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Wade packs wallop for Saddleback College football team

An internet search for Zach Wade’s 2015 football highlights will uncover just more than seven minutes of hole-filling, helmet-knocking, clothes-lining, opponent-toppling, interception-snatching, fumble-recovering, core-torquing, pile-pushing, pass-deflecting, pursuit-angling, touchdown-saving havoc.

It’s the kind of performance that has four-year college recruiters plowing deep into their popcorn, and polishing their pitches. It is also the kind of contribution that has put Saddleback College (10-2) on the verge of a state and perhaps even national championship, heading into the California Community College Athletic Assn. title game at City College of San Francisco (11-1), Saturday at noon.

“This year has been the best football season of my life,” said Wade, a 6-foot, tn-dpt-sp-1212-zach-wade-saddleback-football-2-001200-pound strong safety, who leads the Mission Viejo-based school with 85 tackles.

A quarterback and safety at Newport Harbor High, Wade’s playing time as a senior was limited by an injury. But he went to Saddleback intent on playing quarterback. After gray-shirting in 2013 for the Gauchos, he elected to shift to safety, at which he collected 31 tackles for a team that finished 5-5.