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Faulkner: Pirates, Newsom put together a gem

Colleges

October 29, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
  • Orange Coast College quarterback Jon Newsome, right, led the Pirates to a big win against Saddleback on Saturday.
Orange Coast College quarterback Jon Newsome, right,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Since posting a 7-4 season that ended in a bowl game in 2006, the Orange Coast College football program has longed for mediocrity.

With a 26-42 record (a winning percentage of 35.3), and a 9-27 mark against conference opponents (winning just 25% of the time) from 2007 on, Coach Mike Taylor's Pirates have inspired little fanfare and even fewer fans.

But for a little more than the three hours it took for OCC to hand a stunning 55-48 loss to a Saddleback team that was ranked No. 21 in the state and No. 11 in Southern California on Saturday night, the Pirates put together one of their finest four-quarter performances in recent memory.

Sophomore quarterback Jon Newsom, returning to the starting lineup after dropping to third string, played as if his place atop the depth chart was the only thing to lose. Newsom, who had lost the starting job twice before since arriving from Trabuco Hills High, completed 21 of 37 attempts for 376 yards and five touchdowns. He also contributed 85 yards and one touchdown on 21 rushing attempts to earn Southern California Football Assn. Player of the Week honors. The 376 passing yards were two shy of the school single-game record set by Keith Jarrett in 1987, but his 461 yards rushing and passing set a school record for total offense (previously 358 by Jarrett) and all-purpose yards (386 by Bart Recktenwald, rushing, passing, receiving and returns in 1987).

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The 103 combined points were the most in the 66-season history of the OCC program, edging the mark set in last year's 52-50 loss to College of the Desert.

OCC's 617 yards of offense rank No. 2 in school annals, topped only by 628 against Golden West in 2000.

The two teams combined for 934 yards passing and 1,225 of total offense, and OCC ran 90 offensive plays to help compile 37 minutes, 19 seconds in time of possession.

Freshman running back Lorenzo Williams gained 95 rushing yards on 23 carries and also threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to D.J. McFadden, who totaled 116 receiving yards on three catches.

OCC's Angel Holmes had four catches for 107 yards and Darren Hambrick averaged 26 yards on his three catches.

OCC averaged just fewer than seven plays on its seven touchdown drives, none of which began in Saddleback territory and none of which came after the Gauchos' three turnovers.

The Pirates had gains from scrimmage of 73, 59, 58, 39 (twice), 37, 35, 27, 25 and 23 (twice) yards.

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