With the score tied at 7, the Canyons defense stopped Woods on a quarterback sneak on 4th and goal from the 1. That defensive stand looked as if it might be a turning point, a basis upon which the home team would build towards the win. Instead, it set in motion the key sequence that saw Grossmont take over the game.
Just two plays later, Canyons' quarterback Justin Arias and running back Emanuel Osuchukwu missed connections on a handoff. Grossmont's Cameron Savini recovered the fumble at the Cougar 3, and two plays later Woods threw a touchdown pass to Alex McLeland to give the Griffins a lead they would hold the rest of the game five seconds into the second quarter.
But that touchdown was just the beginning. After a Canyons punt, the Griffins got another touchdown when Davis Fluker broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7. Then Canyons suffered some self-inflicted damage; Arias threw a pitchout that missed the runner and rolled out of bounds on 3rd down, and then on 4th down the punt snap sailed over punter Christian Nastos' head and out of the end zone for a safety to make it 23-7 with 11:10 left in the first half, less than four minutes after the game had been tied.
After that, Grossmont led handily the rest of the way. Everett Goldberg kicked a 37-yard field goal for Canyons with one minute left in the first half to make it 23-10 at the break, but the only score of the third quarter came when Alix scored on a 34-yard run midway through the quarter to push Grossmont's lead back to 29-10.
Grossmont got its final touchdown when Alix scored on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. That came two plays after Canyons' Cameron Bailey muffed a punt and Joshua Canup recovered the loose ball at the Cougar 5. Reserve quarterback Justin Morales accounted for Canyons' final touchdown when he threw a 9-yard scoring pass to Chris Rivas with 6:33 left in the game.
Until Grossmont's 16-point spurt in the second quarter, the game was tied and seemed fairly evenly-played. Grossmont took a 7-0 lead when Woods threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to McLeland with 6:47 left in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Ross Bacon returned the kick 62 yards to the Griffin 31, and on the next play Arias threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Bailey to tie the score 7-7.
For Grossmont, R. Woods finished 18 of 39 passing for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fluker rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on just 8 carries, and Alix had 82 yards and 2 touchdowns on 16 attempts. Overall, Grossmont had 440 yards of total offense and 22 first downs. Shane Pennix had two of the Griffins' five sacks on defense, and linebacker Pat Kelly was a visible presence with at least a dozen tackles on the night.
For Canyons, Ryan Zirbel was really the lone bright spot with 130 yards rushing on 11 carries. Arias completed 5 of 13 passes for 71 yards and a TD before sitting down for the night in the 3rd quarter. The Cougars generated just 269 yards of offense and had an astronomical total of 10 fumbles in the game, though they lost "just' four of them.
Both teams have next week off, as do most teams in Southern California. Grossmont resumes its schedule at Saddleback while Canyons hosts El Camino.
Grossmont Griffins 36
College of the Canyons Cougars 18
Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 7 pm - Cougar Stadium - Santa Clarita
G - McLeland 11 yd pass from Woods (Derby kick) 6:47 (7-0)
C - Bailey 31 yd pass from Arias (Goldberg kick) 6:28 (7-7)
G - McLeland 14 yd pass from Woods (Derby kick) 14:55 (14-7)
G - Fluker 50 yd run (Derby kick) 12:50 (21-7)
G - Safety - punt snap out of end zone 11:10 (23-7)
C - FG Goldberg 37 yds 1:00 (23-10)
G - Alix 34 yd run (kick wide left) 8:07 (29-10)
G - Alix 1 yd run (Derby kick) 7:54 (36-10)
C - Rivas 9 yd pass from Morales (Anderson pass from Morales) 6:33 (36-18)
First Downs: Canyons 16 (8 rush, 5 pass, 3 penalty), Grossmont 22 (11 rush, 10 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 48-140, Grossmont 39-228
Passing Yds: Canyons 129, Grossmont 212
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 9-20-1, Grossmont 18-39-1
Return Yds: Canyons 145, Grossmont 66
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 1-11, Grossmont 5-18
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 10-4, Grossmont 3-2
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 8-61, Grossmont 12-103
Time of Possession: Canyons 31:34, Grossmont 28:26
Rushing: C 5-Zirbel 11-130, 23-Osuchukwu 11-33, 32-Wilson 4-7, 8-Morales 5-6, 13-Rini 3-4, 18-Arias 11-(-1), team 3-(-39); G 2-Fluker 8-95, 32-Alix 16-82, 23-Payne 4-22, 22-Salum 5-15, 7-R.Woods 5-8, 31-Trimble 1-6
Passing: C 18-Arias 5-13-0-71, 1 TD; 8-Morales 3-4-0-31, 1 TD; 13-Rini 1-3-1-27; G 7-R.Woods 18-39-1-212, 2 TDs
Receiving: C 11-Madero 2-33, 25-Rivas 2-17, 85-Bailey 1-31, 31-Brown 1-27, 81-Jackson 1-13, 88-Horton 1-7, 5-Zirbel 1-1; G 81-McLeland 4-47, 84-Alexander 3-58, 80-Podpora 3-41, 1-Ingrahm 3-29, 10-Brooks 2-14, 2-Fluker 1-12, 19-Matthews 1-11, 22-Salum 1-0
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C 7-Zeno 1-0; G 6-May 1-3
Fumble Rec: C 9-Stevens, 50-Hill; G 9-K.Woods, 20-Canup, 59-Savini, 91-Taala
Sacks: C 4-G.Johnson; G 17-Pennix 2, 41-Nilmeyer, 58-Holsapple, 54-Kelly 1/2, 55-Cofer 1/2
Punters: C 46-Nastos 4-28.0 avg; G Derby 3-29.7 avg
Kick Returns: C 16-Bacon 5-138, 24-Briggs 1-13; G 2-Fluker 2-55, 14-Edwards 1-7, 1-Ingrahm 1-5
Punt Returns: C 85-Bailey 1-(-6); G 1-Ingrahm 1-(-4)
Missed FG: C none; G 45-Derby 36 yds (wide left), 37 yds (wide left)
Notes: Both teams entered 3-1; Grossmont was ranked #8 in the South and #23 in the nation while Canyons was ranked #7 in the South and #20 in the nation. COC's 1st TD came after Bacon's 62-yd kickoff return after Grossmont's 1st TD. Grossmont's 2nd TD came after Savini's fumble recovery. Grossmont's final TD came after Canup's recovery of Bailey's punt muff. Arias started at QB for COC; Rini entered in the 3rd quarter and Morales entered after that. Grossmont now leads the all-time series, 5-3, and has won the last 3 meetings.