Ventura College Athletics

VC Football Set to Take State's Biggest Stage

The Pirate football team takes the field against Laney College at 1:00 pm Saturday in the CCCAA State Championship game in Sacramento.
The Pirate football team takes the field against Laney College at 1:00 pm Saturday in the CCCAA State Championship game in Sacramento.

It doesn't get any bigger than this. In the 90-plus years of Ventura College football, the Pirates have never played for a state title, until Saturday. The 2018 California Community College Athletic Association football season will reach its conclusion when the Southern California champion Ventura Pirates (11-1) will take on Northern California champion Laney College (10-2) at 1:00 pm at Sacramento's historic Hughes Stadium. Fans can watch the game live on Eleven Sports USA and online at

Ventura comes into the game after defeating the state's only two remaining undefeated teams in the playoffs. VC, the No. 4-seed in Southern california, won at No. 1 Canyons 24-13 to avenge their only loss of the season, before winning at No. 2 Riverside City 31-21.  Laney, a No. 2 seed despite finishing second in the Bay 6 League, defeated top-seeded San Mateo 14-0, also avenging an earlier season loss, before defeating No. 4 Fresno City 24-7.

Ventura averages 31.3 points and 416.5 yards per game on offense while holding opponents to 22.0 points per game. 

The Pirates find their strength up front on offense behind six All-Northern League selections. Center Dane Nelson, guards Maisen Knight and Tyler Orsini, and tackles Blake Walker and Scott Breslin, along with tight end Travis Koontz lead the Pirate attack.

Quarterback Brock Domann won a nearly season-long competition behind center with Jay Vanderjagt, and has passed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns with just six interceptions and a 118.7 efficiency rating. The freshman is also Ventura's No. 2 rusher with 640 yards on 79 carries (7.1 average) and seven more scores.

Meanwhile running back Thomas Duckett has rushed for 1,019 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and scored nine touchdowns. He also has 20 pass receptions for 252 yards and leads the Pirates in scoring with 11 total trips to the end zone. 

VC has a pair of all-conference receivers as well, wide receiver Brandon Jordan and tight end Travis Koontz. Jordan has caught 35 passes for 529 yards (15.1 average) and five scores while Koontz has 15 receptions for 197 yards (24.6 avg.) and three touchdowns.

Defensively, cornerback Jaylen Watson had four interceptions and was a unanimous all-league selection, along with outside linebacker Trennan Carlson. Linebacker Dondre Baker and safety Trevon Lambert also figure significantly into the Pirate defense, a unit that has held playoff opponents to more than 20 points below their season averages.

Laney averages 36.8 points and 431.4 yards per game on offense and they hold opponents to 17.7 points defensively.

Laney's passing attack is led by quarterback Jordon Brookshire and all-league wide receiver Jared Smart. Brookshire has thrown for 2,054 yards and 19 touchdowns with a passer efficiency rating of 146.7. He has accounted for 31 touchdowns, the most in the Bay 6 Conference. His 12 rushing touchdowns was also the most by anyone in the league. Smart caught 52 passes for 615 yards and seven scores. Angelo Garrett leads the Eagles in receiving yards with 658 on 40 catches (16.4 average), including seven for touchdowns.

The Eagles' top running back is John McDonald, who led the Bay 6 with a 99.6 yards per game average. He has 1,096 yards on 180 carries, with 10 runs to paydirt. 

Laney has a pair of all-league offensive linemen, Jadan Starks and Manny Pride.

All-league Laney defensive players are lineman Whittley Jordan, defensive backs Nashon Wright and Imani Moore, plus linebacker Armani Turner-Jenkins.

The Championship will be broadcast to a nationwide television audience by Eleven Sports and will be streamed online at Eleven Sports Network USA will begin the live broadcast at 1:00 p.m. Eleven Sports USA, is available on national cable systems such as DIRECTV (channel 623), AT&T U-verse (channel 1665), and Verizon Fios (channel 597). It can be found on various other cable and OTT providers such as Google Fiber 251, RCN 571, Atlantic Broadband 501, and Hawaiian Telcom 1091-- and is available in 55 million homes.

See CCCAA Championship Game Preview

See Game Preview from the Ventura County Star