CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME REVIEW
College of the Canyons 39, City College of San Francisco 32
Sophomore QB Cory Miles, an ex-Marine, threw for three TDs and scored a pair himself, to lead Canyons to a perfect 14-0 season record and the school's first J.C. Grid-Wire Championship.
Canyons jumped out to a quick 19-0 lead mixing trick plays with slick passing, receiving, rushing and defense. The lead extended to 21 points at 32-11 and 39-18 late into the game before CCSF rallied behind QB Joseph Ayoob's passing and some fine catches by Ruben Jackson and Maurice Purify.
ONE MAN'S OBSERVATIONS – This was CANYON'S game from the git go. The Cougs seemed to have no fear of their mighty rivals, who had won the title four of the past five years.
The "Hook and Ladder" play was resurrected and worked. QB Miles, who had been under fire during the playoffs to the point of sharing time with freshman Marcel Marquez, was able to run free, especially up the middle after faking to his backs from the shotgun. He was also passing on the money with just 5 falling to the turf in 23 attempts. He hit Jason Lance, a tight end in a lanky wide-receivers body, with 15- and 26-yard scoring passes in the first period which sort of set the trend.
More than one observer took a look at the Mineral Bowl Field before the game and wondered what they were doing playing the game there. Blades of grass were mighty scarce. The heavy fog, which rolled in the night before, made the dirt wet, but there were surprisingly few slips on cutbacks. In my opinion the State Championship Game should be played one year in NorCal and the next in the South. I believe the best attended contest was in 1997 when the Championship game was played at Cal State-Fullerton between Mt. San Antonio and CCSF. Local media needs to be part of the picture. There was a 2-inch story in the Visalia paper saying there was going to be a game at the Mineral Bowl. Any game needs more publicity than that. People in Visalia didn't even know it was happening. The shame is that JC football is just terrific entertainment. Many of the young men on the field will be playing major roles at major schools next year. ‘Nuff said from this soap box.
GAME STATS – Cory Miles was named MVP after passing for 226 yards, 3 TDS and running for 74 yards on 18 carries and 2 TDs. Joe Ayoob of CCSF went 22 of 41 for 386 and 4 tallies, but was picked off twice. He also ran for 62 on 7 carries and was named the top offensive player. CANYONS' Tomi Halai, a 6-5, 240 DE backed up a terrific game against Saddleback, and was defensive MVP. He chased Ayoob all over, making critical tackles and breaking up passes. Jackson caught 9 passes for 178 yards and 2 scores. CCSF All-American LB Desmond Bishop had 14 tackles, 8 solo, 2 for loss and a sack, and COC LB Jarrod Perry, who was honorable mention AA came up with 13 stops, 7 solo, 1 for a loss. CCSF had 508 total yards to 444 by Canyons, but 4 turnovers were especially costly. The zebras were over-zealous as usual, calling 27 infractions for 272 yards with COC picking up 16 for 159.
OTHER STUFF….BEST OF LUCK TO THE FOLLOWING COACHES who will not be returning to their JC posts in 2005. Cornell Ward, COMPTON, who has moved to L.A. SOUTHWEST as an assistant to Henry Washington; Rick Gamboa, EAST L.A. and his staff; Ron Ponciano, L.A. VALLEY, who is now at Citrus; Bill Fisk, MT. SAN ANTONIO, who has retired and will be replaced by Bob Jastrab; Roger Kelly, SEQUOIAS, stepping down after 14 years; Walt Justice, SOUTHWESTERN; Jeff Scurran, PIMA; Kevin Haslam, EASTERN ARIZONA; Bob Larson, GARDEN CITY, to be replaced by Kilgore's offensive coordinator, J.J. Eckert; Steve Patterson, N.E. OKLAHOMA, Bob JoJo, HUDSON VALLEY; Scott Maxfield, BLINN
RECRUITING - WHERE ARE THEY GOING?
