Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Beach Bowl

2011 Beach Bowl

On Saturday night I joined Ryan Bolland at the Ventura College Sportsplex for the 2011 Beach Bowl sponsored by Joe Kapp Real Estate.

This was a Junior College football bowl game that brought the local J.C. season to a close. The game featured the host Ventura College Pirates (6-4) against the College of the Desert Roadrunners (6-4).

The Pirates were ranked #7 in Southern California while the Roadrunners were ranked #10.

COD, which is located in Palm Desert, featured an outstanding offense that averaged 39.1 points per game and 433.1 yards per game in the regular season.

VC would counter with a strong defense that allows only 86.1 yards rushing per game and 22.9 points per game.

It was my first time at VC's new Sportsplex which, as it turns out, is a very nice facility. I woofed down a delicious tri-tip sandwich and a Diet Coke and I was ready for some football!

VC QB Chase Smith outrunning
COD LB Michael Mehling

As fortune would have it, this turned into a low scoring affair. Both defenses played well with VC Defensive Line Coach Ted Lawrence's big boys applying lots of pressure to minimize the Roadrunners' offensive output. This group racked up 5 sacks on the night, incredible considering that COD had only allowed 8 sacks in the previous 10 games!

Former Rio Mesa H.S. player and coach Tom Lawrence is the Special Teams Coach for the Pirates. His players also played very well including blocking a punt to aid the VC cause.

The Pirates were able to keep COD off of the scoreboard for the last 27 minutes of the game on their way winning the Beach Bowl.

The final score of this entertaining, hard fought game was Ventura 17 - Desert 16.

2011 NCAA Division III Playoffs

Meanwhile, in the NCAA Division III football playoffs, a first round game in McMinnville, Oregon was played between #8 California Lutheran (8-1) and #5 Linfield (9-0).

This was the third straight season that these two West Coast powerhouses have met in the opening playoff contest with Linfield being victorious in 2009 and 2010. Back in September, in the Pacific Northwest, Linfield handed CLU their only loss of the 2011 season 24-14.

Unfortunately, the Kingsmen's luck did not change yesterday as the Wildcats eeked out another close win over CLU. The final score was Linfield 30 - CLU 27.

Linfield (10-0) will now play the state of Delaware's #7 ranked Wesley Wolverines (10-1). Wesley beat New York state's Hobart Statesmen (7-2) 35-28 in their first round match-up yesterday.

It came down to this

Here Linfield's Tyler Steele breaks the hearts of Kingsmen fans by blocking CLU's last second, 38 yard, game tying field goal attempt.

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