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Pirates focus on bouncing back

FOOTBALL: Orange Coast, coming off opening loss to Citrus, seeks win as it faces Santa Monica for first time today at home.

September 08, 2007|By Barry Faulkner

This time, it counts.

Unlike previous meetings between the two schools, all preseason scrimmages, today’s 5 p.m. nonconference football game between Orange Coast College and visiting Santa Monica, will count on each team’s record.

OCC is attempting to bounce back from a mistake-filled season-opening loss. The Pirates (0-1) lost three fumbles and threw two interceptions in their 27-10 setback at Citrus last week.

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Santa Monica opened its season with a 48-27 loss to San Diego Mesa.

“We want to play well and redeem ourselves,” Orange Coast Coach Mike Taylor said.

The Pirates outgained Citrus, 220-197, but failed to capitalize on scoring chances due to penalties and turnovers.

This week, OCC will attempt to jump-start its offense by starting freshman Sean Hakes at quarterback. Hakes, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound transfer from Akron, alternated with starter Taylor Hughes last week.

Hughes, a freshman out of Corona del Mar High, completed five of 17 passes for 69 yards last week. He is expected to play today, Taylor said.

Hakes, a late arrival who had limited practice time with the Pirates, was six for 15 passing for 53 yards, with two interceptions. He threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Cameron Hall against Citrus. He was the team’s leading rusher, collecting 70 yards on 15 attempts.

Taylor will also enlist Montana State transfer Kevin Ah-Hi in the backfield with returning starter Andrew Banks.

Banks, who rushed for 834 yards on 229 attempts as a freshman, produced 52 yards on 20 carries at Citrus.

Ah-Hi, who replaces sophomore Chris Burken in the backfield, carried six times for 17 yards in his OCC debut.

Freshman Brandon Ahlo led OCC with five receptions for 75 yards in the opener, while sophomore Nathan Barnett had three catches for 33 yards.

Defensively, the Pirates are led by sophomore linebackers Shaun Mohler and Matt Harris. Mohler, a second-team All-American as a freshman and a Corona del Mar High product, has committed to play next season at Nebraska.

OCC right guard Finau Fiaseau, a 6-2, 300-pound freshman, is sidelined by an ear infection, Taylor said. He will be replaced in the lineup by 6-2, 300-pound freshman Jacob Hayes.

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