Pirates face Cerritos tonight

Barry Faulkner

Tonight's 7 o'clock Mission Conference American Division football

matchup between visiting Orange Coast College and Cerritos appears,

at least on paper, to be evenly matched.

But the Pirates (1-7, 1-2 in the division), having lost 11 of

their last 12 games and having produced just 14 offensive touchdowns

and a conference-low 108 points this season, have proved no match for

their own offensive struggles in 2004. OCC has not scored more than

19 points in a game this fall, as well as the final five games of

2003.

Cerritos (2-6, 1-2) ranks 11th in the 12-team conference in total

defense. But Falcons' sophomore quarterback, Kevin Brown, has thrown

14 touchdown passes and amassed 1,535 aerial yards.

The Pirates and Falcons are locked in a four-way tie for third in

the division, one game behind second-place Long Beach, which OCC

beat, 17-10, Oct. 16.

An OCC win would advance its bid to finish second in the division,

behind Mt. San Antonio (7-1, 3-0). The Pirates wrap up the season

Nov. 13 against Golden West (3-5, 1-2).

The Pirates are hoping to rebound from a 10-7 loss at Palomar last

week, in which the Comets scored the winning touchdown with 28

seconds left.

"Last week was the toughest loss this year," OCC Coach Mike Taylor

said. "It was kind of a picture of our season."

The Pirates are led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Basanez (93 of

193 passing for 1,259 yards), while freshman tailback Matt Padilla

(476 rushing yards this season) keys the running game.

Basanez and Brown are both transfers from Fordham.

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