After crawling back to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, Golden West surrendered 13 straight points and fell to Grossmont 40-28 Saturday night.
Golden West set the tone early recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff at the Grossmont 23-yard line. Two plays later, Adam Vance hit Zimari Manning for a 23-yard touchdown. Vance had his highs and lows tonight. His high included 3 touchdown passes, 2 to Manning, for 347 yards.
After that play the tide quickly turned in Grossmont's favor. The Griffins scored 4 consecutive touchdowns before the Rustlers could score again, thanks mostly to quarterback Brad Cagle. Cagle put on a passing clinic tossing 4 touchdowns for 229 yards. He also ran one in for 10 yards.
Once the second quarter came around, the tide turned once again and this time it was in the Rustlers' favor. Starting late in the second quarter, Golden West scored three consecutive touchdowns, in which Vance contributed to two. Sheldon White was a big help on those drives and throughout the night catching 8 passes for 135 yards.
But just as the Rustlers were gaining momentum, it came to a screeching halt in what was Vance's low of the night, interceptions. Vance, uncharacteristically, threw 4 interceptions tonight, 3 in the fourth quarter. Defensive back Jordan Ellis picked off Vance 3 times and gained 93 yards, including a 45-yard return for a score.
Bowl berth scenarios
With tonight's loss, Golden West's bowl hopes are in jeopardy since Fullerton and Saddleback won its games.
With a current three-way tie for first place, the Rustlers need to beat Fullerton next week to win the league and guarantee a bowl berth. Even if Saddleback wins, Golden West wins the tie-breaker thanks to the victory on Oct. 15.
If Golden West and Saddleback lose, the Rustlers will break the tie for second place, but a bowl berth at 4-6 will be a tough sell.
If Saddleback wins and Golden West loses, the Rustlers will be in third place at 3-2 in league and a bowl berth will be almost impossible.