FOOTBALL: In the 81-season history of Ventura College football, the Pirates had never played in three consecutive bowl games, until Saturday. Unfortunately for the Pirates, who took the field with 17 sophomores and 53 freshmen on the roster, they were facing Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The Mounties, state champions in 2009 and 2010, were not playing in the Southern California Championship for the first time since 2006 and were a touch match up for VC, a program on a steady rise into the state's elite. On this day VC had not quite made it, however, as Mt. SAC captured a 42-14 victory.
After stopping Ventura on the opening possession of the contest, Mt. SAC traveled 65 yards in seven plays, scoring a touchdown with 10:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Pirates answered with an impressive 88-yard drive in which quarterback Brad Odeman completed four passes for 44 yards, culminating in a 19-yard scoring pass to Kevon Mitchell. VC's extra point was blocked, however, and they trailed 7-6, nine minutes into play.
Mt. San Antonio took control from that point, a solid return on the ensuing kickoff gave the Mounties good field position, and they capitalized three plays later with another touchdown. Following a VC interception, Mt. SAC used a short field to quickly score another touchdown and they held a 21-6 advantage after one quarter of play.
Early in the second period, the Mounties scored on a 47-yard pass play to make the score 28-6, but the Pirate defense held the line after that. The VC offense, however, could not get untracked, managing just 31 yards in four possessions. Ventura punted three times, and ended the first half with the ball, trailing 28-6.
Mt. San Antonio began the second half on offense, and following another great return, played with outstanding field position. The cashed in six plays later for another touchdown, taking a 35-6 advantage. VC still had trouble offensively, and were forced into punting situations on the next two drives. The Mounties, meanwhile, hit paydirt again with 1-yard run with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
The Pirates did not give up the fight, driving 71 yards on seven plays on their next possession. Riley Smith found the end zone on a 5-yard run, and Odeman's pass to Kameron Klein was good on the point after touchdown to make the final score 42-14.
Odeman was named VC's Most Outstanding Player, passing for 198 yards and a score while rushing for 29 more yards. Dylan McDaniel was VC's leading receiver with six catches for 54 yards and Frankie Estanol had five catches for 43 yards. Maurice Box led the defense with seven tackles and Ronny Camacho and Gary Jr. Wortham each had five stops.
So the Pirates end 2013 with a 6-5 record. With a large number of freshmen expected to return, the future is bright for Ventura as they look to make it four straight bowl games in 2014.