Turnovers were the key to the game. Williams' touchdown pass came two plays after Jaylin Williams recovered a Canyons fumble, the fourth turnover of the game to that point. Pasadena (2-2, 1-0) also scored a touchdown and a field goal in the first half following Canyons fumbles, and the Lancers scored 2 points when Robert Morgan returned an extra point try that had been blocked by Kevin Bailey-Adair for a score. And Canyons (1-3, 0-1) had one last chance to tie the score before Dobbins' interception with 30.7 seconds left clinched the Lancers' second straight win.
For much of the first half, neither team even threatened to score. The deepest penetration for either team came on Canyons' initial drive of the game when the Cougars reached the Lancer 48 before punting. But Pasadena created its initial break when Serge Vita forced a fumble and Anthony Johnson recovered at the Cougar 24. Five plays later, Timothy Jones scored on a 6-yard run to give Pasadena a 7-0 lead.
Marlon Dobbins, PCC
Just before halftime, Pasadena created another scoring opportunity when Johnson stripped the ball from Canyons quarterback Tony Dawson and came away with the ball, giving the Lancers possession at the Cougar 25 with 19 seconds left in the half. That led to a 42-yard field goal by Franklyn Cervanka that made it 10-0 at the break.
In the second half, the Canyons offense came alive, taking the opening kickoff and driving the length of the field and getting on the board when Da'John Gaines scored on a 6-yard run. But on the extra point try, lineman Kevin Bailey-Adair broke through the middle of the line and blocked the kick. Robert Morgan picked up the bouncing ball and returned it the distance to make it 12-6 in favor of Pasadena.
After a Pasadena punt, Canyons again drove for a score, with Gaines again scoring on a 6-yard run to tie the score. On the extra point try, however, the Cougars again experienced some misfortune as kicker Eric Kreitz made sure to kick the ball high enough to avoid the Pasadena rush. He managed to do that, but in the process booted the ball wide of the right upright, so the game remained tied 12-12 with 1:24 left in the third quarter.
It was still tied 12-12 and Canyons had the ball until Jaylin Williams recovered a Cougar fumble at the Canyons 49 yard-line with 8:27 left. Then, two plays later, Dejon Williams connected with Jackson on the 44-yard touchdown play. On the conversion, the Lancers used a trick play with wide receiver Ahmad Springer lining up at quarterback and lofting a pass into the corner of the end zone; Dejon Williams made a spectacular catch for the 2-point conversion to push Pasadena's lead to 20-12.
Canyons still had plenty of time to rally, and the Cougars got a lift on the ensuing kickoff when Devin Brooks returned the kick 42 yards. A horse-collar penalty on Pasadena on the tackle moved the ball to the Lancer 43, and a 21-yard pass from Dawson to Daniel Bernard got the Cougars to the Pasadena 22. But three plays later, following a sack by Jaylin Williams, the Cougars faced a 4th and 17 from the 29. Dawson found an open Anthony Fowler in the end zone and threw the ball his way, but Fowler was unable to catch the ball before going out of bounds, turning the ball over with 6:15 left.
The Cougar defense forced a Pasadena punt, and Canyons got the ball back at its own 24 with 2:39 to play. Dawson completed a 10-yard pass to Jackson French to convert a 4th down chance, and a 12-yard pass to Tony Claxton to get the ball into Lancer territory. An 8-yard pass to French got the Cougars to the 38. But on the next play, Dobbins stepped in front of a Cougar receiver along the left sideline and intercepted Dawson's final pass attempt, sealing the win for the Lancers.
Aside from the turnovers, there were few statistics of any import for either team. Dejon Williams completed 7 of 13 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed 22 times for 52 yards. Justin Carroll rushed 15 times for 41 yards and caught 5 passes for 24 yards. But the real standouts for Pasadena were on the defensive side where Anthony Johnson, Jaylin Williams, Dobbins, Bailey-Adair and Vita were all instrumental in the five Cougar turnovers.
For Canyons, Dawson completed 10 of 20 passes for 114 yards and also rushed for 64 yards on 15 carries. Gaines had 53 yards on 11 carries and both Cougar touchdowns, and Earl Johnson rushed for a game-high 66 yards on 8 carries. Claxton had 4 catches for 56 yards and French had 4 catches for 27 yards.
