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COC Football: Cougars defeat Moorpark

College Football: COC wins turnover battle, churns out 35-17 victory

Posted: November 2, 2013 10:04 p.m.
Updated: November 2, 2013 10:04 p.m.

College of the Canyons running back Matt Bowen (5) breaks away for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

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The theme was a familiar one for the College of the Canyons football team.

The Cougars received another guerrilla-commando effort from their defense, which kept Moorpark College on the ropes long enough for the offense to break free in the second half.

COC’s defensive unit induced a flood of turnovers, and quarterback Tony Dawson threw a touchdown pass and scored three times on the ground himself as the Cougars toppled Moorpark 35-17 in a National Division, Northern Conference matchup Saturday on homecoming night at Cougar Stadium.

The win, which was COC’s seventh straight, greatly increased the likelihood that the Cougars (7-1, 4-0) will receive an invitation to the California Community College Athletic Association Southern Regional playoffs.

Canyons received a standout performance from cornerback Lance Poole, whose four interceptions established a new COC single-game record. Poole now has six picks on the season, one shy of the school mark set by Ja’Vonte Holmes in 2005.

Poole, a graduate of Moorpark High School, said he was feeling comfortable due to the amount of rest he received coming off the bye week.

“I saw the ball in the air and just let my hands do the work,” Poole said. “On defense, we were just going to hold it down as long as we could and wait for our offense to do their thing.”

It was Moorpark’s offense that made the first move in the second half when running back Josh Robles scored from 2 yards out, giving the Raiders (4-5, 1-4) their only lead of the night at 10-7.

Then the bottom fell out for Moorpark as the Cougars induced turnover after turnover and scored three straight touchdowns to put the game out of reach.

“We came out and scored to start the second half, and I thought we worked ourselves back into this thing,” said Moorpark head coach Will Thurston. “Then all of the sudden we just got out of it, and it just seemed to happen so damn fast.”

Dawson’s 65-yard bomb to Louis Gipson got it started, and after Poole’s second pick of the night set up Dawson’s 1-yard sneak for a score, Dawson added another touchdown from 3 yards out.

“My job was to get the offense in the end zone. That’s all I was trying to do,” Dawson said. “My pass game was kind of off tonight, so I decided to start using my legs more, and things opened up for us.”

Cougar running back Matt Bowen’s 53-yard, fourth-quarter streak of lightning for a touchdown sent the Raiders packing.

With Cerritos College’s home win over Bakersfield on Saturday, Cerritos and Canyons both sit atop the conference with 4-0 records.

The Cougars will host Cerritos on Saturday before closing out the regular season Nov. 16 at Allan Hancock College.

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