Canyons Posts First Shutout Since 2006

Matt Bowen and Kwasi Washington scored touchdowns, and the College of the Canyons defense held Desert to just 9 first downs to post the Cougars' first shutout since September 16, 2006 in Canyons' 17-0 win over the Roadrunners Saturday evening in Santa Clarita.

Most of the game was dominated by the defenses, and each team punted, lost the ball on downs or turned it over on a fumble the first three times it had possession. But then Bowen broke through for Canyons (2-1) on a 1-yard scoring run early in the second quarter, giving the Cougars all the points they would need to post their second straight victory.

The closest Desert (0-3) came to scoring was early in the second half when Dakota Dartis, who entered the game to start the third quarter, threw a short pass to Arte Miura that became a long-gainer when the speedy Miura broke free down the right sideline. But Canyons' Ryan McAleenan tripped him up at the Cougar 20, and four plays later Dartis' 4th down pass fell incomplete, turning the ball over to Canyons and ending Desert's best scoring opportunity of the game.

Neither team scored until Canyons put together a 14-play drive that ended with Bowen's touchdown run on 4th and goal. That play nearly didn't happen though as Desert's Edward Sayers appeared to intercept a Cougar pass moments earlier in the end zone. But a pass interference call on a teammate - who cleared out the receiver, allowing Sayers to make the catch - negated the pick and gave Canyons a first and goal from the 2. Four plays later, Bowen powered through the line for the score.

Canyons put together another long drive later in the half, again reaching the Desert 1 yard-line on a 4th and goal situation. This time first-year head coach Ted Iacenda elected to send Eric Kreitz, who kicked the game-winning field goal a week earlier in COC's upset win at Saddleback, for a short field goal. His 18-yarder with 2:18 left in the half made it 10-0 at the break.

Thanks to McAleenan and the rest of the Canyons defense, neither team scored in the third quarter. Desert pinned the Cougars deep in their own end after an excellent punt by Erick Ramirez, which was downed at the Cougar 3 yard-line. With 5:47 left in the third quarter, there seemed to be plenty of time for a Desert rally.

But the Cougar offense, behind reserve quarterback Tony Dawson, responded to the challenge and put together a 10-play, 97-yard drive to put the game away. Dawson's 29-yard touchdown pass to Washington with 10:15 left capped the drive, and Kreitz' extra point made it a three-score game at 17-0.

And any lingering hope Desert had of starting a rally ended when Dartis took a big hit as he released what would be an incomplete pass and had to leave the game midway through the fourth quarter. Starter Dane Tiedeman returned, and two plays later Dartez Jacobs intercepted one of his passes, giving the ball back to the Cougars with 6:26 left. Armon Easley added another interception with 43 seconds left to preserve the shutout for Canyons.

Each team used multiple quarterbacks, but Dawson was easily the most effective for either team as he completed 11 of 16 passes for 132 yards, no interceptions and a touchdown and also rushed 10 times for 66 yards. Bowen led all rushers with 76 yards on 22 carries and scored the game's first touchdown. Washington led all receivers with 6 catches for 98 yards and scored the game's other touchdown. Anthony Adams had two interceptions for the Cougar defense.

For Desert, Dartis completed 5 of 14 passes for 81 yards and Tiedeman completed 6 of 13 passes for 23 yards. Each had 2 interceptions, but three of those four picks deflected off the hands of a receiver. Dartis also led the Roadrunners with 45 yards rushing on 7 carries. But the COD offense managed just 9 first downs. On the other hand, the Desert defense was effective and at times quite impressive, especially its front line that included Nicholas Johnson and Eric Pili, who each recorded a quarterback sack. Pili also recovered a fumble on a sack by linebacker Isaias Calderon.

The win improves Canyons' record to 2-1 on the season, and the Cougars travel to Pasadena next week to take on the winless Lancers at 6 pm. Desert has a bye next Saturday before hosting Mt. San Antonio on October 6th.

College of the Canyons Cougars 17, College of the Desert Roadrunners  0

Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 6 pm @ Cougar Stadium, Santa Clarita

1st Quarter:
No scoring

2nd Quarter:
C - Bowen 1 yd run (Kreitz kick) 13:55 (7-0)
C - FG Kreitz 18 yds 2:18 (10-0)

3rd Quarter:
No Scoring

4th Quarter:
C - Washington 29 yd pass from Dawson (Kreitz kick) 10:15 (17-0)

Team Statistics:

First Downs: Canyons 21 (10 rush, 10 pass, 1 penalty), Desert 9 (5 rush, 4 pass)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 47-133, Desert 25-94
Passing Yds: Canyons 205, Desert 104
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 17-31-0, Desert 11-27-4
Return Yds: Canyons 96, Desert 53
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 1-3, Desert 4-21
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 4-1, Desert 3-0
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 8-50, Desert 7-54
Time of Possession: Canyons 39:15, Desert 20:45

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: C 5-Bowen 22-76, 10-Dawson 10-66, 36-Dibene 3-7, 25-Peralta 2-3, 28-Gaines 3-1,
12-Dashnaw 5-(-16), team 2-(-4); D 13-Dartis 7-45, 20-Lockett 9-37, 4-Tiedeman 5-24, 33-Lewis 2-5, 23-Gutierrez 1-1, team 1-(-18)
Passing: C 10-Dawson 11-16-0-132, 1 TD; 12-Dashnaw 6-15-0-73;
D 13-Dartis 5-14-2-81; 4-Tiedeman 6-13-2-23
Receiving: C 2-Washington 6-98, 9-Gipson 4-56, 11-Tucker 3-26, 85-Mandic 2-17, 13-Strange 2-8;
D 28-Miura 3-45, 14-Herley 3-18, 88-Roberts 2-26, 87-Drew-Toles 2-18, 23-Gutierrez 1-(-3)
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C 4-Adams 2-7, 21-Jacobs 1-28, 24-Easley 1-20; D none
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C 92-Pili 1-0 (forced by 29-Calderon)
Sacks: C 56-Harris ½, 94-Freeman ½; D 9-Girgle, 29-Calderon, 90-Johnson, 92-Pili 
Punters: C 7-Vear 5-35.2 avg; D 86-Ramirez 7-36.1 avg
Kick Returns: C 31-Rice 1-12; D 28-Miura 3-53
Punt Returns: C 4-Adams 3-29; D none
Missed FG: C 89-Kreitz 38 yds (wide left), 42 yds (wide right); D none

Notes: Canyons entered 1-1, ranked #19 in Calif (JCAB); Desert entered 0-2. Dashnaw started at QB for COC; he and Dawson shared time fairly evenly with Peralta taking over in short-yardage situations. Tiedeman started at QB for COD; Dartis entered in the 2nd half but left after taking a big hit in the 4th quarter. Tiedeman re-entered and 2 plays later threw an interception to Jacobs with 6:26, pretty much clinching the win for COC. This is Canyons' 1st shutout since 9/16/06. Canyons leads the all-time series, 4-1, including a forfeit win last season.

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