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COC football: Canyons coughs up the game

College of the Canyons loses turnover battle as three fumbles prove costly in loss to Allan Hancock

Posted: October 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons wide receiver Jerrel Jordan, left, stretches out to make a catch with Tanner Kuhnle, right, of Allan Hancock College in pursuit in the first quarter at COC on Saturday. The Cougars fell to the Bulldogs 34-27 in a National Division, Northern Conference clash.

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College of the Canyons has finally settled on an offensive system that consistently moves the football.
Now it just needs to figure out how to hang onto it.

Despite accumulating 506 yards on offense, COC fell 34-27 to Allan Hancock College on Saturday night at Cougar Stadium in a National Divsion, Northern Conference battle.

The Cougars (3-4, 0-2) had a chance to tie the score in the fourth quarter, but wide receiver Keiotey Stenhouse coughed up the ball at the 1-yard-line, ending yet another promising drive with 10:05 left in the game.

It was one of three COC turnovers in the contest — all fumbles.

The other major one came on a muffed punt return in the third quarter, where Cougar wideout Chris Rivas fumbled the ball at his own 8-yard-line, directly leading to AHC’s go-ahead touchdown three plays later on a Shane Henderson 5-yard reception.

The Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) led 27-24 at that point, late in the third.

Though AHC came into the game with one of the state’s top-ranked rushers in Cameron Artis-Payne and a down-field threat in Henderson, COC’s defense did what it was asked for the most part.

Artis-Payne finished with 22 carries for 137 yards, but COC made key stops throughout the game to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Meanwhile, a COC offense which had been struggling to find an identity this season, often switching quarterbacks mid-game, looked in sync.

Chris Rini played the entire game and had an efficient 18-for-25 day passing with 268 yards and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Louis Gipson in the second quarter.

Rini and running back Matt Bowen kept AHC off balance all day with a shotgun, no-huddle, option attack that led to Bowen’s season-high 186 rushing yards on 28 carries.

Bowen’s scores of two and three yards put the Cougars ahead 21-13 with less than two minutes to go in the first half until the Bulldogs ripped off a 75-yard scoring play at the 1:50 mark in the second quarter.

On the play, wide receiver Cameron Rogers caught the ball on a quick screen, shook off a COC defender at the line of scrimmage and took off down the sideline for a score that, after a missed extra point, left COC ahead 21-19 at halftime.

AHC benefitted from another big play early in the fourth quarter when Bobby Collins returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown that ended up setting the final score.

COC kicker Jeff Flores kicked two field goals of 31 and 20 yards in the second half.

Jarrel Jordan tallied a game-high 98 receiving yards on five receptions for COC.

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