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Pasadena rolled into Costa Mesa on Saturday to beat Orange Coast College in their Mission Conference opener.The Lancers have had a long-standing battle with the Pirates, going back to 1981. Both teams entered the game undefeated; the rivalry was deadlocked at seven games each. At LeBard Stadium, the Lancers took the lead in the series with a 27-25 win over the Pirates.

The passing game was on display as sophomore quarterback David Pittman broke his own school record with 33 completions for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Pittman also led the Lancers in rushing, running for 44 yards on 12 carries.

The Lancers were up 19-17 entering the fourth quarter, when the Pirates used a shortened field to take the lead on a 5 yard touchdown pass by quarterback Sean Hakes.

It did not take long for the Lancers to counter, as Pittman quickly responded on the next drive completing a 22 yard pass to Sophomore receiver David Reed to get into scoring position. After a 21 yard run by Sophomore Marcus Anderson put Pasadena in the red zone, Pittman topped off the drive with a 5 yard touchdown run.

Pittman’s fourth touchdown gave Pasadena the lead at 27-25, and the defense forced a fumble on the next drive and held off two more Orange Coast drives to seal the victory.

The defense was another plus for Pasadena, holding Orange Coast to just 137 yards passing and 129 yards on the ground, while forcing four fumbles with a crucial recovery in the fourth quarter.

At 3-0, the Lancers have had their best start since 2003 and Coach Kenny Lawler likes how his team is playing “It feels good to come over here and win, we need those kind of games,” he said.

This was a character building game for the Lancers and it seems that their confidence is soaring. With the talent and leadership of Pittman, who broke almost every school passing record last season and led the state in passing touchdowns, the Lancers look poised for success entering their next seven games.

One downside to the win was Pasadena’s apparent affinity for committing costly penalties. The Lancers committed 19 penalties against Orange Coast, costing them a nearly crippling 159 yards. Considering the disparity in yardage gained, the win could have been much more comfortable.

Penalties are familiar to the Lancers. They committed 17 penalties for 161 yards against LA Southwest and committed 20 penalties for 150 yards against Southwestern.

Even with the penalty problems, Lawler was happy with his team’s win. “To come in here and win on their field, in a close game I’m really proud of them,” he said.

Pasadena returns to LeBard Stadium on Saturday, to take on Golden West College.

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