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College football: COC sacked by champs

Cougars fail in comeback bid against defending state champion Mt. SAC

Posted: September 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 


Defense kept College of the Canyons football in the game all night long, the offense just came alive a bit too late.

In the end, two-time defending state champion Mt. San Antonio College mustered just enough to milk the clock away in a 17-10 victory over the Cougars on Saturday night at COC.

It was the second straight year COC played Mt. SAC, which is ranked No. 1 in the California Community Colleges state coaches poll.

Similar to last year’s 34-19 loss last year in Walnut — where the Cougars (1-1) led at one point in the third quarter — COC had a chance to knock off the state’s top team.

“I love playing Mt. SAC. This game is huge,” said COC head coach Garett Tujague. “Any time you get to play the No. 1 team, you’ve got to come out swinging.”

And the Cougars did, going to a four-wide receiver spread offense immediately and driving the ball into Mounties territory.
The problem was, the drives kept stalling and the Cougars kept coming away without points.

It wasn’t until the 8:53 mark in the fourth quarter when COC finally made it into the end zone on a 5-yard Jerrel Jordan run to cap off a grind-it-out 11 play, 75-yard drive.

That set the final score at 17-10 as the Cougars only drive after that sputtered.

The young COC squad committed a total of 12 penalties for 101 yards contributed heavily to the drive-stalling.

“We’re just as young,” said Mounties head coach Bob Jastrab of the penalties. “We’re just trying to figure out things for ourselves too.”

Mt. SAC (2-0) was held in check for most of the night despite often starting with favorable field position.

It got on the board early in the second quarter when running back Matthew Botello broke free for a 13-yard scoring run to end a drive that began near midfield.

A field goal later in the quarter gave Mt. SAC a 10-3 lead at halftime.

The lead was extended to 17-3 early in the fourth quarter when Mt. SAC quarterback Cameron Deen tossed a 15-yard back-shoulder fade to Alonzo Agwuenu in the end zone.

Other than that, Deen struggled against COC’s relentless defense, as he was picked off twice in the first half and was held to 140-yards passing on a 15-for-27 day.

“Coaches talk about making big plays during big games and that’s what I was doing,” said COC defensive back Jarrett Tryon, who snagged one of the interceptions in the second quarter. “We just need to play more as a team.”

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