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.