LONG BEACH — The Orange Coast College football team is enjoying a recent warming trend … the kind that has nothing to do with the thermometer.
For while rising temperatures shifted the Pirates’ kickoff time five hours later to 6 p.m. Saturday, it’s a hot streak that continued against host Long Beach that has OCC Coach Mike Taylor wiping his brow with satisfaction.
Orange Coast controlled the Vikings effectively in a 34-12 victory that marked its first two-game win streak since a 4-0 start in 2009.
The Pirates (2-1) pounded the ball on the ground and were opportunistic through the air to keep the Vikings (0-3) in their winless chill in the 95-degree evening heat at Veterans Stadium.
Sophomore tailback Robert Penny carried 30 times for 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns. His final carry, the sixth of a seven-play, 68-yard touchdown drive, put him in the end zone to cap the scoring with 1:05 left.
OCC’s final drive, which upped its total to 220 rushing yards and 405 yards of total offense, pleased Taylor, who said he was also very happy with his defense.
That defense could be charged with only three of the Vikings’ points, as the hosts scored on a 95-yard kickoff return and collected a safety when a Pirates’ punt snap sailed out of the end zone.
OCC, which came in leading the 37-school Southern California Football Assn. in tackles, produced five sacks, four more stops for negative yardage, allowed only one running play of more than nine yards and only two pass completions of more than 18.
Sophomore defensive end Vince Coleman, who had two sacks, also recovered a fumble on the Vikings’ second play from scrimmage and sophomore linebacker Austin Bennett plucked a one-handed interception in the fourth quarter.
The Pirates stopped Long Beach on fourth down four times, three of which after the hosts eschewed would-be field-goal tries of 37, 41 and 48 yards.
OCC freshman quarterback Jon Newsom completed 10 of 20 passes for 110 yards, but two of those were for touchdowns. Newsom, who was sacked five times by a Vikings’ defense that had no sacks in its first two losses, hit Cam Oliver for a nine-yard score to cash in the early fumble recovery.
After Penny’s two-yard run capped an eight-play, 60-yard procession forged exclusively on the ground, the visitors led, 13-7, with 13:38 left in the second quarter.
OCC upped the lead to 20-7 when sophomore receiver Darren Drysdale threw a double pass to Bryan Keller for a 75-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Newsom connected on a 39-yard scoring pass to Tyler Duncan midway through the third period and Penny punctuated the commanding victory with his late touchdown rumble.
“I liked our defense and I liked that last drive,” Taylor said. “I think we’re getting some confidence and having some fun. When you win, everybody has fun.”
Remaining warm and fuzzy will be a challenge for the Pirates, who play host to Palomar on Saturday, before visiting another San Diego powerhouse, Grossmont, on Sept. 29.
Orange Coast 34, Long Beach 12
SCORE BY QUARTERS
OCC 7 – 13 – 7 – 7 – 34
LBCC 7 – 2 – 3 – 0 – 12
OCC – Oliver 9 pass from Newsom (Dionne kick), 13:20.
LBCC – Williams 95 kickoff return (Boy kick), 13:06.
OCC – Penny 2 run (kick failed), 13:38.
OCC – Keller 75 pass from Drysdale (Dionne kick), 8:23.
LBCC – Safety: OCC punt snap out of end zone, 5:22.
OCC – Duncan 39 pass from Newsom (Dionne kick), 8:03.
LBCC – Boy 37 FG, 6:14.
OCC – Penny 3 run (Camargo kick), 1:05.
OCC – Penny, 30-164, 2 TDs ; Fraser 13-70.
LBCC – Ginter, 12-42.
OCC – Newsom, 10-20-1, 110, 2 TDs.
LBCC – Nielsen, 21-39-1, 263.
OCC – Keller, 2-78, 1 TD; Duncan, 3-54, 1 TD.
LBCC – Allen, 4-86; Wheeler, 8-61.