RB J.J. Arrington (Cal signee) scored 23 touchdowns on the season to lead the state and QB Kyle Bauer (Weber State signee) threw for 3,109 yards and 36 TDs on a team that averaged 53.5 points per game. The offensive line gave up only 8 sacks in 10 regular season games. The Cougars made it all the way to the Championship game where they eventually lost to Reedley 35-15.
LAST YEARS RECORD: 10-2
HEAD COACH: Chuck Lyon (5th season)
RETURNING STARTERS: 6 (Offense 4, Defense 2)
2003 Outlook: Canyons has two tough non-conference opponents to begin the 2003 season. They play at Pasadena followed by a home game versus Palomar. "We're fired up about that," said o-line coach Garett Tujague (pronounced Too-Jay). "You like to find out how good you are early and we're going to." In the five years under head coach Chuck Lyon the Cougars have a record of 43-13 (.768 winning percentage), so it won't exactly be easy on the two Mission Conference teams either. The coaching staff is very pleased with the overall team speed on both sides of the football. Arrington will be a tough act to follow but, with the system that is in place, the Canyons staff feels that they can still find ways to get the ball into the end zone. Keep an eye on Ventura College transfer, RB Marcus Crawford (6-2, 225), a bounceback from UNLV who made the All-Western State squad in 2002. There is a good battle at QB between Jason Beck (SO 6-2, 205) and Will Savage (FR 6-4, 200). Beck is a transfer from Ventura College where he was an honorable mention All-WSC player last year. Savage grey shirted last year but pitched for the Canyons baseball team where he beat defending champion Riverside in the playoffs. When Canyons has trouble in the red zone, they'll turn to PK/P Josh Cummings. He's got a strong leg and can punch it through from long or short distances.
Players To Watch: Speedy WR Tyrell Smith (SO 6-0, 180) had 55 receptions for 1,161 yards and 14 TDs last season. WR Trevor Brackett (SO 6-1, 190) notched 40 receptions for 505 yards and chipped in 6 TDs last year. Also keep an eye on WR Jeremy Boyle (SO 6-2, 185), who grey shirted last year. One of the best OLs in southern California is returning 12-game starter, C Shawn Huntsinger (SO 6-3, 280). The defense is led by DT Domata Peko (SO 6-4, 280), SS Charles Manigo (SO 6-2, 195), and CB Kevin Jones (SO 5-10, 180), who is a talented transfer from Siskiyous.
First Game: at Pasadena, Sep. 6