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OCC loses, shows spark

Community College Football

Betts collects 218 rushing yards and Christiansen nets 13 tackles as Pirates debut spread and double wing offensive schemes.

September 03, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

MISSION VIEJO — Sometimes going back in time can actually represent progress.

The Orange Coast College football team had junked its more traditional I-formation offense for the increasingly popular spread this fall.

But after a little more than a quarter of being out produced by host Saddleback in the season opener Saturday night, OCC reverted to a less-evolved scheme: the smashmouth double wing.

The results created optimism that carries beyond the 44-20 defeat in a game that produced 164 offensive plays, 923 yards of combined total offense and 26 combined penalties.

The contest also produced a pair of Pirates stars in freshman tailback Domenic Betts and freshman outside linebacker Colten Christiansen.

Betts' 216 rushing yards on 18 carries included an 82-yard scoring bolt and a one-yard touchdown plunge.

Betts, who also caught three passes for 29 yards, mostly fielded pitches in the double-wing scheme. In addition to his long scoring run, right up the gut of the Gauchos' defense, Betts ripped off gains of 29 and 25 yards.


The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Christiansen had 11 of his 13 tackles by halftime, as he finished with more than twice as many stops as any of his teammates and was in on one of his team's two sacks.

OCC, which struggled mightily on offense during a 2-8 season in 2010, produced 15 of its 22 first downs on the ground, as it amassed 375 rushing yards on 62 attempts.

The Pirates' passing game netted just 119 yards, most of which were produced by freshman quarterback Alex Cappellini, who was one of four quarterbacks to play and one of six Pirates to take a snap from center, not counting those in the kicking game.

Cappellini completed eight of 20 passes for 100 yards, including a 10-yard scoring strike to freshman and Estancia High product Matt Carlyle.

OCC lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown and one that led to a short touchdown drive, and had a conversion kick blocked and retuned for two points.

And the Pirates, with just one returning starter on defense in sophomore cornerback Evan Law, had trouble with a Saddleback offense that is a big reason why the Gauchos were ranked No. 5 in the state and No. 10 in the nation in preseason polls.

Sophomore quarterback Ben Gomez connected with running back James Poole for a 60-yard scoring pass on the first play from scrimmage to spar a first quarter in which the hosts built a 23-6 advantage.

Gomez finished with 303 yards and four touchdown passes, completing 19 of 34.

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