It was a quarterback effort between sophomore Josh Calvin and freshman Brandon Nunez, who shared captain duties, that carried the no. 5 Hornets towards their fourth Southern California Conference Association victory against the Bobcats at Saddleback College on Saturday, Nov. 5.
On paper, the Bobcats (2-7, 1-3) should have been an easy win for the Hornets, but nine Fullerton penalties, the inability to convert third downs, and defensive problems in the fourth quarter made it a competitive game.
Nunez’s first drive in the third quarter was a meticulous effort to get to the end zone. He was precise with his passes to wide receivers Will Gipson for a gain of eight yards and Aidan Koenig to get closer to the end zone. Nunez rushed 13 yards for a touchdown to take the lead to 27-9.
Nunez ended the game with seven completed passes for a total of 78 passing yards. He rushed seven times for a total of 31 yards and two touchdowns.
Saddleback’s struggles in the third quarter became an opportunity for freshman defensive back Khadari Kurns to score a touchdown after blocking a field goal attempt. He ran 60-yards in the opposite direction to score the Hornet’s last touchdown of the game and take the score to 34-9.
The Hornets struggled offensively in the fourth quarter, not being able to convert to first downs or make any plays of significance.
The Bobcats scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, making the game a nail-biter. The Hornet’s defensive strategies helped them burn the time clock while preserving the win with a final score of 34-32.
“It was a hard-fought win,” said Nunez. “We tried to control the clock, but overall, it was a great team win. We had some mistakes, but that is just for us to clean up and fix for next week.”
In Fullerton’s first drive of the game, Calvin took the ball 70-yards to get within field-goal range, allowing freshman punter, Jonathan Fobear to hit a 29-yard field-goal, tying the game 3-3.
Once again, Calvin put the ball within field-goal range, allowing Fobear to hit a 37-yard kick, extending the Hornets lead to 13-3. Calvin ended the game with five completed passes for a total of 49 passing yards. He rushed six times for a total of 48 yards.
The Hornets finished the conference game with 127 passing yards, 166 rushing yards, and a ball possession time 28:29.
“We got to get better and heal up. Just come out and be ready to play,” said head coach Garrett Campbell when asked about the upcoming championship game. “Our next game will be an emotional game. It’s going to be like a heavyweight boxing match, so we got to be ready to go offensively or defensively”
The Hornets (8-1, 4-0) will return to their home field at Fullerton District Stadium to host Golden West College (8-1, 4-0) on Saturday, Nov. 12, for the 2022 Homecoming game. Many former football Hornets are expected to attend as part of the Homecoming celebration to honor former coach Hal Sherbeck and his mighty national championship teams of 1965, 1967, and 1983.