Wide receiver Marcus Bellon scored three touchdowns, and the SBCC football team defeated Orange Coast College 49-19 in its regular season finale on Friday night at La Playa Stadium.
The victory kept the Vaqueros’ hopes of a bowl invite alive and improved their record to 7-3 overall.
“At least we did what we had to do, now it’s in somebody else’s hands,” said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos of a potential bowl bid. “I told them all week long let’s finish the job and I’m proud of them for doing just that.”
Bellon came into the game with the state lead in punt return touchdowns with three and flashed excellent versatility against Orange Coast scoring touchdowns via punt return, kick return and receiving.
After a scoreless first quarter, Bellon put SBCC on the board by hauling in a deflected pass from quarterback Alex Johnson and raced to the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown with 10:53 remaining in the second quarter.
The Vaqueros followed that up on their ensuing possession with a 20-yard play-action pass from Johnson to Keyon Grayer that increased the lead to 14-0.
“He’s going to be really good. He’s very coachable. He has a strong arm and he’s tall at 6’5”,” said Moropoulos of the quarterback Johnson, who completed 14-of-25 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns. “There’s a lot of positive and potential for that young man.”
Omari Taylor powered into the end zone from seven-yards out, increasing the SBCC lead to 21-0 just before halftime.
In the second half Bellon took over the game with his returning prowess. First he tracked down a booming punt Zach Grisotti and returned it 84-yards down the sideline for a touchdown that
Put SBCC ahead 28-6 with 14:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Bellon followed that up with a 90-yard kickoff return later in the fourth quarter to snatch momentum away from the visiting Pirates and give the Vaqueros a 35-13 lead.
“I got some good blocks. We had been game planning for that kind punt that they were going to run,” Bellon said. “Everyone executed, opened the hole and the rest is history.”
Jamari Cannon added an additional punt return touchdown of 44-yards with 9:27 remaining in the fourth quarter. Chase Wells closed the scoring with an acrobatic nine-yard touchdown catch from Johnson with 2:44 remaining in the game that closed the scoring.
SBCC will find out if its season will continue with a bowl game on Sunday.