YOU ARE HERE: Daily Pilot HomeCollectionsOcc

Pirates struggle, remain winless

Orange Coast is 0-2, off to its worst start since 2004, after latest loss at Long Beach City Saturday.

September 11, 2010|By Barry Faulkner,

LONG BEACH — There has been little cause for celebration for the Orange Coast College football team this season. But the last play of a 31-12 loss to host Long Beach Saturday at Veterans Stadium at least provided a promising salutation.

Freshman quarterback A.J. Josue, who Pirates Coach Mike Taylor said provided a spark off the bench, connected with sophomore Kali'i Kunitumo for a 36-yard catch-and-run to the Vikings' four-yard line as time expired.

The sigh of disappointment over the near-touchdown that sprang from the OCC sideline, as well as from several supporters in the stands, might indicate the Pirates and their rooters are far from ready to write off this team.


The Pirates' 0-2 start, in which they have been outscored a combined 68-18 and scored only two offensive touchdowns, is the program's worst opening since the

2004 team began 0-5.

It is also stark contrast to consecutive 4-0 beginnings OCC fashioned the previous two seasons.

But there were signs of improvement from an opening-week rout against Saddleback, even if statistically modest.

Josue, who played one series late in the second quarter then took over for starter Zach Emde the entire second half, threw for 142 yards. Nine of his 10 completions went for at least 10 yards and eight of those produced first downs.

Josue, likely smaller than his listed size of 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, virtually disappears when crouching under center. But he used his quickness to dart around in and out of the pocket, absorbing just one of the five sacks the Vikings (2-0) recorded.

"A.J. came in and ran around a little bit," Taylor said. "He's not very big and if he doesn't slide once in a while he might not make it through the season. But he brings a lot of little energy to the team and he does that in practice."

Still, Josue failed to lead the Pirates to the end zone. He completed 10 of 25 passes with one interception.

Emde was seven for 11 for 75 passing yards. He managed a nine-play, 29-yard scoring drive that pulled the Pirates within 7-6 with 14:17 left before halftime. But he thew an interception to end the half and he lost a fumble on a sneak three plays after OCC fielded the opening kickoff.

Derrick Romo (four catches for 44 yards), Kunitumo (three for 53) and Keali'i Doll (three for 39) led nine OCC pass catchers.

The running game, which registered just 15 yards in the opener, produced 71 yards, including 21 on seven attempts by Josue.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles