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Cougars win home opener with first shutout since 2006

Posted: September 21, 2013 10:34 p.m.
Updated: September 21, 2013 10:34 p.m.

College of the Canyons' Matt Bowen (5) runs past College of the Desert's Jacob Girgle (9) for a touchdown run in the first quarter at COC on Saturday.

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The great unknown prior to kickoff of the College of the Canyons home opener versus College of the Desert was not whether COC’s defense could stop the football.

The question was whether the Canyons offense could move it.

COC’s trio of quarterbacks — namely Tony Dawson, Jake Dashnaw and Gabe Peralta — did what was needed against a pesky Roadrunners defense as Canyons whitewashed Desert 17-0 Saturday night at Cougar Stadium.

It was the Cougars first shutout since the team clobbered Ventura College 54-0 in 2006.

“We’re going to lean heavily on our defense until our offense grows up a little bit,” said COC head coach Ted Iacenda. “We’ve got two young freshmen (in Dawson and Dashnaw) who are learning this offense and trying to direct it, and they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and they’re getting better every week.”

It was the Canyons offensive unit that delivered the dagger Saturday night.

It came in the fourth quarter when Dawson, rolling to his right under heavy pressure, threaded the needle to Kwasi Washington, who eluded three defenders in traffic while making a fingertip grab for a 29-yard touchdown. That set the final score with 10:15 left to play.

“I got blitzed from the left side, so I decided to roll out and I saw Kwasi running toward the back of the end zone,” Dawson said. “I just tried to give him a ball he could catch.”

Catching balls was the story for COC’s defense to close out the fourth quarter as Anthony Adams, Dartez Jacobs and Armon Easley all made nifty picks. Adams had two on the night.

“Everything in the air is mine,” Adams said.

After a scoreless first frame, running back Matt Bowen put the Cougars (2-1) in the books with a 1-yard touchdown plunge up the middle. The team extended the lead to 10-0 on an 18-yard field goal by freshman Eric Kreitz with 2:18 to go in the second quarter. Kreitz’s 38-yard field goal try with two seconds to go before the break drifted wide left. Neither team scored in the third quarter.

Desert head coach Dean Dowty, now in his eighth year at the helm, said the feeling he has right now is an uneasy one.

“Every time we get some mojo, something’s happening to us right now, and it’s the most frustrating thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Dowty said. “Canyons did a good job of keeping everything underneath them and letting us beat ourselves, and they made some big plays at times too.”

COC’s defense limited Desert to just 76 total yards in the first half. The Roadrunners signal-caller tandem of Dane Tiedeman and Dakota Dartis completed nine-of-26 passes for 82 yards.

By comparison, COC’s tossing trifecta connected on 17-of-30 passes for 193 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

The campaign continues Saturday when the Cougars travel to Pasadena City College for the conference opener. Desert (0-3) enjoys a much-needed bye.

 

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