The Pirates (5-5, 3-2 in the division) scored first, capping their opening drive with a 32-yard field goal by Cody Williams and taking the early 3-0 lead.
Golden West (2-8, 0-5) tied the score with three points of their own and that got the Bucs’ offense up and running, scoring three more times before halftime.
Sophomore quarterback Chris Debowski, who ran for 76 yards and threw for 132 on the night, led the attack, scoring the game’s first touchdown.
Freshman tailback Kevin Ah-Hi followed with a touchdown run of his own, posting 64 yards on 21 carries on the night and helping the Pirates go into halftime with a 20-6 lead.
OCC had control of the game but was in no way content with playing not to lose.
After coming out of halftime and stopping the Rustler’s opening drive by recovering a fumble on the Golden West 32-yard line, the Pirates immediately looked for the big play and found it.
Debowski hooked up with freshman receiver Cameron Hall for a 32-yard touchdown on the next snap that extended the Pirates’ lead to 27-6.
The fire was definitely burning in a bitter rivalry game that saw both teams fighting for the Bell, bragging rights and pride.
It was all Orange Coast midway through the third but the Rustlers, as true rivals do, came back and made things interesting.
In a drive that took nearly three and a half minutes off the clock, a Golden West pass from Les Obie to Dan Delahoussaye put the Rustler’s in the end zone and cut the lead to 27-13.
The Rustlers went three-and-out on the next drive with the Pirates defense holding strong.
But the game became a contest again in a matter of seconds, with Golden West scoring on a 75-yard touchdown catch by Delahoussaye, cutting the deficit to 27-19.
Rustler’s kicker Seth Guardado, who would later miss a 27-yard field goal try, missed the point after touchdown and Golden West saw these four potential points come back to haunt it.