The Orange Coast College football team dominated Saturday night, defeating Santa Monica College 44-28. The win brought the Pirates’ three-game losing streak to an end.
"It feels good to get a win," OCC defensive back Jarell Wright said. "I get to go to school on Monday like, ‘Yes! I’m here! We won!'"
The Pirates hit the ground running, scoring three touchdowns in their first three drives. All three touchdowns were carried into the end zone by OCC running back Nico Jackson. The first quarter ended with OCC leading 20-0.
OCC maintained momentum in the second quarter. Santa Monica scored its first touchdown and OCC answered right back with a touchdown caught by the fingertips of wide receiver James Rutledge, midair above the head, hands and belief of Santa Monica defensive back Tyler Cater.
The Pirates picked up the extra point with the field goal, bringing the score to 27-7. OCC ended the first half with a sack on Santa Monica quarterback Paul Davis.
"We really put the game together," Pirate head coach Kevin Emerson said. "The special teams, offense and defense all came together for a good game."
OCC gave Santa Monica no slack in the third quarter, scoring two more touchdowns.
Going into the fourth quarter, the score 41-7, the Pirates started off well with another quarterback sack, but then Santa Monica scored. OCC slipped when the punt return touched the leg of an OCC player and was then recovered by Santa Monica on the 24-yard-line. Santa Monica scored again on that drive with 11 minutes and 16 seconds to go in the game.
While OCC failed to capitalize on the following drive, Santa Monica fumbled the punt return and OCC recovered the ball on the 25-yard-line. OCC got a 39-yard field goal from the Santa Monica fumble and widened the gap to 44-14.
With six minutes to go in the game, Santa Monica ran for 32 yards on the return and, in three plays, scored again.
Santa Monica finished the game with one more touchdown, final score 44-28.
"It feels a little better to win, huh," Emerson asked the huddle, the players responding with cheers and chants. "Enjoy this. Enjoy it until Monday. On Monday, we go to work again."
OCC takes on Mt. San Antonio College in their next game Saturday at 6 p.m.