The win not only squares Pasadena's record at 2-2, but gives the Lancers more victories this year than they achieved all of last season when the team went 1-9. Canyons, meanwhile, falls to 1-3 and heads to Bakersfield to take on the rival Renegades next Saturday.
Pasadena Lancers 20, Canyons Cougars 12
Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 6 pm - Cougar Stadium, Santa Clarita
National Division - Northern Conference
P - T.Jones 6 yd run (Cervanka kick) 4:38 (7-0)
P - FG Cervanka 42 yds 0:03 (10-0)
3rd Quarter: C - Gaines 6 yd run (kick blocked) 8:24 (10-6)
P - R.Morgan return of blocked extra point try 8:24 (12-6)
C - Gaines 6 yd run (kick wide right) 1:24 (12-12)
P - J.Jackson 44 yd pass from D.Williams (D.Williams pass from Springer) 8:07 (20-12)
First Downs: Canyons 18 (10 rush, 7 pass, 1 penalty), Pasadena 15 (8 rush, 3 pass, 4 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 41-203, Pasadena 49-122
Passing Yds: Canyons 162, Pasadena 101
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 16-27-1, Pasadena 10-17-0
Return Yds: Canyons 71, Pasadena 25
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 2-8, Pasadena 3-21
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 6-4, Pasadena 2-0
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 11-87, Pasadena 6-72
Time of Possession: Canyons 27:01, Pasadena 32:59
Rushing: C 28-E.Johnson 8-66, 10-Dawson 15-64, 3-Gaines 11-53, 2-Dunn 4-21, 31-Bar 3-(-1); P 5-D.Williams 22-52, 27-Carroll 15-41, 44-T.Jones 3-27, 10-Turner 1-13, 32-Mandis 2-9, 1-Springer 1-4, team 5-(-24)
Passing: C 10-Dawson 10-20-1-114; 2-Dunn 6-7-0-48; P 5-D.Williams 7-13-0-83, 1 TD; 10-Turner 3-4-0-18
Receiving: C 9-Claxton 4-56, 7-French 4-27, 28-E.Johnson 2-29, 5-Bernard 2-25, 12-Fowler 2-16, 31-Bar 2-9; P 27-Carroll 5-24, 15-J.Jackson 2-51, 11-Blair 1-13, 1-Springer 1-7, 4-Lawwhorn 1-6
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C none; P 13-Dobbins 1-6
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C none; P 6-A.Johnson 2-0, 9-J.Williams 1-0, 71-Vita 1-0
Sacks: C 46-Viening 1-7, 35-W.Johnson 1-1; P 9-J.Williams 2-14, 6-A.Johnson 1-7
Punters: C 39-Jimenez 4-44.3 avg; P 22-Cervanka 5-34.8 avg; 39-Guzman-Olivas 3-35.3 avg; 10-Turner 2-28.5 avg
Kick Returns: C 4-Brooks 2-59; P 4-Lawhorn 1-12, 15-J.Jackson 1-8
Punt Returns: C 22-Lee 2-12; P 15-J.Jackson 1-(-1)
Missed FG: none
Notes: National-North opener for both teams. Both teams entered 1-2 on the season; Canyons was ranked #15-National in the South. Turnovers were the story; PCC's 1st TD came after A.Johnson's 1st fumble recovery (fumble forced by Vita); PCC's FG came after A.Johnson's 2nd fumble recovery (he forced the fumble). PCC's winning TD came after J.Williams' fumble recovery. COC had two chances to tie it after that but turned it over on downs with 6:15 left and…another turnover, Dobbins' interception, ended the final Cougar threat with 30.7 seconds left. There was another fumble in the 1st half that Vita recovered that 56-Bailey-Adair forced. Bailey-Adair also blocked the extra point try that R.Morgan returned for 2 pts. PCC's 2-pt conversion was a trick play with WR Springer lining up at QB and throwing a pass to D.Williams who made a great catch in the corner of the end zone. Dawson and D.Williams were the starting QBs. This win pushes Pasadena past its victory total (1) in 2013.