COC outscored the visiting Raiders 31-0 in the second half to blow open what had been a relatively close game.
Yet there was never any real doubt that Canyons was in control. The Cougars scored the first three times they got the ball to take a 21-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game, during which time the only first down the Moorpark was able to muster came via a pass interference penalty on COC. And though the Raiders scored on a pair of second-quarter touchdowns on long pass plays, they were never able to put together a long scoring drive.
Things got off to a horrible start for Moorpark when return man Jason Napoleon managed just a 2-yard return of the opening kickoff before being tackled at his own 5-yard line. Three plays netted zero yards, and Ro Marshall returned Troy Krill's punt 12 yards to the Moorpark 37. Seven plays later, Clayton scored from 3 yards out to give COC a lead it would hold the rest of the way.
The rest of the first quarter went COC's way as Moopark again failed to gain a first down before punting. This time it took the Cougars just three plays to score after a 26-yard return by Marshall. RB Gerrell Cain covered the entire 38-yard drive on his own, rushing for 21 yards on his first carry and the final 17 on his next to make it 14-0. Moorpark again had to punt, this time after netting minus-3 yards despite gaining a first down on a pass interference penalty, and this time it took COC just 4 plays to score. The Cougars pulled a little razzle-dazzle, with Miles hitting Smith with a short pass in the left flat, and Smith lateralling the ball to Crawford, who carried the ball into the end zone to make it 21-0.
Trailing by 3 touchdowns, Moorpark then finally began to show some life on offense. The Raiders held the ball for the next five minutes, running 16 plays and driving 54 yards to the COC 26. But on a 4th and 5 QB Larry Dockery threw a short pass to Napoleon, and he was stopped for just a 1-yard gain, turning the ball over to COC. But the now-rested Moorpark defense came to life, sacking Miles three times to force COC's first punt of the game.
When Moorpark got the ball back, it didn't hold onto it very long though. Napoleon fumbled at the 34 and COC's Jerrod Perry recovered at the Moorpark 34. However, the Moorpark defense stepped up and stopped a Miles pass to RB Brandon Clayton and a run by Caldwell for losses. On came Jason Tompkins to try a 54-yard field goal. The kick was straight enough, but it bounced off the crossbar and back onto the field, keeping the score 21-0.
The missed kick seemed to pump some life into Moorpark as the Raider offense suddenly started moving the ball. A 20-yard pass from Dockery to WR Nicholas Bawden got the ball into Cougar territory, and then an 8-yard toss to Derryl Hill moved Moorpark to the 35. COC's Shiapan Lewis sacked Dockery for a 6-yard loss on the next play, but then Dockery lofted a pass towards Napoleon along the left sideline. COC's Billy Maria tried for the interception, but when he came up empty Napoleon ended up with the ball and just the open field ahead of him. The 35-yard TD play closed the gap to 21-7.
The next COC possession ended in a punt, but the Cougars got a break moments later when Kris Theus intercepted a ball that bounced off a Moorpark receiver's hand. Theus returned the ball to the 9, and moments later Miles lofted a pass into the left corner of the end zone that Smith hauled in for the score.
That made it 28-7, but Moorpark scored again moments later, again largely due to a mixup in the COC secondary. On the ensuing kickoff, Moorpark's Shumpert returned the kick 40 yards to the Raider 42. And on the next play, Dockery threw a pass down the right sideline towards Shumpert. Just as the Moorpark receiver caught the ball, a pair of Cougar defenders collided with each other but left Shumpert standing. The speedy receiver then ran down the sideline and into the end zone for a 58-yard TD pass. COC's Dennis Ellis blocked the extra point, so the score stood at 28-13 Canyons at intermission.
The only score of the third quarter came on COC's first possession of the second half. It was a 10-play drive that included passes by Miles of 16 yards to Billy Omahen, 13 yards to Chad Garrett and 27 yards to Caldwell. A 9-yard run by Caldwell, who scored his third touchdown of the evening, capped the scoring drive to make it 35-13. Meanwhile, the COC defense forced a Moorpark punt on the next possession. And after Moorpark's Elvin McAfee recovered a Miles fumble, the COC defense stopped Dockery for a 2-yard loss on 4th and 1 at the Cougar 16, keeping COC ahead by 22 entering the final quarter.
And the final quarter belonged entirely to the Cougars, who outscored the Raiders 24-0 to make the game a blowout. Miles finished the next COC possession with a 6-yard TD pass to Smith, who made a nice catch in the corner of the end zone for the score. Then, after Theus' second interception of the game, COC got another score on a 34-yard run by Cain to make it 49-13. Clayton scored on a 6-yard run with 9 minutes left to make it 56-13 and put the game completely out of reach.
But the entertainment wasn't quite over, as COC found itself facing a 4th down at the Moorpark 37 in the game's final minutes. On came Tompkins to try another 54-yard field goal. The kick went up, and again it looked straight enough. And amazingly, once again the ball hit the crossbar and bounced back onto the field! Two kicks, both from 54 yards, one towards the south goal posts and one towards the north, and both of them hit the crossbar! And it turned out that Moorpark committed a personal foul on the play and COC was awarded a first down, but soon enough COC again faced a fourth down situation. This time, since the kick was from a measly 36 yards, Tompkins booted the ball through the uprights and over the crossbar with plenty of room to spare.
