the perfect place, I had the speed to get there and caught it and took it all the way,” said Ramirez, who had eight catches for 147 yards. “It’s really great, he’s (Campbell) a really great coach. I feel like I have more pride playing than two years ago because he came back to coach for the team he used to play for and it really means a lot for all of us.”

Marquez said he and a teammate said a prayer at halftime which he believed gave him confidence.

“I like to believe it was God. It means a lot, it’s just the beginning of our journey,” said Marquez, who completed 18 of 42 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns.

Saddleback took the opening lead when it tackled a Century player in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter.

The Roadrunners then moved out to an 8-0 lead on a 30-yard TD run by Cale Breslin late in the second quarter.

Saddleback extended its lead to 14-0 when Marquez connected with Rodrigo Nieves on a 73-yard TD pass in the third quarter.

Century got is offense going and scored 19 unanswered points, led by powerful running back Jose Jaramillo. Jaramillo bolted 25 yards to get the Centurions in scoring position, then scored from 1 yard out to cut the lead to 14-6 early in the third quarter.

He scored on another 1-yard later in the quarter to trim the margin to 14-13.

Century then moved ahead 19-14 on a 7-yard TD run by Daniel Barragan with 11:04 remaining. The Centurions had a chance to secure the victory late in the game when they were driving for a touchdown, but they fumbled the ball out of the end zone and Saddleback got the ball back on a touchback.

Saddleback did not score on the ensuing drive but was able to get the ball back and driving for the winning score.

Nieves also had two catches for 97 yards and Breslin rushed for 48 yards.

Century quarterback Steve Joya rushed for 67 yards and passed for 37 while Jaramillo rushed for 57 yards.

The game was delayed often by injuries to players on both teams.

Please click here for earlier story.


Saddleback plays a road game against La Quinta Thursday while Century hosts Azusa Friday night.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;