LOS ANGELES -- It was a memorable night for multiple reasons as the Orange Coast College football team picked up win No. 1 for the 2018 season and win No. 1 in the coach Bubba Gonzalez era with a 44-29 win over L.A. Southwest College on Saturday at Cougars Stadium.
"I'm so happy for the kids," Gonzalez said. "They show up every day and work hard and it was nice to see their hard work pay off. They're eager to get to work on Monday so we can build on this win."
Led by a record-setting ground game, the Pirates (1-2) racked up 582 yards of total offense. Coast racked up 464 of those yards on the ground, breaking the oldest record in the OCC history books of 446 rushing yards against L.A. Valley College, set back in 1950!
OCC's two-headed monster of running backs Ahmad Lewis and Dadrian Ellis ran roughshod on the Cougars (1-2). Lewis finished with 182 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Ellis added 156 yards and a pair of TDs on 16 carries. The last time two OCC rushers each gained more than 100 yards was back in 2010 when Robert Penny (144 yards) and Bill Chimphalee (106 yards) accomplished the feat against San Diego Mesa.
While the Pirate ground game dominated the offensive side of the ball, the Pirate defense took care of business against the LASC rushing attack, holding the Cougars to minus-3 yards on the ground. Only a strong late-quarter response through air (304 passing yards for the Cougars) gave the hosts some second-half points in a game that was already decided.
Coast notched 17 plays that gained 10 yards or more, including three that went over 50 yards. A 32-yard run by Lewis enabled Ellis to cash in on a 6-yard touchdown run five plays later to give OCC a 7-0 lead on its opening possession.
LASC responded with a 16-play, 55-yard drive that took over seven minutes, but the Cougars had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Juan Rodriguez to make it 7-3.
The Cougars again had another huge, 14-play drive that stalled and yielded zero points following a missed field goal and from there, OCC never looked back.
After a shanked punt gave OCC excellent field position, Janyal Sedberry capped off a four-play, 44-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to put OCC up, 20-3 early in the second quarter.
Lewis was off to the races once again, cashing in on a 50-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the first half to make it 27-3. After an eight-play drive stalled for the Cougars, it was Ellis' turn as he dashed 57 yards for a touchdown to put the Pirates up 34-3.
A late first-half touchdown by the Cougars made it 34-10 at the half, but the Pirates were quick to find the end zone to start the second half as quarterback Nathan West scrambled 27 yards for a touchdown to make it 41-10.
A 25-yard field goal by Max Casper late in the third quarter capped off the scoring by the Pirates before the Cougars ended the game with the final 19 points, but the game was well under control for the Pirates by then.
Not lost in the first-win hoopla for the Pirates was the first-ever win for rookie head coach Bubba Gonzalez. "It really hasn't hit me just yet, but I'm relieved to get my first win," Gonzalez said. "I'm more excited for the guys and we're all excited to get back at it this week."
Coast will return to action on Saturday at home against El Camino, beginning at 6 p.m. Live Webcast for that game can be found here.