Desert edges OCC

College of the Desert sophomore running back Jai Steib had a three-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, lifting Desert to a 28-24 East Conference victory over Orange Coast College on Saturday night at OCC.

The Pirates played Desert, ranked No. 8 in Southern California and No. 18 in the state, close throughout. OCC took a 24-21 lead with 10:31 left on a one-yard touchdown run by freshman Domenic Betts.

It was the second score of the night for Betts, who had 27 carries for 147 yards.

But the Roadrunners (6-2, 2-1) immediately went on a 12-play, 70-yard drive, culminating in Steib's second short touchdown run of the game.

Orange Coast (3-6, 1-3) started its ensuing drive at its own 40-yard line after a 30-yard return by Josh Hawkins. The Pirates got to the Desert 30-yard line but, on fourth-and-16, Desert's Deonte Florence intercepted Jeremia Rideaux's pass with 1:47 left in the game.

OCC starting quarterback Mike Frank completed 11 of 23 passes for 141 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The touchdown was a nine-yard strike to Tyler Duncan in the first quarter that put the Pirates on the board.

Derrick Romo and Dex Homer each had interceptions on defense for the Pirates.

Betts is now just 107 yards away from Ray Holley's single-season school rushing record of 1,457 yards, set in 2009.

— From staff reports

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