Quick Start Enough for Canyons

College of the Canyons scored just 1:10 into the game and jumped out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead, and that was enough for the Cougars to hold on for a 38-24 lead September 18 vs. Citrus. Chris Rivas caught 8 passes for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns, one for 90 yards, as Canyons rebounded from a loss to #1-ranked Mt. San Antonio for the home win.

For the first seven-plus minutes, Canyons put on an absolute clinic.  Jamie Wilson returned the opening kickoff 22 yards to the Citrus 44, and three plays later Emanuel Osuchukwu scored on a 33-yard run to give COC a 7-0 lead just 1:10 into the game. Canyons would lead the rest of the game.

After a Citrus punt, Canyons quickly pushed its lead when Justin Arias found Rivas behind the defense and threw him a 90-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with just 3:33 elapsed.

Then the COC defense forced another punt, and the snap to punter Rauley Zaragoza was high.  Zaragoza managed to corral the snap, but the delay allowed COC's Antwan Smith to get in and block the punt, giving the Cougars the ball at the Citrus 12.  Three plays later, Joey Garba scored on a 1-yard run to give Canyons a 21-0 lead with 7:16 left in the first quarter.

Canyons slowed down after that, and Citrus took advantage of some COC mistakes to get within two touchdowns a couple of times in the second half.  But COC held a 31-3 halftime lead and the Owls never really threatened to pull even.

Everett Goldberg kicked a 40-yard field goal for Canyons with 2:04 left in the first quarter to extend the Cougars' lead to 24-0.  Citrus' Eric De Lira answered with a 42-yard field goal early in the second quarter to get the Owls on the board and make it 24-3. 

Then came the play of the night, a spectacular catch in the end zone by Rivas that gave Canyons a 31-3 lead with 2:45 left in the first half.  Arias lofted a pass towards the left corner of the end zone, and Rivas at first appeared ready to make the catch.  But as he grasped the ball, Citrus' Jabril Pearson reached in and stripped it away.  However, the ball floated into the air and, just as Rivas hit the turf, the ball came back to him.  Amazingly, Rivas maintained concentration throughout the play and managed to make the catch flat on his back in the end zone.

In the second half, Citrus got a break when a bad punt snap by Canyons sailed high over punter Christian Nastos' head and settled at the Cougar 22.  Two plays later, Blake Loncar threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Roshon Morris to make it 31-10.  Then, after Arthur Ball blocked a Canyons field goal attempt, Loncar capped a 5-play, 69-yard drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Oyefeso to make it 31-17 midway through the third quarter.

But Citrus never got any closer.  Canyons got its final touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter when Rivas caught his third touchdown pass of the day from Arias, a 6-yard strike that made it 38-17.  Citrus' final touchdown came after Julian Gutierrez recovered a muffed punt at the Cougar 25; Loncar scored on a 1-yard run with 11:15 left in the game for the final scoring play of the night.

For Canyons, Arias completed 14 of 24 passes for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also rushed for 53 yards on 8 carries.  He did, however, take a hard (and late) hit along the sideline near the end of the first half, and was considerably less effective after that.  Rivas led all receivers with his 8 catches for 196 yards and 3 scores. Khalil Bass led the defense with a pair of sacks, one of which also included snatching the ball from Loncar's hands for a fumble recovery.  A. Smith not only blocked the punt but also had an interception late in the fourth quarter.

For Citrus, Loncar completed just 8 of 29 passes for 168 yards and 2 interceptions, but did manage a pair of touchdown passes; he also ran for Citrus' other score.  Brandon Stansell led all rushers with 102 yards on 17 carries, and he also returned 3 kickoffs for 89 yards (29.7 avg).  Morris led Owl receivers with 5 catches for 97 yards and a TD.

Next week, Canyons travels to East LA to take on the Huskies.  Citrus returns home to host Bakersfield at 6 pm, and JCFootball.com will be there to cover that game.

