MOORPARK -- Nothing like a win to turn the frowns into smiles for the Orange Coast College football team as the Pirates found any and every way possible to outlast Moorpark College, 3-0, on Saturday night at Moorpark College.
With the offense struggling, it was up to the Pirate defense to get the job done and that's exactly what happened. Coast (1-2) held the Raiders (1-3) to just 136 yards of total offense and picked up two key interceptions from Corey Sampson and Malcolm Perry to preserve the win.
"The defense showed up and they did everything we've been telling them," OCC head coach Bubba Gonzalez said. "We've been preaching trust and doing your job and they guys did just that. We've talked about guys not being in their spots in the previous games and this game, they WERE in their spots and we picked up a couple of big interceptions. Our entire defense played well ... our D-line controlled things up front, which allowed our linebackers to fly around, make tackles and add pressure and our D-backs didn't give up any big plays. We made the other team grind for every yard they earned out there and that's what we wanted to see out there."
After a scoreless first half, the first big stop by the Pirates came following their first possession of the second half when an OCC punt attempt was blocked and Moorpark had the ball on the Coast 16-yard line. Fortunately for the Pirates, Moorark was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty, pushing the ball back to the Pirate 31-yard-line and after a 5-yard gain on their first play from scrimmage, the Raiders were flagged for another unsportsmanlike penalty and the ball moved all the way back to the OCC 41-yard-line. Two plays later, Sampson came up big with his interception to squash any momentum the Raiders might've had from the blocked punt.
J.P. Segura-Queijeiro, who led the Pirates with 72 rushing yards on 12 carries, helped guide the Pirates on a 15-play, 69-yard scoring drive that finished with a 19-yard field goal off the foot of Zach Grisotti, putting the Pirates up 3-0.
The drive not only put OCC ahead, but it ate up nearly eight minutes of clock ... a stat dominated by the Pirates all night long. "Our offensive stats may night have been impressive, but we made big plays when we needed to," Gonzalez said. "Our running game was strong for us and our quarterback (Brandon Cannella) came up with some key throws to help keep drives alive for us."
Moorpark took possession following the made field goal and got inside OCC territory midway through the fourth quarter, but a first-down pass from the OCC 38-yard-line was picked off by Perry, ending another Raider threat.
From there, the Pirates used their run game to not only grind down the Raider defense, but also grind down the clock. A key fourth-down run by Colin Gregg helped keep OCC's final drive going and even though ended with no points, a 15-play, 57-yard drive that ate up 6:36 of the fourth-quarter clock was a victory within itself.
By the time Moorpark took over on downs, there was only 18 seconds remaining and the Pirate defense managed to preserve the team's first shutout since Week 2 of the 2006 season ... a span of 140 games!
Saturday's 3-0 win was the lowest-scoring victory in the 73-year history of the OCC football program, eclipsing a 6-3 win over Santa Ana in 1972 and a 7-2 win over Pasadena Muir back in 1952.
Coast will return to action on Saturday at home against Grossmont College (in a make-up game from Sept. 11), beginning at 6 p.m.