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COC finishes Ventura

Cougars move to 3-0 in conference and win sixth straight game for the first time since 2008

Posted: October 19, 2013 11:13 p.m.
Updated: October 19, 2013 11:13 p.m.

COC's Matt Bowen runs the ball for the Cougars on Saturday in Ventura.

 

VENTURA — Up by a touchdown entering the third quarter of Saturday night’s contest at rival Ventura College, College of the Canyons football players could be heard repeating a single word in anticipation of the second half kickoff.

Finish.

The Cougars did exactly that, dispatching the Pirates 44-23 to keep the momentum of 2013’s turnaround season alive.

This was COC’s sixth straight win, the first time they’ve had a stretch like that since 2008 and now the Cougars are 3-0 in the National Division Northern Conference.

“Conditioning, man. We run every day and we practice our hearts out getting in shape,” said Cougars running back Matt Bowen, who rushed for 102 yards and tied a COC school record with five touchdowns, on the team’s success. “Our offense is more explosive this year, we are out there to help our defense and play a complete football game.”

COC’s offense was in rhythm on Saturday, amassing 412 yards, while adding timely scores to keep the Pirates from seizing the momentum away.

The first such instance came in the first quarter, where after allowing an early touchdown following a botched punt, the Cougars (6-1) went on a nine-play drive to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter on a 1-yard scamper from Bowen.

Bowen added another score, and Travion Tucker caught a 36-yard pass from quarterback Tony Dawson to round out the first-half scoring for COC, which entered halftime up 20-13.

But as dynamic as the Cougars were on offense, once again it was the defense that led the way.

Despite Ventura putting 23 points on the board, 14 of those were the result of COC miscues on offense and special teams.

First there was the botched punt, which gave the Pirates the ball on the COC 4-yard line in the first quarter.

Then, following a third quarter touchdown run from Bowen, Ventura recovered a fumble by quarterback Jake Dashnaw in the end zone to bring the score to 27-20.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, that was as close as the game was going to get.

From that point on, COC outscored Ventura 17-3 behind four interceptions of Pirates quarterback Brad Odeman.

The loss to COC is Ventura College’s second consecutive defeat, as quickly a 4-1 season for the Pirates has gotten away.

The Cougars are now 6-1 heading into a bye, and despite the big win Saturday there is still more work to be done during 2013’s turnaround season.

“We are confident in the character of these kids,” said head Cougars head coach Ted Iacenda. “We will watch the film and eliminate the simple things, penalties and the like. It’s not rocket science.”

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