These will be pretty much unofficial, but the kids have either indicated they will be going there, or have been offered. SAN FRANCISCO: QB Joseph Ayoob, LB Desmond Bishop and WR/DB Lavelle Hawkins are said to be slated for California, but at this point Ayoob may be the only firm commitment. C Bryce MacMartin is headed for Colorado. OL Taase Jennings still being heavily recruited.
CANYONS: We keep hearing rumors about James Paulk going to Washington. LB Perry probably won't be heavily recruited because he is just 6-0 tall. A lot of schools will be missing the boat if they don't give him a look. WR Tyrell Smith is apparently headed for Oregon State.
Kent State is said to have an interest in COFFEYVILLE's QB Mike Machen, 6-6, 230.
NAVARRO FB Billy Davidson, Kansas State; BAKERSFIELD RB Ricky Herod, Oregon State, Texas Tech; COFFEYVILLE RB PJ Ikner is looking at Akron, Illinois State and SW Mo. FULLERTON TE Jason Vandiver, Oregon State; Brandyn McCall, GOLDEN WEST TE Arizona; WR Larry Brackins, PEARL RIVER, 6-5, 220 is being wooed by everyone but may go pro; COFFEYVILLE, WR Prechae Rodriguez is headed for Auburn, FS Darnell Terrell, Missouri; CB Reggie Nelson, Florida; DE Marcelle Narcisse, Tulsa; SADDLEBACK WR Jerard Rabb is talking to Arizona and others; Washington State is interested in PASADENA WR Kris Riggins; HOLMES WR Eric Marshall, Miss. State; SOUTHWESTERN TE Zach Teisher, may be going to Bowling Green and WR Ernie Bellanger to Utah; Wisconsin is said to have offered WR William Norwood of MESABI;
Marcel Benson, SAN DIEGO MESA, OT has been offered by Houston and the Cougars also will sign MERCED'S DeVell Lauder DE and BAKERSFIELD LB Kenneth Atkins.
Nevada will ink Fred White, OL from BAKERSFIELD; OL Garrett Kline, LACKAWANNA, North Carolina St; COMPTON OL, Kevin Myers, LSU; Anthony Kilby, GARDEN CITY All-American, will return to New Mexico State; Michigan State is interested in Todd Krupicka, ROCHESTER OL, as is Louisville.
Rumor has it that Gabe Long, FULLERTON's great DL, will ultimately end up at Southern California, but the Trojans will have to wait until Fall; Texas A&M has landed BAKERSFIELD AA DT Ismail Abdunafi; HINDS DE Chad Green is going to North Carolina St. PALOMAR DE Cory Mace to Wyoming; HUTCHINSON DL Josh Pinaire to Oklahoma State; ORANGE COAST DE Ricky Miller, San Diego St and Ryan Davis to Michigan State; Oklahoma offered CJ Ah You, SNOW DT; Anthony Kelly of JONES will go to Florida State;
Keno Walter-White, SAN DIEGO MESA CB Arizona State; Stephen McCoy, NAVARRO CB is probably headed for TCU; All-American FS Josh Gomez is staying home to sign with San Diego State and punter Ryan Hotchkiss is headed for UTEP.
Track the prospect commitments and signings at:
A FEW RANDOM NOTES: We might be closer to a national championship game than some would think. One of the powers that be in the NJCAA says a home-and-home type of arrangement would be needed. One game in California and the next year some place in NJCAA-land. And why not? With some big-time TV possible these days, wow, would that ever be good for JC football. Hope this is a major topic when the JC coaches get together in Louisville…It's good to see TJ Houshmandzeh, CERRITOS, taking advantage of his opportunity and catching a ton of passes from Carson Palmer with the Bengals…JJ Arrington, CANYONS had a super year with Cal, running for over 100 yds in every one of the the Bears' 11 games. He should be at least a 2nd-round NFL pick.
And so ends our 45th year of publication. Can't wait to get started on 2005. I want to thank all of the coaches and others who are so reliable with their information throughout the year. How could we possibly cover 140 JCs spread all over the U.S without your help. Already saw a lot of you at the California Championships game and hope to see and chat with many more at the national coaches convention in Louisville in January.