The Ventura College football team lived up to its SCFA No. 1 ranking on Saturday with a strong 45-7 victory over Orange Coast at the VC Sportsplex. In the season opener for both teams, Ventura amassed 636 total yards offensively, including 314 in the air from quarterback Dino Maldonado and 119 on the ground from signal caller Nevin Yuen. Chuck Wick had 105 rushing yards with a pair of touchdowns and Terrell Vaughn caught eight passes for 116 yards and two scores. Defensive end Cory Owens led the defense with six tackles and a forced fumble.
In the battle of Pirates, the VC Pirates (of the North) wasted little time in establishing control of the game. They took the opening kickoff and marched 87 yards down the field in nine plays for their first score, an 11-yard pass from Maldonado to Vaughn. The big play on the drive was a 53-yard swing pass and run with nifty footwork by Chris Reaves to set up the score. Alberto Arroyo's extra point was good as VC took a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
Ventura almost came up with the big play on defense three plays later, but a forced fumble and return for a touchdown was called back by penalty. The VC defense did force a punt, however, and the offense obliged with another quick score on a 58-yard pass and run from Maldonado to Vaughn.
On VC's third possession, they were able to find paydirt once again, this time on a 4-yard scamper around right end by Wick. The Maldonado to Reaves connection set up the score with completions of 28 and 18 yards, and Wick had a run of 18 yards in the drive, also. Arroyo's kick made it 21-0 for the Pirates of the North after one quarter of play.
A Ventura fumble set up Orange Coast's lone score of the game. The Pirates of the South took advantage of the short field and two VC penalties after the turnover to score a touchdown for a 21-7 score.
Arroyo answered on the next possession with a 47-yard field goal, and a surprise on-side kick by VC set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Wick. On the ensuing drive, Yuen raced 69 yards for a score to put Ventura ahead 38-7 at halftime.
In the third period, Daniel Moraga hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Maldonado to punctuate a 17-play, 89-yard drive for the Pirates of the North to set the final margin at 45-7.
Defensively, the Pirates of the South were dominant, limiting OCC to 195 yards of total offense. Brett Moyer had six tackles on the day, including two for a loss while Isaiah Yeast and Jarell Knight each recorded five stops.
Ventura entered the game as the No. 2-ranked team in the state and will face a stern test in its next outing, a trip to perennial power Saddleback College. Kick-off at Mission Viejo High School is slated for 6:00 pm on Saturday Sept. 14.