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COC football looks to postseason

Cougars to take on nationally ranked Fullerton College

Posted: November 17, 2013 10:47 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2013 10:47 p.m.

COC running back Matt Bowen (5) tosses the ball to the ref afterscoring a touchdown against Cerritos on Nov. 9.

 

A day after falling 34-29 to a 3-7 Allan Hancock in its regular season finale on Saturday, the College of the Canyons football team received news of its playoff fate.

And if seeding means anything, the Cougars are in for a battle — they’ll travel to Yorba Linda High School on Saturday to take on the No. 1 seeded Fullerton College Hornets in the National Bowl.

Fullerton has put together a dynamic season in 2013, going a perfect 10-0 on the way to attaining the No.1 overall seed in the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California playoffs and being rated as the No. 2 program in the country by jcgridiron.com.

Led by sophomore quarterback Jose Escobar, who has passed for 2,574 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2013, Fullerton has scored 476 points in its 10 games.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, the Hornets are in the midst of a red-hot November in which they’ve scored an average of 66 points a contest.

“There’s a reason that these guys are ranked No. 2 in the country,” said COC head coach Ted Iacenda. “We obviously had a misstep on Saturday, but we need to get back to preparing the way we normally do. This will be the biggest test our defense has had in 2013.”

If there is a team designed to neutralize the juggernaut Hornets offense (which has averaged 512 total yards a game), it’s the National Division, Northern conference champion Cougars.

Led by a secondary that has intercepted opposing quarterbacks 24 times this season, the COC defense has allowed a stingy 17 points per contest.

The winner of the National Bowl will take on the winner of Saturday night’s Southern California Bowl, which features Riverside City College and a Golden West squad that handed the Cougars their first loss of the season in an overtime thriller on opening week.

From there, the winner of the Southern California section of the draw will face the winner of the Gridiron Classic Bowl between northern squads Butte and Fresno City College.

The last team standing wins the state championship.

“Our focus wasn’t where it needed to be last week, and that’s on me,” Iacenda said. “The last time we had a loss it woke us up in terms of our preparation as a unit. We are going to have to come into practices this week and turn on the switch.”

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