College of the Canyons Cougars 38
Citrus Owls 24

Saturday, September 18, 2010 - 7 pm - Cougar Stadium - Santa Clarita

1st Quarter:    
CAN - Osuchukwu 33 yd run (Goldberg kick) 13:50 (7-0)
CAN - Rivas 90 yd pass from Arias (Goldberg kick) 11:27 (14-0)
CAN - Garba 1 yd run (Goldberg kick) 7:16 (21-0)
CAN - FG Goldberg 40 yds 2:04 (24-0)

2nd Quarter:   
CIT - FG De Lira 42 yds 13:41 (24-3)
CAN - Rivas 13 yd pass from Arias (Goldberg kick) 2:45 (31-3)

3rd Quarter:   
CIT - Morris 22 yd pass from Loncar (De Lira kick) 9:43 (31-10)
CIT - Oyefeso 29 yd pass from Loncar (De Lira kick) 5:56 (31-17)
CAN - Rivas 6 yd pass from Arias (Goldberg kick) 0:48 (38-17)

4th Quarter:    
CIT - Loncar 1 yd run (De Lira kick) 11:15 (38-24)

Team Statistics:
First Downs:  Canyons 17 (6 rush, 8 pass, 3 penalty), Citrus 18 (7 rush, 6 pass, 5 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:  Canyons 41-151, Citrus 34-138
Passing Yds:  Canyons 320, Citrus 168
Comp-Att-Int:  Canyons 19-32-0, Citrus 10-31-2
Return Yds:  Canyons 84, Citrus 167
Sacks-Yds:  Canyons 2-17, Citrus 3-7
Fumbles-Lost:  Canyons 4-3, Citrus 2-2
Penalties-Yds:  Canyons 17-156, Citrus 12-100
Time of Possession:  Canyons 33:37, Citrus 26:23

Individual Statistics:
Rushing:  CAN 18-Arias 8-53, 23-Osuchukwu 3-40, 5-Zirbel 7-33, 3-Garba 9-32, 32-Wilson 3-12, 8-Morales 6-11, 13-Rini 1-2, 36-Guillory 1-1, 31-Brown 1-(-1), team 2-(-32); CIT 24-Stansell 17-102, 17-Boyd 5-24, 3-Johnson 3-14, 35-Goodlit 2-10, 12-Karl 2-3, 2-Zaragoza 1-1, 26-Bankhead 1-0, 7-Loncar 3-(-16)
Passing:   CAN 18-Arias 14-24-0-248, 3 TDs; 8-Morales 4-4-0-64; 17-Coon 1-2-0-8; 13-Rini 0-2-0-0; CIT 7-Loncar 8-29-2-154, 2 TDs; 12-Karl 2-2-0-14
Receiving:   CAN 25-Rivas 8-196, 20-Fagerstrom 4-44, 85-Bailey 2-33, 23-Owsuchukwu 1-20, 11-Madero 1-17, 81-Jackson 1-4, 84-Williams 1-4, 32-Wilson 1-2; CIT 80-Morris 5-97, 2-Zaragoza 3-37, 4-Oyefeso 2-34
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  CAN 45-Hammock 1-5, 1-A.Smith 1-0; CIT none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds:  CAN 2-Bass 1-3, 90-Vandross 1-0; CIT 30-Mantilla 1-0, 67-Gutierrez 1-0, 92-Sanchez 1-0
Sacks-Yds:  CAN 2-Bass 2-17; CIT 50-Mullaly 1-4, 77-Arnold 1-2, 92-Sanchez 1-1
Punters:   CAN 46-Nastos 4-36.3 avg; CIT 2-Zaragoza 5-38.0 avg + 1 blk
Kick Returns:  CAN 16-Bacon 1-37, 32-Wilson 1-22; CIT 24-Stansell 3-89, 26-Bankhead 3-66
Punt Returns:  CAN 1-A.Smith 1-20, 85-Bailey 1-0, 16-Bacon 1-(-3); CIT 24-Stansell 2-12
Missed FG:  CAN 87-Goldberg 24 yds (wl), 42 yds (blk); CIT 38-De Lira 40 yds (wl)
Notes:  Canyons improves to 2-1 while Citrus falls to 1-1.  Wilson returned the opening kickoff to the Citrus 44; Osuchukwu's TD came 3 plays later.  A.Smith blocked the punt for COC; Garba's TD came 3 plays later.  Rivas made an amazing catch for his 2nd TD after 29-Pearson momentarily stripped the ball away.  Morris' TD for Citrus came after a bad Canyons punt snap that Sanchez recovered at the COC 22.  25-Ball blocked the FG for Citrus; Oyefeso's TD came 5 plays later.  Bacon muffed a punt for COC; Gutierrez recovered at the COC 25 and Loncar's TD came 6 plays later.  Canyons now leads the all-time series vs. Citrus, 5-0-1 with the tie coming in 1975.

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