Hornet Homecoming, the 1967 Hornet Football National Champs, and two of the nation's top teams playing for a potential SCFA Southern Conference title... Who can ask for anything more?
Ranked #1 in the nation, the Fullerton Hornets and the #17 Saddleback Gauchos will slug it out for the 33rd time today in what will be another close fight to the finish. The overall series record belongs to the Gauchos, who have a 17-15 edge over the Hornets. The Gauchos and Hornets first met at the 1982 Pony Bowl (played in Santa Ana) with FC winning 38-6.
Saddleback was the only team to put a blemish on Fullerton's National Championship season last year in what was a 30-27 barnburner. In fact, Saddleback has won six out of the last ten meetings.
In last week's game, Saddleback (5-1 overall, 1-0 conference) beat Golden West College 39-7. The Gauchos are averaging 421.8 yards a game on offense and averaging 43.8 points a game. Freshman quarterback Cam Humphrey leads the Gaucho offense throwing for 1,250 total yards with 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Freshman wideout Clinton Allen (38 catches /557 yards / 6 TDS) is a skilled talent that the Hornets need to keep an eye on. Freshman running back Emari Demercado is a threat on the ground (75 carries for 429 yards and 5 TDs, 5.7 avg.) and in the air as he is second in receptions (25) with 181 yards and a TD.
The Gaucho defensive, on average, is allowing teams 289 yards in the air and 134 on the ground. They are giving up 27.5 points a game.
Fullerton College (6-0 overall, 1-0 conference) is still running strong after winning big on the road at Grossmont College last week 78-9. The Hornet offense broke the school record for largest victory in a game (69 points), broke the record for most points (50), broke the record for most points in a quarter (36 points), tying for most touchdowns in a half (7), and tying the record for most touchdowns in a game (11). The offense is averaging 585.7 yards a game and averaging 58 points. FC quarterbacks Kane Wilson and Ladarius Skelton passing for a combined 1,599 yards with 15 touchdowns. Skelton is also leading the team in rushing with 62 carries for 519 yards. FC receivers Robert Johnson (24 catches / 499 yards / 6 TDs), Markus Grossman (22 catches / 330 / 3 TDs), and Justin Manyweather (14 catches / 164 yards / 2 TDs) have been busting up secondaries. The FC rushing game has been strong as the Hornets are very deep. Gerald Hulett (67 carries / 376 yards / 8 TDs), Joshua Jeffrey (18 carries / 102 yards / 1 TD), Infant Eckford (5 carries / 91 yards / 1 TD), Chase Steward (21 carries / 113 yards / 1 TD), Isaiah Webb (10 carries / 75 yards / 2 TDs) can all carry the load.
The Hornet defense secured their first shutout two weeks ago at Moorpark College, a 57-0 win. The last time Fullerton had a shutout-win was against San Diego Mesa College at the 2008 National Bowl (26-0). Even though it is only the second game in conference-play, the winner of today's game will more than likely be the 2017 Southern Conference champions.
The #1 in the nation Hornets (6-0 overall, and 1-0 conference) will host #17 Saddleback College on Saturday, October 21st in what will be a big conference match-up against two of the state's powerhouse teams. It is Fullerton College's Homecoming game and the 1967 National Champion Hornet team will be honored celebrating the 50th anniversary. Come on out and support your Hornets! Watch the game live here!
Adults- $8.00 (10 & Up)
FC Students - Free (Must have current ID W/ ASB sticker)
Visiting Team Students - $5.00 (Must have current ID W/ ASB sticker)
Children Under 10 - FREE
Senior Citizens - $6.00 (62 & Over)
Tickets are sold at the gate - no pre-sale tickets are available
THE 67' CHAMPS COME HOME
It's been 50 years since the Hornet football squad made history, becoming the first team to win the California State Championship. After upsetting the nation's #1 team, Bakersfield College, 14-13, to win the Southern California Championship, the Hornets took on the best team in the north, American River College, and beat the Beavers, 41-0.
The championship game was played at the newly-built Anaheim Stadium (The Big "A") before a crowd of nearly 11,000 people. The victory over the Beavers marked the Hornets 40th game in its undefeated streak over four seasons, a feat that has yet to be mirrored by any other junior college program.
The first quarter of the game was scoreless as the teams sized each other up, but FJC made its move in the second quarter when quarterback Al Amirault completed a pass to Gary Orcutt, who juked his defender and took it 24 yards for the score. From there, the eventual rout was on as touchdowns were scored by Bob Terrio (1-yard run), Mike White (70-yard pass from Amirault), White (3-yard run), Terrio (24-yard run), and John Ochoa (39-yard run). Ochoa was 5-6 on PAT attempts.
According to Hall of Fame writer Bob Lenard's article, the Hornet defense stopped the American River offense before it could "gain any momentum" thanks to the help of FJC defenders Bill Van Leeuwen, Larry MacDuff, Gary Swanson, Pat Callahan, John Turek, Wyman Shanks, Mike Zuniga, Tony Pena, Bob Claycamp, Mike Mahoney, Jim Vernes, Ted Nelson, and Carl Sweet. The O-line was also a big factor as Tom Demler, Terry Hudgins, Jeff Roop, Ray Ogas, Mark Woods, John de Fries, Greg Miller, and Greg Hendren held strong.
Orcutt was named the game's MVP with 10 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown in only three quarters of work. Orcutt tied the school record for most touchdowns in a season (14) with 1965 Junior Rose Bowl MVP Rich Leon.
Under Hall of Fame Coach Hal Sherbeck, the 1967 Hornets went 12-0 on the season and won the Eastern Conference title. Many accolades were given to the coaches and players for their successful season. Players MacDuff and Orcutt received JC All-American honors. All-American Honorable Mention players were Van Leeuwen and Pat Byrd. Receiving All-Conference honors were Ogas, Terrio, and Orcutt on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, MacDuff, Shanks, Sweet, Swanson, Byrd, and Van Leeuwen were named. Sherbeck was named "Coach of the Year" by the state. Freshman quarterback Jim Fassel filled in nicely for an injured Amirault during the season, throwing for 310 yards in his first start against Orange Coast.
Fullerton College Hall of Famers Dr. Philip McFarland and Athletic Trainer Bill Chambers played valuable roles in keeping the Hornets on the field in top condition.
The Hornets' unbeaten streak stretched 47 games with it all beginning in 1964. FJC lost its first two games of the 1964 season, but turned its season around with a 66-12 win at Riverside. After that, Fullerton ripped off seven more wins en route to an Eastern Conference title while fueling the fire for an incredible feat. The streak ended on the second-to-last game of the 1968 season at San Diego City, 15-14. It was the Hornets' only loss that season. In total, the streak brought the Hornets four conference championships (1964, 1965, 1966, 1967) and two national championships (1965 and 1967).