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Cougars clobber Vaqueros

COC dominates on both sides

Posted: September 13, 2008 11:33 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.


It was the home opener for the College of the Canyons football team, but on a deeper level, it was the Cougars delivering a lesson to Santa Barbara City College on the importance of living a balanced life.

COC executed with authority and efficiency on both sides of the ball, scoring on its first play from scrimmage and relentlessly pounding the Vaqueros into submission the rest of the way.

The Cougars controlled the field with a dual-quarterback attack, and the defense went into lockdown mode in a 56-6 non-conference throttling of SBCC Saturday night.

"It's a trip how things work out, to have balance like that," said COC sophomore quarterback Brad McClellan. "We just fight to the end, believe in the cause. I'm pretty proud of our team right now."

McClellan was 9-of-15 for 180 yards and three touchdowns. It was the second time in two games that McClellan and backup quarterback Joey Frias were interception-free.

COC (2-0), ranked No. 3 in the state by the California Community College Football Coaches Association, generated more than 500 yards in total offense for the second week in a row. It was also a three-touchdown night for wide receiver Hayo Carpenter, who had three in last week's season opener.

COC head coach Garett Tujague said Santa Barbara has always been a well-coached team, and he was a bit surprised by the one-sided outcome.

"I would never have thought the game would go that way," Tujague said. "We got some breaks and some lucky catches, but we were working really hard too, and I didn't think we were going to let up."

They didn't.

The Cougars unleashed some lightning the first time they touched the ball when McClellan hit Carpenter with a 67-yard bomb to give COC the early lead.

COC defensive back Arron Fisher's interception of a pass by SBCC quarterback Conner Rehage set up a 33-yard scoring strike from McClellan to Fred Winborn, and the Cougars took a 14-0 with 4:27 to play in the first quarter.

Canyons scored three more times in the second quarter, the first coming on an 11-yard romp by Frias.

Steve Gourley's interception led to a 19-yard scoring connection from McClellan to Carpenter. Gourley took the ball all the way to the end zone, but a penalty brought it back out.

"I was disappointed on the penalty, but as long as the offense gets the ball, we're straight," Gourley said.

After that, Winborn took a pitch, rolled out to his right and fired a 35-yard strike to Carpenter that gave COC a 35-0 lead at the break.

"The coaches just wanted to bring a little trickery, get it done," Winborn said. "Hayo told me to just put it out there and he'll go get it, so I just threw it as hard as I could."

The onslaught continued in the third quarter with touchdown runs of 28 and 8 yards by Winborn. The sophomore finished with 223 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

The Vaqueros (0-2) finally got on the scoreboard as time ran out in the third quarter when backup quarterback Austin Civita threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to freshman running back Robin Lawson. The point-after attempt was blocked by Dejuan Yates, making it 49-6 COC.

Civita received a rude welcome from the host Cougars. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Santa Clarita Valley native led Canyon High School to the CIF-Southern Section Division II Championship in 2005 and served as a backup signal caller for COC last season.

Civita saw considerable action Saturday, receiving limited help from his offensive line as he was hammered hard by Cougar defenders. He finished the game 11-for-22 with 113 yards, a touchdown and an interception. More to the point, he was sacked eight times by the punishing Cougar defense.

"We just came out and tried to do our thing, but COC came out pretty hard too," Civita said. "I think that's probably the hardest I've ever been hit."

Sean Quinn's fourth-quarter, 1-yard bolt up the middle turned out the lights.

The Cougars will host L.A. Valley College Saturday for a homecoming game before traveling to Fullerton College Sept. 27. Conference play begins at Allan Hancock College Oct. 4.

"From week to week, it's not about who's next or who's in two weeks. It's about us," Tujague said. "All we're going to do is make sure that we do what we can to get better as a team. And whoever shows up, that's who we're going to play, and we're going to play hard."



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