East County Sports

Resilient Griffins thwart late OCC rush

Grossmont defensive backs celebrate the victory on Saturday.




By Ramon Scott



COSTA MESA – Grossmont College sophomore quarterback BRAD CAGLE passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns as Grossmont College outlasted host Orange Coast College, 37-35, in a National Division Southern League game Saturday afternoon, as the Griffins’ ERNIE GARCIA blocked a field goal attempt to end the game here at Dick Tucker Field.

The Griffins (3-4, 1-1) were built for the drive in this one, especially behind the production of Cagle and wide receiver LUQ BARCOO, who caught nine passes for 179 yards and two TDs.

The Pirates (2-5, 1-1) had the ball on the Grossmont 1-yard line with one second remaining in the game, but a 19-yard field-goal attempt was deflected by Garcia and the ball sailed wide of the left upright.

Orange Coast nearly scored a touchdown at the end of the game, but TYLER SEPULVEDA made another big-time scoring stop.

Grossmont following a touchdown by Bruno (15) on Saturday.

With time running down, the Pirates ran the ball again, but Sepulveda made the stop short of the goal.

OCC spiked the ball with one second remaining, giving Orange Coast a chance to win the game with a chip-shot field goal. After a Grossmont timeout, the deflected kicked went left of the uprights.

Grossmont led 34-22 after three quarters. The Griffins had five drives of 10 plays or more, keeping their defense just strong enough to hold off the quickly invading hosts.

Grossmont kicker NELS HALTOM, who smashed a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter, hit on a 32-yarder to make it 37-29 Griffins with 8:46 remaining in the game.

Orange Coast wide receiver James Rutledge caught 13 passes for school-record 229 yards and two touchdowns.

Loges and Rome bringing home dubs since way back ✌🏽🔥

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OCC passed for 365 yards against Grossmont.

Cagle threw a touchdown pass on a terrific reception in the end zone by DUSTIN BRUNO on a 5-yard route, tying the game at 10-apiece with 10:20 to go in the second quarter.

The Griffins trailed 16-13 at halftime as Haltom had a 23-yard FG with 1:46 before halftime, but took a 20-16 lead a little more than six minutes into the third quarter as JEROME JOHNSON scored on a 2-yard run.

Rutledge made a 63-yard touchdown on a reception as the Pirates regained the lead once again.

But Barcoo and Cagle make their own bigger play strike of 75 yards and Grossmont was back in front not much less than 20 seconds later

Barcoo caught his second TD pass of the third quarter just over six minutes later to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive, giving Grossmont a 34-22 edge.

Grossmont was outgained by OCC, 525-472, but after last week’s shellacking at the hands of top-ranked Fullerton, the Griffins weren’t necessarily in a mood to surrender.

The Griffins’ TYREE RANGE has a great contribution to the running game, carrying 12 times for 73 yards.

MYLIK STEEN contributed five receptions for 66 yards for the Griffins.

The Pirates scored on a 1-yard TD run, cutting the deficit to 37-35 with 4:42 remaining, but on a 2-point try, the quarterback was stopped short of the goal by the Griffins.

The Pirates held the Griffins inside their 6-yard line on the next series, but Grossmont punter BLAKE LESTER hit a 48-yard boot, followed by a penalty on the Pirates, taking OCC back to its own 31.

COOPER MIRICH had an interception for the Griffs, while LOGAN BAKER led Grossmont with 11 tackles and TERRENCE WARD and Sepulveda both made 10 stops.

Mirich’s pick came deep in the OCC end with 9:39 left in the third and he rushed the ball back down to the 2 where Johnson made his plunge.

Grossmont is at Saddleback (5-2, 1-1) next Saturday for an even stiffer test at 6 p.m.

The Gauchos had host Fullerton (7-0, 2-0) down 21-14 at halftime before succumbing to the undefeated Hornets.

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