For Canyons, the win gives them a perfect 10-0 regular season for the second consecutive season. Their regular-season winning streak now stands at 28 and their home winning streak (including playoffs) is 22. The win also gives COC its fifth consecutive WSC-Northern Division crown and the #2 seed in the upcoming Southern California playoffs. The Cougars will host a playoff game next week against the #7 seed.
Miles finished the night 23 of 41 for 260 yards and 3 TDs. Cain led all rushers with 97 yards even though he had just 7 carries. Smith led all receivers with 8 catches, which included 2 TDs and accounted for 82 yards. Nine different Cougars had at least one reception. The COC offense racked up 490 yards on the night and registered 31 first downs. And the COC defense allowed just 12 first downs and 257 yards of offense, 99 of which came on the two touchdowns. Moorpark mustered just 16 yards rushing on 22 carries, and that included just 1 sack so it shows how COC completely shut down the Raider rushing attack. And when Moorpark threw the ball, Theus managed 2 interceptions and Marshall had another. Marshall also had 4 punt returns for 47 yards, including a pair of nice returns that set up the first 2 COC touchdowns.
For Moorpark, Dockery completed 16 of 42 passes for 241 yards, 2 TDs and 3 interceptions. Bawden led Raider receivers with 5 catches (good for 72 yards) while Shumpert had 4 catches for 95 yards and a TD. Reserve Terrance Hayes, whose carries all came late in the fourth quarter, led Moorpark with 18 yards rushing on 3 carries. DT Bryan Tarkington was outstanding on the Raider line, registering 1.5 sacks and generally being a disruptive force all evening. COC may have racked up a lot of yards, but very little of that came straight up the middle (Tark's territory).
C – Caldwell 3 yd run (Tompkins kick) 10:41 -- 7-0
C – Cain 17 yd run (Tompkins kick) 8:15 -- 14-0
C – Caldwell 27 yd lateral from T.Smith after pass from Miles (Tompkins kick) 4:02 -- 21-0
M – Napoleon 41 yd pass from Dockery (Bingham kick) 7:51 -- 21-7
C – T.Smith 14 yd pass from Miles (Tompkins kick) 3:27 -- 28-7
M – Shumpert 58 yd pass from Dockery (kick blocked) 3:08 -- 28-13
C – Caldwell 9 yd run (Tompkins kick) 11:54 -- 35-13
C – T.Smith 6 yd pass from Miles (Tompkins kick) 14:05 -- 42-13
C – Cain 34 yd run (Tompkins kick) 12:57 -- 49-13
C – Clayton 6 yd run (Tompkins kick) 9:00 -- 56-13
C – FG Tompkins 36 yds 0:40 -- 59-13
|First Downs||31 (12 run; 16 pass; 3 penalty)||12 (3 run; 6 pass; 3 penalty)|
|Rushes – Yards||44-205||22-16|
|Comp - Att – Int||25-44-1||16-43-3|
|Sacks – Yards||1-6||5-35|
|Fumbles – Lost||2-1||1-1|
|Penalties – Yards||7-59||11-91|
|Time of Possession||36:48||23:12|
Rushing: C: 30-Cain 7-97, 4-Marquez 6-48, 24-Clayton 9-47, 29-Crawford 8-23, 36-Harris 1-1, 15-Edwards 2-(-4), 8-Miles 11-(-7) M: 36-Hayes 3-18, 10-Tromello 1-6, 16-Thurman 2-5, 8-Napoleon 11-(-2), 21-Shumpert 1-(-3), 1-Dockery 4-(-8)
Passing: C: 8-Miles 23-41-1-260, 3 TDs; 4-Marquez 2-3-0-25 M: 1-Dockery 16-43-3-241, 2 TDs; 10-Tromello 0-1-0-0
Receiving: C: 7-T.Smith 8-82, 19-Omahen 5-65, 80-Silva 2-33, 11-Garrett 2-16, 30-Cain 2-15, 13-Stearns 2-5, 29-Clayton 1-54, 6-Lance 1-8, 28-Garcia 1-8, 24-Clayton 1-(-1) M: 41-Bawden 5-72, 21-Shumpert 4-95, 8-Napoleon 4-56, 13-Lopes 2-10, 12-Hill 1-8
Int-Ret Yds: C: 21-Theus 2-7, 2-Marshall 1-0 M: 2-Lewis 1-66
Fum Rec: C: 32-Perry M: 55-McAfee
Sacks: C: 46-Lewis M: 92-Tarkington 1½ , 53-Vincent, 55-McAfee, 57-Avina ½, 94-Figueroa ½, 97-Foli ½
Punters: C: 17-Kearney 3-39.3 avg M: 28-Krill 5-41.0 avg
Kick Ret: C: 13-Stearns 2-42, 24-Clayton 1-24 M: 22-Jeffrey 2-27, 8-Napoleon 2-22, 21-Shumpert 1-42
Punt Ret: C: 2-Marshall 4-47 M: 2-Lewis 2-5
Missed FG: C: 10-Tompkins 54 (hit crossbar)
Notes: COC finishes reg. season 10-0, clinches WSC-N for 5th straight year. Moorpark entered 6-3 & 4-1 in WSC-N. Clayton's 2nd TD was on hook-and-lateral via T.Smith. 44-Ellis blocked the XPA. Tompkins had another 54-yd FG attempt…it ALSO hit the crossbar; the play was negated by penalty.