FOOTBALL: Quarterback Brad Odeman passed for 353 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 53 yards and four more scores leading the Pirates to a 37-27 victory at Pasadena City College Saturday night. The Pirate defense held the Lancers' offense scoreless in the second half, as VC turned a 21-21 halftime tie into a 35-21 advantage in the closing minutes. Defensive end Ben Dixon had three quarterback sacks and linebacker Matt Singleton had 12 stops, including three for a loss. With the win, the Pirates end the regular season at 6-4, 4-2 in the Northern Conference, and become bowl eligible for the third straight year, a first in Ventura College football history.
After Pasadena began the game with a strong 63-yard drive for a touchdown it was clear the Lancers were looking for the upset in their home finale. Ventura responded to the challenge on their first possession, driving 66 yards in six plays, culminating in a 6-yard Odeman touchdown run. Alex Nelson's kick gave the Pirates a 7-6 advantage with 8:36 remaining in the opening quarter.
PCC came right back, marching down the field once again 80 yards in seven plays for another score, taking a 13-7 lead. Not to be outdone, VC answered in kind with a 9-[play 56-yard drive capped off by another Odeman touchdown run, this time from five yards out. The score stooda at 14-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pirate defense held fast on the next Lancer possession, and after a PCC punt, Odeman connected with Montre Lee for a 52-yard scoring strike on the second play of the second period. With Nelson's kick, VC led 21-13. Then midway through the stanza, Pasadena scored to complete a 7-play 59-yard drive. With a successful 2-point conversion, the Lancers had tied the game at 21-21 with 7:26 left in the half, which is where the score stood at halftime.
Ventura took control to open the third quarter, taking the opening kick and driving down the field for another score. Odeman passed for 63 of the 70-yards on the drive, and rushed for the final yard, scoring his third touchdown of the game with 12:14 on the clock. Nelson's kick made it 28-21.
The VC defense held the Lancers' offense at bay throughout the second half, and the Pirates went up by two touchdowns with 3:05 remaining in the quarter with an 8-yard run by Odeman, set up by a 23-yard pass completion to Riley Smith a play before.
The teams traded punts in the fourth quarter, as neither offense seemed to find a groove. Twice Dixon sacked the PCC quarterback on fourth downs, ending the threat of any PCC comeback. Pasadena tried to climb back into the game with a punt block in the closing minutes recovered for a touchdown, but the ensuing extra point kick was blocked by Patrick Hall. David Emanuel returned the ball for two-points for the Pirates, giving them an insurmountable 37-27 lead with 1:01 left in the contest.
Ventura looks past its bye week now, to a potential bowl berth for the third consecutive season. VC, ranked No. 9 in the latest Southern California poll, will find out its fate next weekend, and would play in a bowl on Saturday Nov. 23.