Moorpark College's defense "came of age" in its coach's eyes Saturday against Long Beach City.
Unfortunately for Raider Coach Jim Bittner, his offense took a few steps backward, which proved fatal in a 17-16 nonconference loss to the Vikings at Moorpark's Griffin Stadium.
The Raider defense, which was notably porous in its first two games, allowed 311 yards to Long Beach (3-0), but gave up only 10 points and took the ball away from the Vikings eight times on four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. Cornerbacks Rudy Lopez and Jeff White were on the receiving on the majority Long Beach's turnovers, with Lopez recovering two fumbles and intercepting a pass and White intercepting a pass, recovering a fumble and blocking the kick.
On offense, however, the Raiders sputtered despite rolling up 336 yards. An unrelenting Viking pass rush against Moorpark quarterbacks Dan Nagelmann and Steve Armstrong forced them into throwing three interceptions. Armstrong's interception was returned 75 yards by cornerback Erick Pembrooke and broke a 10-10 tie with 2:39 to play in the game.