Alo Leads Mt. SAC Past Canyons

Justin Alo completed 20 of 24 passes for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run to lead #2-ranked Mt. San Antonio to a 42-19 win over host College of the Canyons in the season opener for both teams Saturday night.

Alo completed his first 8 pass attempts of the game, missed on his next two and then completed 9 straight passes as Mt. SAC built a commanding 35-6 halftime lead. After Canyons scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, Alo completed his final pass of the night, a 60-yard touchdown strike to Derrick Macon early in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the Mounties.

Mt. SAC started out well with Riian Simpson returning the opening kickoff 51 yards into Cougar territory. That led to a quick 5-play drive, with Omaris Tolbert accounting for all but the last of the 49 yards; Alo’s 1-yard touchdown run gave Mt. SAC a lead just 2:16 into the first quarter. After a Canyons punt, Mt. SAC scored again when Alo capped a 14-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Macon with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

Moments later, Tim White gave Canyons a big lift when he returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards from several yards deep in the Cougar end zone all the way to the Mt. SAC 9 yard-line before being forced out of bounds by Darius McKenney. And that saving tackle turned out to be a huge play when the Mt. SAC defense forced Canyons to settle for an 18-yard field goal by Eric Kreitz, cutting the Mt. SAC lead to 14-3.

And the Mt. SAC offense answered with another long drive, covering 75 yards in 13 plays with Tolbert scoring his second touchdown of the game early in the second quarter to extend the Mounties’ lead to 21-3. Then the Cougars inserted quarterback Devon Dunn into the lineup, but the result was a 3-and-out with Canyons facing a 4th and 10 situation. Then things went from bad to worse for the host Cougars when Joseph Bryant broke through and blocked Kreitz’ punt attempt. Derek Norman picked up the loose ball at the Cougar 16 and carried it in for the touchdown, extending Mt. SAC’s lead to 28-3.

After that the COC offense settled in with starter Tony Dawson back in at quarterback and drove down the field for the first time all evening. The Cougars covered 71 yards in 12 plays, but came away with just a field goal when the drive stalled at the Mt. SAC 11. Kreitz’ 28-yard kick cut the Mt. SAC lead to 28-6 with 4:25 left in the second quarter. Then the Cougars got the ball back moments later when Nate Mitogo recovered a fumble at the Mt. SAC 33.

But the Cougars failed to gain a yard on four plays, turning the ball over after an incomplete pass with 1:47 left in the half. And that proved to be more than enough time for Mt. SAC, which drove 67 yards in five plays, with Alo’s 48-yard pass to Macon covering most of the distance. Two plays after that play, Tolbert scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run to give Mt. SAC a 35-6 lead at the half.

The third quarter was an ugly one for both teams. Canyons managed to cut into the lead a little, but it was hardly easy. After taking the second half kickoff the Cougars drove to the Mt. SAC 2 yard-line despite losing Dawson for the rest of the drive when he appeared to be injured after falling on the ball. A spectacular run by White – who jumped over a would-be Mt. SAC tackler along the right sideline – helped get the ball deep into Mt. SAC territory. But a penalty and two incomplete passes stopped the drive, turning the ball back to Mt. SAC at the 7.

Two plays later COC got the ball back, however, when Kenneth Jacobs recovered a fumble at the Mt. SAC 3 yard-line. But it was still a challenge for the Cougars to score. A penalty, a sack and two other plays that lost yards pushed the ball all the way back to the 26 yard-line for a 4th and goal play. But Dunn got the ball to White, who outraced the Mounties into the end zone for what would turn out to be COC’s only touchdown on offense of the game. And on the extra point, Mt. SAC’s Sulisi Tamaivena blocked the attempted kick.

And early in the fourth quarter, Mt. SAC secured its lead when Alo lofted a 60-yard touchdown pass to Macon, who got behind the COC defense down the right sideline. That scoring play pushed Mt. SAC’s lead to 42-12 and was Alo’s last pass attempt of the night with 11:33 left.

The Cougars got another touchdown when Paul Puebla intercepted backup quarterback Ryan Orozco’s pass near midfield and returned it 47 yards for a score with 8:38 left.

For Mt. SAC, Alo was outstanding but it was a complete team effort. Macon had 4 catches for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Tolbert rushed for 96 yards on 17 carries, also scoring 2 touchdowns. Simpson made an impact on special teams, returning two kickoffs for 97 yards, and Bryant had the blocked punt. The Mt. SAC defense registered 5 quarterback sacks on the night and held the Cougars to just 59 yards rushing on 40 carries.

