The Ventura College football team had second half leads of 35-0 and 45-13 whittled down to a 45-34 win at Santa Barbara City
The Vaqueros late surge was partly due to the play of quarterback John Uribe, but Ventura contributed with timely penalties and an inability or unwillingness to run out the clock.
"I think we had seven offensive penalties for 107 yards," said Ventura coach Steve Mooshagian. "Had we not had those, we'd be second in the state in total offense.
"It's a good learning lesson. In tight games, penalties and turnovers can be the difference."
Having gone the first three games without a fullback, the Pirates introduce a short-yardage package this week with 5-foot-11, 200-pound freshman Cameron Barksdale at the hard-nosed position.
"He'll help us," said Mooshagian. "We'll add a new wrinkle each week as our offensive package grows."