Quarterback Dan Speltz and wide receiver Dwight Pickens connected for three touchdowns as El Camino College defeated Taft, 24-6, Saturday in the second game of the PONY Bowl doubleheader in front of 5,000 at Orange Coast College.
El Camino (11-0) came into the game as the third-ranked team in the national J.C. Grid-Wire poll. Taft (9-1) was second.
El Camino should move into the top spot over Ellsworth, Iowa (10-0), when the final poll is announced Tuesday, according to Hank Ives, who runs the poll.
Speltz completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Pickens with 7:15 left in the first quarter as El Camino took a 7-0 lead.
Speltz threw short pass over the middle to Pickens at midfield, and Pickens raced the rest of the way for a 59-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
They combined on a 50-yard scoring pass with 6:35 left to make it 24-6.
Speltz, who was voted the outstanding offensive player of the game, was 22 of 40 for 347 yards and the 3 touchdowns. Pickens had 7 catches for 177 yards.
Taft's only score came on a 28-yard run by quarterback Dwayne Calloway with 11:43 left in the third quarter.
The El Camino defense, led by the defensive player of the game, linebacker Ken Sale, limited Taft to a season-low 280 yards in total offense.