For Canyons, Dunn completed 6 of 16 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, while Dawson was 6-for-12 passing for 66 yards and also carries the ball 13 times for a team-high 34 yards. Dawson started the game; Dunn entered in the second quarter and the two split time about evenly after that. White was spectacular with 7 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown as well as the 91-yard kickoff return. He finished with 284 all-purpose yards.

Next week Mt. SAC hosts defending Southern California champion Fullerton at 6 pm at Hilmer Lodge Stadium, and will be there with full coverage of that game.

Canyons travels to Glendora to take on Citrus at 1 pm.

Mt. San Antonio Mounties  42, Canyons Cougars  19

Saturday, September 6, 2012 – 6 pm – Cougar Stadium, Santa Clarita
National Division

1st Quarter:
M – Alo 1yd run (Guerra kick) 12:44 (7-0)
M – Macon 7 yd pass from Alo (Guerra kick) 3:48 (14-0)
C – FG Kreitz 18 yds 2:11 (14-3)
2nd Quarter:
M – Tolbert 1 yd run (Guerra kick) 13:11 (21-3)
M – Norman 16 yd return of blocked punt (Guerra kick) 11:06 (28-3)
C – FG Kreitz 28 yds 4:24 (28-6)
M – Tolbert 1 yd run (Guerra kick) 0:47 (35-6)

3rd Quarter:
C – White 26 yd pass from Dunn (kick blocked) 6:56 (35-12)

4th Quarter:
M – Macon 60 yd pass from Alo (Guerra kick) 11:33 (42-12)
C – Puebla 47 yd interception return (Kreitz kick) 8:38 (42-19)

Team Statistics:

First Downs: Canyons 16 (6 rush, 5 pass, 5 penalty), Mt. SAC 19 (7 rush, 12 pass)
Rushes-Yds:  Canyons 40-59, Mt. SAC 37-134
Passing Yds: Canyons 166, Mt. SAC 291
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 12-28-0, Mt. SAC 22-28-1
Return Yds: Canyons 223, Mt. SAC 144
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 0-0, Mt. SAC 5-35
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 0-0, Mt. SAC 2-2
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 8-40, Mt. SAC 14-126
Time of Possession: Canyons 31:53, Mt. SAC 28:07

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: C 10-Dawson 13-34, 28-Johnson 9-27, 6-White 3-18, 34-Arteaga 1-5, 33-Bar 3-4, 3-Gaines 5-4, 2-Dunn 6-(-33); M 28-Tolbert 17-96, 5-Alo 3-24, 37-Hunter 4-9, 26-Polk 1-4, 45-Logologo 3-4, 15-Gates 7-0, team 2-(-3)
Passing: C 2-Dunn 6-16-0-100, 1 TD; 10-Dawson 6-12-0-66; M 5-Alo 20-24-0-264, 2 TDs; 16-Orozco 2-3-0-27; 13-Simko 0-1-0-0
Receiving: C 6-White 7-114, 9-Claxton 3-36, 84-Fuglsang 1-14, 13-Azu-Irondi 1-2; M 1-Macon 4-121, 6-Gilchrist 4-22, 4-Simpson 3-37, 11-Anderson 3-23, 22-Vaughns 2-27, 18-Short 2-15, 83-Hill 1-18, 85-Dayao 1-13, 12-Thompson 1-9, 48-Wilson 1-6
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C 42-Puebla 1-47; M none
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C 52-Jacobs 1-0, 55-Mitogo 1-0
Sacks: C none; M 24-43-Si.Tamaivena 1-13, 24-Counts 1-9, 93-Fa 1-6, 42-Su.Tamaivena 1-5, 94-Aluesi 1-2
Punters:  C 11-Kreitz 3-34.0 avg + 1 blk; M 61-Fulham 1-36
Kick Returns: C 6-White 4-152, 34-Arteaga 1-24; M 4-Simpson 2-97, 48-Wilson 1-12
Punt Returns: C none; M 9-Bryant 1-19, 29-Norman 0-16
Missed FG: C 11-Kreitz 24 yds (wide left); M none

Notes: Season opener for both teams. Mt. SAC entered ranked #2 in the nation ( Dawson started at QB for COC; Dunn entered in the 2nd quarter and both played after that. Alo completed his 1st 8 pass attempts, missed on his next 2, then completed his next 9 pass attempts. Simpson returned the opening kickoff 51 yds to set up Mt. SAC’s 1st TD. White’s 91-yd kickoff return set up COC’s 1st FG. Bryant blocked the punt that Norman returned for the touchdown. 42-Sulisi Tamaivena blocked the extra point for Mt. SAC.

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