On the strength of a dominating defensive effort, and an efficient and balanced offense, the Pirate football team shutout Santa Monica 55-0 on the road Saturday afternoon. VC's defense held the Corsairs to 83 total yards of offense in the game while Ventura quarterbacks Jake Constantine and Ricky Town each totaled 148 passing yards with two and three touchdowns, respectively. Thomas Duckett rushed for a team-high 79 yards in the win for the Pirates (5-2, 2-0). 16 different Pirate receivers recorded a catch, led by Blake Burnett's four receptions for 45 yards and a score.
The shutout victory was the first for VC since its 31-0 season-opening win over Fullerton in 2015.
The No. 6-ranked Pirates took control from the opening kickoff. Santa Monica had the opening possession and gained just three yards in a 3-and-out possession.
After taking over at the VC 37-yard line, the Pirates methodically matriculated down the field 63 yards in 11 plays over 4:26 on the clock, culminating in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Constantine to Kezio Snelling. Cooper Garcia's kick made it 7-0 for Ventura less than five minutes into the game.
THe score remained close until early in the second period when Town directed the Pirates' next scoring drive. Town hit Blake Burnett from four yards out for a scoring pass, Burnett's first career catch for the Pirates. Garcia's kick made it 14-0 with 9:49 remaining in the first half.
That score seemed to be the turning point as Town directed two more scoring drives in the quarter. He took the next touchdown himself, a 4-yard scamper with 4:05 on the clock, then hit Dominic Benson with a 4-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining, Bensen's first career touchdown at VC. Garcia converted both PAT's and the Pirated led 28-0 at halftime.
The Pirate Express kept rolling in the second half. VC took the opening kickoff, and despite a penalty on the return that put the ball on the VC 10-yard line, they marched down the field for another score. Ventura moved the ball 74 yards on seven carries, and Constantine was 4-5 on the drive in the air for 46 yards, including a 9-yard scoring strike to Benson. Garcia's kick pit the Pirates ahead 35-0.
On the ensuing drive, the Corsairs drove to the VC 26-yard line before being stopped. They attempted a 43-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked as the defense kept its shutout in line.
Taking over at the SMC 47, the Pirates made quick work, moving down the field in seven plays in 2:52. Tyrese Gholar capped the drive with a 1-yard run to paydirt, and Garcia's kick moved the score to 42-0 for VC.
With their third possession of the half, Ventura continued their dominance. They drove 59 yards in 10 plays over 4:47 of clock time for another score. Town capped the drive with a 20-yard scoring pass to Keondre Menefee, who also recorded his first career touchdown. The snap on the PAT was high and Ventura led 48-0 with 12:23 remaining in the game.
After another 3-and-out by the Pirate defense, Ventura took the ball on a short field once again, with familiar results. Town led a 7-play, 45-yard drive, punctuated with Joey Word's 10-yard touchdown run. Garcia's seventh extra point of the day set the final margin at 55-0 for Ventura.
Both Constantine and Town were 14-21 through the air for VC for 148 yards each. Town threw for three scores and ran for one while Constantine passed for two touchdowns. While Duckett gained 79 yards on 11 carries, Gil Scott Jackson netted 67 yards on seven rushes. Sam Flowers had three catches for 44 yards while Benson ahd three catches for 16 yards and two touchdowns.
Ventura will next prepare for rivalry week. They travel to Moorpark on Saturday Oct. 28 for the 50th installment of the Citrus Cup game. Kickoff at Griffin Stadium is slated for 6:00 pm and can be seen live on the VC Sports Network.