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Cougars clock ‘em

COC defense, special teams hang tough against strong Glendale assault

Posted: October 18, 2008 11:02 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

College of the Canyons quarterback Brad McClellan is on the run Saturday against Glendale College.

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GLENDALE -- The bend-but-don't-break College of the Canyons defense withstood a disciplined assault from Glendale Community College Saturday night before ultimately wrestling the Vaqueros to the ground.

Canyons linebacker Steve Gourley pulled the rug out from under Glendale when he blocked a punt early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Brad McClellan followed it up with a pair of touchdown passes to Jovan Leacock as the unbeaten Cougars upended GCC 43-23 in a National Division, Northern Conference slugfest at Glendale Community College.

The game marked the best start for COC (7-0, 3-0) since 2005, when the Cougars swept through their 10-game regular season and advanced all the way to the Southern California Regional Championship to finish at 12-1.

After the two teams emerged from the break Saturday with the score tied at 14, McClellan put the Cougars ahead for good on an 8-yard keeper with 12:04 to play in the third quarter.

McClellan then uncorked a spiral that found a wide-open Hayo Carpenter in full gallop down the left sideline, and the sophomore wide receiver hauled it in for a 28-yard touchdown.

Glendale (3-3, 1-1) countered when freshman quarterback Dylan Martinez connected with wide receiver Euedell Clayton on a 49-yard bomb to bring the Vaqueros to within a touchdown at 28-21 with 3:28 to go in the third.

But Gourley's timely block of a punt attempt by former Canyon High School kicker Chris Chapman proved to be the dagger.

"I knew I had to get it, Gourley said. "I just went out there and did it."

Gourley also got a piece of a punt in the first half. He finished the game with five tackles.

McClellan had an efficient night, completing 17 of 21 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Leacock caught seven passes for 169 yards and the two scores.

The Cougars struck first, pushing out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter. Fred Winborn got it started with 1-yard sweep for a score, and Brandon McDonald followed it up with a 10-yard touchdown romp up the middle.

However, COC shot itself in the foot the rest of the half with a pair of costly fumbles, three momentum-busting face-mask penalties and sub-par punting that handed Glendale enhanced field position.

The Vaqueros took full advantage, as freshman quarterback Dylan Martinez engineered two second-quarter drives to send the contest into the break at 14-14. Martinez's 1-yard sneak put Glendale on the scoreboard, and he backed it up with a 16-yard scoring strike to another Canyon High grad, wide receiver Kenny Suber.

Winborn's touchdown set a school record for career rushing touchdowns, surpassing J.J. Arrington's 29 scores, established in 2001-2002.

The Cougars continue conference play Saturday when they host Ventura College.


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