Defense shines for OCC

Pirates manage minus-nine yards rushing in preseason scrimmage against own unit Saturday.

August 22, 2010|Barry Faulkner,
  • Defensive end Bryce Brantley (right) is one of the key returners for OCC on defense.
Defensive end Bryce Brantley (right) is one of the key… (Don Leach, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — The Orange Coast College defense appeared to pick up where it left off last season in the Pirates' intrasquad football scrimmage Saturday at OCC. But despite the offense's struggles on the ground against a unit that ranked No. 3 in the state in 2009 against the run, Pirates coaches said they clearly saw areas in which the offense gained ground, compared to last season's preseason scrimmage.

"We were light years ahead of last year," Offensive Coordinator Junior Tagaloa told his players after the 51-play controlled rehearsal, which included moving the chains and a full officiating crew.

Those gains were difficult to see on the ground, as six sacks helped limit the Pirates to minus-nine yards rushing on 30 attempts.

The defense, under first-year coordinator John Young — who steps in to replace Scott Orloff, who is now head coach at Trabuco Hills High — also scored the game's first touchdown and made several plays that had the players, and some spectators, howling.


But three quarterbacks helped the Pirates' passing attack produce 210 yards and one of the team's two offensive touchdowns.

Zach Emde, a redshirt freshman out of Murrieta Valley High, completed four of seven passes for 83 yards playing with the first unit. He was intercepted once, when sophomore defensive end Nick O'Neil hauled in a deflected pass in the pocket and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown on the seventh play of the day.

A.J. Josue, out of Trabuco Hills, the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, connected on six of 11 passes for 55 yards.

And third-stringer James Ohri, a freshman out of Mayfair High in Lakewood, completed two of three attempts, including a 73-yard scoring bomb to former Monsoons teammate Brandon Estrada.

The performance of the quarterbacks was a point of interest going in for OCC Coach Mike Taylor, who learned just before preseason drills began that Matt Viles, an All-CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division performer last season at Edison who had spent the summer in the program, had elected not to play this season.

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