Collins, Lewis Propel Desert Past Antelope Valley

Fredrick Collins scored 3 first-half touchdowns and Nate Lewis completed 13 of 17 passes for 205 yards and 2 TDs as visiting College of the Desert (6-4, 5-3) handed Antelope Valley (3-7, 1-7) its sixth straight loss and guaranteed itself a winning season with a 30-15 win November 13th in Lancaster. Collins rushed for 147 yards on 21 carries and caught a 20-yard TD pass from Lewis for the Roadrunners, while WR Layton Matthews caught 5 passes for 125 yards.

Early on, it looked like both teams would have trouble scoring as the teams played a 0-0 first quarter.  AVC's special teams play gave the Marauders the better of the early play, but their offense was unable to take advantage.  COD took the opening kickoff and got to their own 46 before facing a 4th and 3.  Lewis went back to punt, but AVC's Jason Young burst through and partially (mostly, actually) blocked the punt.  The ball bounced forward to the 47 where Marvelle Strawder grabbed it and carried it 5 yards to the 42.  But AVC's Juston Freeman was thrown for a 5-yard loss on the next series and AVC was forced to punt without capitalizing on the excellent field position. 

Justin Miranda's kick was fielded by COD's Ray Gabriel at his own 2-yard line, and he was tackled immediately by AVC's Dusten Stowe.  After 3 plays produced just 5 yards, Lewis again punted, this time without anyone deflecting the ball, but his kick went out of bounds at the Desert 39, again giving AVC excellent field position.  But when COD's Guy Bruccheri sacked QB Kyle Jensen for a 7-yard loss on 3rd down, AVC was forced to punt again.  This time, when the Roadrunners got the ball, they moved into AVC territory on a 16-yard pass from Lewis to Matthews, and after a 9-yard run by Collins had a first down at the Marauder 31.  On third down, Lewis found Nick Lee alone in the end zone, but his sure touchdown throw bounced off Lee's hands.  And on fourth down, Lewis scrambled but was stopped well short of the first down, turning the ball over to AVC.

The second quarter, however, was a different story entirely as Desert scored all three times it had the ball.  The first scoring drive took 9 plays and covered 60 yards.  After a 7-yard run by Collins, Lewis threw to WR Jared Otteson for 8 to get the ball near midfield.  Then Collins ran for 12 yards to get COD into Marauder territory.  Lewis then threw to Matthews for 19, which was followed by Collins runs for 7 and 3 to give COD a first-and-goal.  After a holding penalty pushed the Roadrunners back to the 20, Lewis threw to Collins for a TD pass to get COD on the board.  Oscar Puilido's extra point was tipped at the line, but it still went through to give the Roadunners a 7-0 lead.

AVC got the ball back, and even managed a first down on Jensen's first completion of the day, a 5-yarder to TE DeAndre Day.  But moments later COD had the ball on an interception by Bruccheri, who returned the ball to the AVC 30.  Three plays later, Collins carried the ball in from the 5 to put COD ahead by two touchdowns.  And after an AVC punt, the Roadrunners went on an 8-play drive to go ahead, 21-0.  The big play was a 36-yard pass from Lewis to Matthews, and Collins capped off the drive with an 11-yard TD run.

Neither team scored in the second half until AVC lined up for its second punt of the third quarter.  COD's Lewis had punted to the Marauder 5-yard line after the Roadrunners' first possession of the day, and AVC had gained zero yards on 3 plays.  But Miranda never had much chance to get the kick away as COD's Bruccheri broke through the left side of the line and blocked the kick.  The ball flew over the end line, giving COD a safety and a 23-0 lead.  After the free kick, COD had the ball at its own 36 when backup RB Darrel Walker burst through the line and down the sideline for a 57-yard gain to the AVC 7-yard line.  A pass interference call backed the Roadrunners up a little, but Lewis finished the drive with a 15-yard TD pass to WR Tylon Thomas to push COD's lead to 30-0 and basically seal the win.

