ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Golden West College, which nearly upset currently No. 2 nationally-ranked Riverside City College back on Sept. 9 when the Tigers had to come from behind with 4:38 left in the game to beat the Rustlers 20-14, finally returned to early-season form on Saturday night.
Unfortunately for Palomar, this came against the Comets. as Golden West came roaring out of a slump that had seen it lose its previous three games by an average score of 42-18.
The Rustlers' returned to early September form, as Palomar's mistake-filled performance proved to be exactly what the Rustlers needed in a 47-27 victory in a National Division Southern Conference decision at Escondido High School's Chick Embrey Field at Wilson Stadium. Golden West upped its record to 3-4, 1-1 in the Southern Conference, while Palomar falls to 4-3, 0-2 in conference.
A big difference in third-down and fourth-down conversions (9-of-15 for Golden West, only 2-of-13 for Palomar, zero-for-6 in the first half) helped lead to the Rustlers victory. So did costly penalties by the Comets, one an offsides infraction when Golden West's Saul Rodriguez missed a field goal from 45 yards but was given another opportunity that from 40 yards that went right through the uprights.
Starting quarterback Joe Pyle completed 22 of 31 passes for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns along with eight rushes for 66 yards and two more rushing touchdowns to account for five total touchdowns on the night. Wide out Xavier Smith led all Rustlers with seven catches for 124 yards while Derrick Deese wasn't too far behind with three catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Sheldon White and Den Ratzlaff each caught a touchdown pass from Pyle to lead the Rustlers to victory.
NEXT: The Rustlers will host for the first time in the battle of the bell's history Orange Coast College on Golden West's Campus for the 50th anniversary of the contest. Kickoff is schedule for 1pm on Saturday October 28th.