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Pirates come up shy

Community College Football

Officials' mistake costs OCC a late first-half field goal and Grossmont dominates from there.

September 24, 2011|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — The Orange Coast College football team could justifiably blame the officials for coming up just short on its final possession of the first half of Saturday's nonconference game against visiting Grossmont.

But when it comes to blame for a scoreless second half that turned a three-point lead into a 38-17 loss, the reasons get far less convenient.

The Pirates (1-3) could point to a suddenly listless offense that earned just 136 yards after intermission.

They might also cite a porous run defense that made it appear that the Griffins, not the Pirates, were the top rushing team in Southern California.

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Grossmont (1-3), which came in ranked No. 36 in the state in rushing offense, 34 spots behind the Pirates, assumed the smashmouth identity the hosts seemed to leave in the halftime locker room. The visitors rolled up 229 of their 312 rushing yards in the final two quarters and scored on their final four possessions.

OCC, which averaged 326 yards on the ground in its first three games, collected only 78 yards on 20 second-half rushing attempts to finish with 270 rushing yards.

The Pirates found no answers through the air, either, passing for just 112 yards, with three quarterbacks completing 12 of 25 with one interception. First-time starter Mike Frank was nine for 17 with the aforementioned interception. He produced 78 passing yards.

OCC freshman tailback Domenic Betts held his form, collecting 173 yards on 23 carries, including a 44-yard scoring burst that tied things, 14-14, on the first play of the second quarter.

Freshman Josh Hawkins earned 54 of his 77 rushing yards on the first of his five fly sweeps, and freshman receiver Tyler Duncan netted 53 yards on three catches. But there was little progress made by 12 other Pirates who took either a handoff or caught a pass as OCC produced a season-low point total.

OCC moved the ball inside the Grossmont 40-yard line on only one of five second-half possessions, and did not take a snap in the red zone. Its deepest penetration was the Griffins' 27.

The Pirates used touchdown drives of four and six plays, respectively, to match the Griffins for just more than one quarter.

And when OCC freshman Jackson Dionne nailed a 48-yard field goal with 2:43 left in the second period, the hosts had their first lead.

OCC's final scoring possession benefited from a line-drive punt striking the back judge and bouncing back toward midfield, instead of its path inside the OCC 20.

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