AVC scored a pair of TDs in the game's last 6 minutes behind QB Michael Woods, who played just the fourth quarter.  AVC had driven to the COD 3-yard line early in the fourth quarter only to have an apparent TD pass to Day negated by a penalty and to be turned away on 4th and goal when FS Matt Williams knocked down Woods' pass into the end zone.  But when COD got the ball back, Walker fumbled a pitchout and AVC's Tsuyoshi Curtis recovered at the COD 23.  After a 17-yard run by Aaron Wilson, 275-pound fullback Sean Wallace took it the final 6 yards for AVC's first TD of the game.  After a COD punt, the Marauders scored again on a 2-yard pass from Woods to Day.  That followed a 24-yard Woods-to-Day pass and a 27-yard scramble by Woods that moved the ball from the AVC 47 to the Desert 2-yard line.  After the second touchdown, AVC tried an onsides kick but Derron Martin recovered for Desert, which basically ended the game.

With the win, COD moves to 6-4 to give the Roadrunners their first winning season of the new millennium.  Antelope Valley finishes 3-7, a disappointing record after beginning the year 2-0 and 3-1.  But the Marauders were hit hard by injuries, particularly to starting QB Justin Dion, who never returned after being injured in the third game of the season.

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter:
No Scoring

2nd Quarter:
D – Collins 20 yd pass from N.Lewis (Puilido kick) 8:18 -- 7-0
D – Collins 5 yd run (Puilido kick) 4:59 -- 14-0
D – Collins 11 yd run (Puilido kick) 0:20 -- 21-0

3rd Quarter:
D – Safety – punt blocked out of end zone 4:14 -- 23-0
D – Thomas 15 yd pass from N Lewis (Puilido kick) 1:15 -- 30-0

4th Quarter:
AV – Wallace 6 yd run (Miranda kick) 5:46 -- 30-7
AV – Day 2 yd pass from Woods (Day pass from Woods) 0:55.5 -- 30-15

Team Statistics: Antelope Valley Desert
First Downs 12 (5 run; 4 pass; 4 penalty) 18 (9 run; 7 pass; 2 penalty)
Rushes – Yards 40-105 48-233
Passing Yards 81 205
Comp - Att – Int 6-17-1 13-17-0
Return Yards 68 18
Sacks – Yards 1-5 2-10
Fumbles – Lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties – Yards 7-72 14-133
Time of Possession 27:27 32:33

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: AV: 17-Jensen 7-33, 11-Woods 2-24, 26-Wilson 9-21, 43-Wallace 5-17, 41-Freeman 9-11, 22-Hinton 6-11, 8-Hamilton 2-(-12) D:  1-Collins 21-147, 34-Walker 7-49, 4-N.Lewis 10-24, 26-Martin 4-13, 5-Lee 4-3, team 2-(-3)

Passing: AV:  11-Woods 5-11-0-76, 1 TD; 17-Jensen 1-6-1-5 D:  4-N.Lewis 13-17-0-205, 2 TDs

Receiving: AV:  19-Day 3-31, 22-Hinton 2-19, 85-Perkins 1-31 D:  3-Matthews 5-125, 8-Otteson 3-23, 5-Lee 2-4, 1-Collins 1-20, 15-Puilido 1-18, 13-Thomas 1-15

Int-Ret Yds: AV:  none D:  9-Bruccheri 1-12

Fum Rec: AV:  10-N.Ikahihifo, 23-Curtis D:  11-Spry     

Sacks-Yds: AV:  24-Young 1-5 D:  9-Bruccheri 1-7, 11-Spry 1-3 

Punters: AV:  9-Miranda 4-36.4 avg + 1 blk D:  4-N.Lewis 4-29.0 avg

Kick Ret: AV:  34-Jer.Williams 2-45, 32-Unger 1-13, 89-Jones 1-7 D:  5-Lee 2-6

Punt Ret: AV:  13-Strawder 1-5, 7-Newton 1-(-3) D:  7-Gabriel 1-0

Notes: Desert entered 5-4, #18 in South.  AVC finishes 3-7 and with 6 straight losses. Jensen started at QB for AVC. Hamilton entered in 3rd and basically alternated plays with Jensen in 3td quarter.  Woods played the entire 4th quarter.  Young partially blocked Lewis' first punt; it went for 1 yard and Strawder returned it 5 yards. Bruccheri blocked the punt for COD.  AVC tried an onsides kick after its last TD but Martin recovered it for COD.

No Team Left Behind:  With this game, I've now covered each of the 39 football-playing Community Colleges in Southern California at least once for in the last 4 years!


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