With the score tied in the third quarter, Williams stood in against a Cougar blitz and lofted a beautiful spiral down the field. Just as the ball came down from the sky, Donald Brown ran under it, catching the pass in stride and carrying it into the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown pass.
And after a Canyons drive stalled at the Chaffey 6-yard line, the Panthers got the ball back late in the third quarter. Five plays later, Williams stood in against another Cougar blitz and again lofted a beautiful spiral downfield. This time, it was Augustine Osuala who ran under the ball, caught it in stride, and carried it in for the score. And this time the distance covered was 68 yards.
With over 13 minutes remaining, Canyons had plenty of time to rally, and they made a final push in the final quarter. After the Osuala touchdown, Andrew Miramontes led the Cougars on a 9-play, 84-yard drive, which culminated with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Roby. Because Chaffey had missed the extra point after Osuala's touchdown, Roby's score made it 27-20. But on the extra point try, Chaffey's Luke Plante appeared to block the kick, and teammate Deyon McElroy picked up the loose ball near the goal line and carried it the length of the field to give the Panthers the 2-point conversion, making it 29-20.
That turned out to be a key pair of points, which kept Chaffey ahead by two scores. Chaffey burned over 5 minutes off the clock on its next drive, but ended up punting the ball away. And again Miramontes led a Cougar drive. Canyons reached the Chaffey 6-yard line but moments later faced a 4th down situation, and needing a pair of scores, settled for a 29-yard Paul Weinstein field goal.
That closed the gap to 29-23 with 2:21 left. And on the ensuing kickoff, Canyons tried an onsides kick. But Chaffey's David Nieman recovered the kick at the 45. Even so, Chaffey was unable to run out the clock, and ended up punting the ball back to Canyons with 1:24 remaining. But the Panther defense held firm, forcing 4 Miramontes incomplete passes to turn the ball back over to Chaffey and clinch the win.
In the first half, Chaffey took the early lead when Mike N. Williams threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Alexander Thompson three plays after a 31-yard pass to Osuala put the Panthers in scoring position. But Canyons answered back when Miramontes connected on a pass to Terence Scott, who outmaneuvered the defense in the end zone to grab the ball for a 28-yard touchdown play. Chaffey went back on top on a 5-yard run by Mike N. Williams moments after an interception by Chaffey's Eddie Gilmore gave the Panthers the ball at the Cougar 11-yard line.
Canyons tied the score in the third quarter when Miramontes again connected with Scott, this time from 15 yards out, on a touchdown pass. That finished a 4-play, 70-yard drive that included a 38-yard pass to speedy Thomas Kyle. But that was the last time the Cougars were even, and Chaffey scored to go back ahead for good on their next possession.
For Chaffey, Mike N. Williams finished 11 of 22 passing for 234 yards and 3 TDs while also rushing for 82 yards (including an electrifying 64-yard scamper in the third quarter). Osuala had 4 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, while Mike A. Williams also had 4 catches, good for 20 yards.
The Panther defense was superb, holding Canyons to just 28 yards rushing on 29 carries while registering 6 quarterback sacks. Dacohn Dillard, who set the tone with a sack of backup quarterback Ryan Whitcomb on a trick play on the very first play from scrimmage, and Brett Oldenkamp led the way with 2 sacks each. McElroy also made his presence felt with an interception and the conversion attempt returned for the two points.
For Canyons, Miramontes completed 21 of 38 passes for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, settling in after tossing a pair of first-half interceptions. He distributed the ball evenly between his receivers with seven different players catching at least 2 passes. Andrew Jones led the Cougars with 4 catches while Jovonne Augustus led COC with 75 yards receiving. But the running game never got untracked; Brian Stuart led the way with 38 yards on 7 carries but the Cougars as a team averaged less than one yard per carry on the night.
The game was a rematch of last year's first-round playoff game, which Canyons won easily, 37-10, behind standout performances from Scott and Stuart. And the loss ends Canyons' 38-game regular-season winning streak, dating back to week 2 of the 2002 season.
Despite the solid win, it doesn't get any easier for Chaffey, which will host Mission Conference favorite El Camino next week in its home opener. Meanwhile, Canyons, ranked #2 in the nation by Street & Smith entering the season, travels to El Cajon to take on defending state & national champion Grossmont. The Griffins were ranked #1 in the nation by Street & Smith, but were upset Saturday afternoon at Mt. San Antonio, 13-10.
Canyons: 15-Stuart 7-38, 3-Kyle 8-12, 36-Blood 2-6, 21-Daniels 1-(-2), 8-R.Whitcomb 1-(-5), 6-Miramontes 10-(-21) Chaffey: 3-M.N.Williams 5-82, 34-Mosely 10-29, 23-T.Lewis 10-26, 25-Ashley 1-10, 1-Osuala 1-8, 81-Ross 1-1, 36-Woods 1-0, 12-Nieman 1-(-4), team 2-(-5)
Canyons: 6-Miramontes 21-38-2-320, 3 TDs Chaffey: 3-M.N.Williams 11-22-0-234, 3 TDs; 12-Nieman 2-5-0-30
Canyons: 19-Jones 4-54, 11-Augustus 3-75, 1-Scott 3-51, 3-Kyle 3-42, 4-Roby 3-34, 80-Franklin 2-34, 48-Wright 2-26, 15-Stuart 1-4 Chaffey: 1-Osuala 4-122, 4-M.A.Williams 4-20, 80-Thompson 3-29, 2-Brown 1-69, 11-Price 1-24
Chaffey: 13-Gilmore 1-1, 17-McElroy 1-0
Canyons: 66-Nelson 1-4 Chaffey: 69-Oldenkamp 2-28, 15-Dillard 2-13, 7-Meng 1-10, 92-Beamon 1-4
Canyons: 14-Chalmers 4-44.8 avg Chaffey: 19-Veazie 5-34.6 avg
Kick Ret: Canyons:
3-Kyle 2-41, 48-Wright 2-28, 24-Sumler 1-4 Chaffey: 47-Young 3-70, 2-Brown 1-23
Canyons: 3-Kyle 1-1 Chaffey: 80-Thompson 3-13
Chaffey: 19-Veazie 28 yds (wl), 31 yds (wl)
Season opener for both teams. Canyons ent. ranked t-#1 in South, #3 in state, #2 in nation (Street & Smith), #8 in nation (JC Grid-Wire). Chaffey ent. #9 in South, #16 in state. 8-Plante appeared to block the XPA that McElroy ran back for the 2 points. COC tried an onsides kick after the FG but 12-Nieman recovered for Chaffey. This win avenges a Chaffey loss to COC in last year's playoffs and ends COC's 38-game reg. season winning streak that dated back to week 2 of the 2002 season, and their 31-game home regular season winning streak that dated back to 1999.
Team Statistics: Canyons, Chaffey
First Downs: Canyons - 20 (4 run, 14 pass, 2 penalty); Chaffey - 16 (8 run, 7 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes – Yards: Canyons - 29-28; Chaffey - 32-147
Passing Yards: Canyons - 320; Chaffey - 264
Comp - Att – Int: Canyons - 21-38-2; Chaffey - 13-27-0
Return Yards: Canyons - 74; Chaffey - 107
Sacks – Yards: Canyons - 1-4; Chaffey - 6-55
Fumbles – Lost: Canyons - 2-0; Chaffey - 1-0
Penalties – Yards: Canyons - 6-80; Chaffey - 9-82Time of Possession: Canyons - 29:57 ; Chaffey - 30:03