Rustlers run away from Pirates to reclaim Victory Bell

Rustlers run away from Pirates to reclaim Victory Bell

COSTA MESA -- An explosive first quarter by Golden West was too much to overcome for the Orange Coast College football team as the Rustlers reclaimed the Victory Bell with a 39-18 win over the Pirates on Saturday night at Dick Tucker Field.

Six costly turnovers did the Pirates (3-5, 1-2 in Southern League) in as the Rustlers (4-4, 3-0) claimed their third straight win in league play. 

Quarterback Kody Whitaker threw for 246 yards and one touchdown (two interceptions) on 24-of-51 passing, while running back Derrick Hunt led the rushing with 88 yards on nine carries.

Joey Cox hauled in six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, while the tandem of James Rutledge and Ryan Eachus combined for 11 receptions for 139 yards.

But the OCC defense struggled to contain the GWC passing game as Rustler QB Adam Vance threw for 251 yards and five touchdowns on 22-of-26 passing, with his primary target coming from Zimari Manning, who caught seven passes for 80 yards and two TDs. On the ground, running back Desmond Bowden ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

But the majority of the damage took place in the opening quarter as the Rustlers took their opening drive 78 yards on six plays and made it 7-0 on a 41-yard TD pack from Vance to Kahari Kilgore and a made PAT by Quinton Conaway.

Coast took over on offense, but on the first play, Golden West stripped the Pirates of the ball and just four plays later, scored again on a 1-yard TD run by Bowden to make it 13-0.

OCC's Sharky Reza blocked the PAT and it was scooped up and returned for two points by OCC teammate Zerile Williams, making it, 13-2.

Following another OCC turnover, GWC needed just one play and 28 yards to score again as Vance hooked up with Manning to make it 20-2 just nine minutes into the game.

The Pirates settled in for a few possessions, but the Rustlers struck again early in the second quarter as a six-yard TD pass from Vance to Sheldon White made it 26-2 after a missed PAT.

The Pirate offense finally found its groove and an eight-play, 83-yard drive was capped off when Whitaker pitched the ball to Andrew Wilk, who rolled right, then threw left to a wide-open Whitaker in the end zone to make it 26-9.

From the "things to do don't see every game" category, midway through the fourth quarter, the Rustlers scored to make it 39-9, but another Rustlers' PAT was blocked (by Eachus) and again, Williams scooped up the loose ball and ran it all the way back for his second two-point conversion off a blocked PAT of the night.

It won't get much easier for the Pirates as they host high-scoring Fullerton College on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m