It took El Camino (6-0, 1-0 in National-North) just 1:18 to score its first touchdown, on a 35 yards strike from Herrera to Jahrie Level on the Warriors' first drive of the night. After an exchange of punts - a remarkable punt by ECC's Kris Gudmunson, who ran down an errant snap before getting a 27-yard kick away - El Camino got a break when COC quarterback Chris Rini was hit as he tried to throw a pitch on the option and the ball hit the grass. Jordan Tavai recovered for the Warriors, and seven plays later Herrera threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Shaw to make it 14-0 less than nine minutes into the game.
At that point, Chris Owens entered the game for Canyons (3-3, 0-1), and he helped the Cougars get their first first down of the night. After another exchange of punts, Canyons got the ball at their own 15 but drove 85 yards in 9 plays to pull within a score when Keiotey Stenhouse scored on an end-around run from 8 yards out early in the second quarter. And when the Cougar defense forced another El Camino punt, Canyons got a huge break when the bad punt snap sailed high over Gudmonson's head and was downed at the Warrior 7 yard-line.
On third and goal, Canyons handed the ball to Jamie Wilson, and he seemed about to tie the game when, just short of the goal line, El Camino's Darious Lane made the hit and popped the ball loose. Kavienga Taumoelau recovered the fumble for El Camino at the 5, ending Canyons' scoring threat and, it turned out, the Cougars' chances of staying in the game.
After that, El Camino broke the game open, driving 95 yards and increasing the lead to 21-7 on a 9-yard run by Ricky Johnson. Then came another three-and-out for Canyons, and another touchdown for El Camino, this one on a 23-yard pass from Herrera to Luckner Brady with 2:27 left in the half. After another COC punt, Herrera threw another touchdown pass, this one from 29 yards out to Shaw with 31 seconds left in the half to make it 35-7 at the break.
If there was any remaining doubt as to the game's outcome, it was removed on the first El Camino drive of the second half. After forcing another Canyons punt, the Warriors took over on their 18 and promptly drove 82 yards in 10 plays to make it 42-7 midway through the third quarter. Alondra (A.J. ) Johnson scored the Warriors' sixth touchdown of the night on a 5-yard run.
Owens threw for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns against the El Camino reserves, but Canyons never threatened in the second half. Owens' touchdown passes were to Matt Szymanski from 9 yards out with 12:34 left and to Louis Gipson from 40 yards out with 5:43 to close out the scoring.
Herrera finished 19 of 30 passing for 339 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Shaw led all receivers with the 7 catches, 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. A.J. Johnson led all rushers with 66 yards on 12 carries, and Ricky Johnson had 46 yards on 11 carries; each scored a touchdown on the ground.
For Canyons, Owens came off the bench to complete 11 of 19 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Szymanski had 3 catches for a team-best 57 yards receiving. But the Cougar ground game generated only 78 yards on 31 carries, and most of that came either in the final quarter or on end-around plays. Roberto Dominguez was COC's leading rusher with 18 yards on 4 carries.
The El Camino win is the 200th in the remarkable career of head coach John Featherstone, who took over the Warriors in 1985. Under the man they call "Feather," the Warriors have long been heavyweights in Southern California, winning the state and national championships in 1987 and the state championship in 2006, and contending for the titles most years, including once again in 2011.
El Camino Warriors 42
College of the Canyons Cougars 21
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 6 pm - Murdock Stadium, Torrance
National Division - North Conference
ECC - Level 35 yd pass from Herrera (Jarrin kick) 13:42 (7-0)
ECC - Shaw 27 yd pass from Herrera (Jarrin kick) 6:15 (14-0)
COC - Stenhouse 8 yd run (Flores kick) 9:42 (14-7)
ECC - R.Johnson 9 yd run (Jarrin kick) 4:51 (21-7)
ECC - Brady 23 yd pass from Herrera (Jarrin kick) 2:27 (28-7)
ECC - Shaw 29 yd pass from Herrera (Jarrin kick) 0:31 (35-7)
ECC - A.Johnson 5 yd run (Thornton kick) 7:28 (42-7)
COC - Szymanski 9 yd pass from Owens (Flores kick) 12:34 (42-14)
COC - Gipson 40 yd pass from Owens (Flores kick) 5:43 (42-21)
First Downs: El Camino 22 (7 rush, 13 pass, 2 penalty), Canyons 16 (4 rush, 10 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: El Camino 37-107, Canyons 31-78
Passing Yds: El Camino 342, Canyons 241
Comp-Att-Int: El Camino 20-34-0, Canyons 17-42-0
Return Yds: El Camino 139, Canyons 140
Sacks-Yds: El Camino 2-6, Canyons 1-16
Fumbles-Lost: El Camino 1-0, Canyons 3-2
Penalties-Yds: El Camino 16-107, Canyons 8-72
Time of Possession: El Camino 33:55, Canyons 26:05
Rushing: ECC 34-A.Johnson 12-66, 27-R.Johnson 11-46, 26-Lewis 3-16, 6-Walton 4-7, 29-K.Johnson 3-5, 37-Vil 1-2, 11-Herrera 2-(-12), team 1-(-23); COC 6-Dominguez 4-18, 15-Bowen 6-16, 2-Jordan 3-14, 7-Owens 4-9, 4-Tucker 4-9, 18-Stenhouse 1-8, 9-D'Amore 2-5, 14-Szymanski 1-3, 16-Graves 1-2, 5-Rini 4-(-1), 12-Schechter 1-(-5)
Passing: ECC 11-Herrera 19-30-0-339, 4 TDs; 12-Clark 1-3-0-3; 16-Webb 0-1-0-0; COC 7-Owens 11-19-0-188, 2 TDs; 5-Rini 4-17-0-54; 9-D'Amore 2-6-0-(1-)
Receiving: ECC 4-Shaw 7-146, 47-Brady 5-79, 6-Walton 2-48, 18-Level 2-41, 1-Miller 1-15, 17-Anderson 1-6, 34-A.Johnson 1-4, 27-R.Johnson 1-3; COC 14-Szymanski 3-57, 18-Stenhouse 3-35, 16-Graves 2-44, 2-Jordan 2-28, 1-Madero 2-23, 10-Wilson 2-8, 81-Gipson 1-40, 31-Brown 1-5, 4-Tucker 1-1
Interceptions-Ret Yds: none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: ECC 2-Kavienga 1-0, 9-Tavai 1-0
Sacks: ECC 1-Bailey 1-4, 91-Mathieu 1-2; COC 92-McBride 1-16
Punters: ECC 41-Gudmunson 4-18.8 avg; COC 96-Roth 6-38.5 avg
Kick Returns: ECC 4-Shaw 2-38, 17-Anderson 1-25; COC 12-Schechter 5-101, 6-Dominguez 1-19, 48-Hale 1-11
Punt Returns: ECC 4-Shaw 4-47, 15-Davis 1-29; COC 2-Jordan 1-9
Missed FG: none
Notes: Conference opener for both teams. El Camino entered 5-0, #2-South and #12 in nation. Canyons entered 3-2, #11 in South. ECC's 2nd TD came after Tavai's fumble recovery. After the bad punt snap, COC had a chance to tie but 7-Lane knocked the ball loose from Wilson just before the goal line; Kavienga recovered for ECC, which then drove 95 yards to take control of the game. Rini started at QB for COC. This is the 4th time these teams have met, all since 2004; COC won the other three. This is El Camino Head Coach John Featherstone's 200th career victory.