With star runner Corey Stollmeyer sidelined, the Bulldogs turned to a committee of running backs and piled up 321 rushing yards en route to the win. Andre Cirino led the way with 115 yards on 11 carries, while Lorenzo Goode and Shaun Stewart each scored a pair of touchdowns. And quarterback Jonathan Dally managed it all beautifully, completing 7 of 9 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 59 yards and a score.
But it was not the expected easy win for Hancock. The Bulldogs entered having lost just once this season, to Saddleback (ranked #1 in the nation), while Valley entered with just a single win, a 1-point decision over Pasadena in the season's opening week. But the Monarchs, led by quarterback Will Cowan, starting his first game of the year, gave Hancock all they could handle and even held a 5-point lead late in the third quarter.
Early on, it looked like Hancock was on its way to an easy win. After forcing a Valley punt, the Bulldogs quickly drove down the field and took a 6-0 lead when Stewart scored from 16 yards out with 8:11 left in the first quarter. The extra point went awry when the holder dropped the snap, but that seemed insignificant.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Valley gave notice that it would not go quietly into the night. Garrett Feig took the kick at his own 4 and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown to draw the Monarchs even. And when Rene Renteria booted the extra point through the goal posts, Valley had an unexpected 7-6 lead.
Hancock answered back on its next possession with an 8-play drive that ended when Goode scored from 6 yards out. When Sal Gutierrez kicked the extra point, Hancock had a 13-7 lead.
But Valley cut that lead to 13-10 on a Renteria 37-yard field goal on the last play of the first quarter. And after a Hancock punt, Valley tied the game when Renteria kicked a 52-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Renteria's 52-yarder came after a bizarre play on which Cowan attempted a pass over the middle that Hancock's Samuel Guilliume tipped up into the air. When the ball came back towards the ground, Valley's Lance Harper Jr. swatted the ball, trying to knock it to the ground lest it be intercepted. But the ball went to offensive lineman Christian Sanchez, who made the catch and gained 6 yards on the play. Those 6 yards turned out to be quite important as on the next play Renteria's field goal attempt was good, clearing the crossbar by about 6 yards.
Then Valley got another break when Dally fumbled the snap and John Fonua recovered the ball at the Bulldog 40 yard line. A 21-yard pass from Cowan to Raymond Johnson helped the Monarchs move into scoring position, and when Renteria kicked a 20-yard field goal with 5:38 left before halftime, Valley had a 16-13 lead.
That was plenty of time for Hancock to answer, however, and the Bulldogs put together a 10-play drive that ended with a 15-yard scoring pass from Dally to Andrew Hirsch to re-claim the lead. Gutierrez' extra point made it 20-16, which is where things stood at halftime.
When the second half began, Hancock got the ball first but was forced to punt without gaining a first down. Then Valley went on an 18-play drive that moved the ball all the way from its 20 yard line to the Hancock 4. Anthony Dickson kept the drive alive with a nifty 11-yard run on 4th and 1 from the 35, deftly maintaining his balance after almost being tripped up in the backfield. But then the drive stalled, and on came Renteria to kick a short field goal. Shockingly, Renteria missed the kick, but Hancock was flagged on the play for running into the holder, giving him another chance. This time the kick was true, making it 20-19. And there was another penalty on the play as this time Hancock ran into Renteria, but Valley chose to keep the points on the board.
After another Hancock punt, Valley got a huge play from Dickson to re-take the lead. The former Grant HS (across the driveway from Valley) standout took the handoff, cut across the field and sped down the left sideline for an electrifying 62-yard touchdown run that gave the Monarchs a 25-20 lead with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
But then it all came apart for the Monarchs, and in less than four minutes of playing time Hancock took control of the game. First, the Bulldogs got a 36-yard run from Cirino. That sparked a quick, 5-play drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Goode and put the Bulldogs back on top, 27-25. Then, Valley's Humadicko Njimboua fumbled, and Hancock's Ryan Roberts recovered at the Monarch 36. Two plays later, Dally scored from 34 yards out on a keeper to make it 34-25. Then, just over a minute later, Ryan Head intercepted a Cowan pass at the 36 and returned it down the left sideline for a touchdown that made it 41-25. Then came a quick 3-and-out by Valley, followed by a short 17-yard punt. Two plays later, Stewart scored from 10 yards out to complete the onslaught, making it 48-25.
In a span of less than 4 minutes of playing time, Hancock scored 28 points and turned a 25-20 deficit into a commanding 23-point lead. Valley managed to score once more on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cowan to Harper, but the Bulldogs remained in front by three scores the rest of the way.
For Valley, it's the Monarchs' 6th straight defeat but there were some encouraging signs. Cowan completed 22 of 40 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown in his first start of the season. Just as important as his passing stats, he managed to avoid the Hancock rush and didn't take a sack all evening. Dickson finished with a game-high 118 yards on the ground, including the spectacular 62-yard touchdown dash. Feig showed his abilities on the 96-yard kickoff return that got Valley into the game. And both Johnson and Harper both had strong games at receiver, catching 7 passes apiece.
With the win, Hancock improves its record to 4-0 in the tough WSC-North, keeping pace with Bakersfield and Moorpark atop the division. AHC returns home to face College of the Canyons, the 5-time defending division champs who are all but eliminated from this year's race but have posted two consecutive one-sided wins over WSC-South leader Citrus and LA Pierce.
AHC might also be without Stollmeyer, who entered the weekend second in the WSC in rushing but who had just 2 carries and 2 kick returns vs. Valley, all early in the game.
Allan Hancock Bulldogs 48 LA Valley Monarchs 31
Saturday, October 21, 2006 – 7 pm – Monarch Stadium – Valley Glen – WSC-North
AH – Stewart 16 yd run (kick failed – bad snap) 8:11 (6-0)
V – Feig 96 yd kickoff return (Renteria kick) 7:51 (6-7)
AH – Goode 6 yd run (Gutierrez kick) 3:43 (13-7)
V – FG Renteria 37 yds 0:00 (13-10)
V – FG Renteria 52 yds 10:31 (13-13)
V – FG Renteria 20 yds 5:38 (13-16)
AH – Hirsch 15 yd pass from Dally (Gutierrez kick) 1:03 (20-16)
V – FG Renteria 20 yds 7:55 (20-19)
V – Dickson 62 yd run (kick wide right) 4:05 (20-25)
AH – Goode 7 yd run (Gutierrez kick) 1:52 (27-25)
AH – Dally 34 yd run (Gutierrez kick) 0:27.1 (34-25)
AH – Head 36 yd interception return (Gutierrez kick) 14:18 (41-25)
AH – Dally 10 yd run (Gutierrez kick) 13:01 (48-25)
V – Harper 10 yd pass from Cowan (kick wide left) (48-31)
First Downs: LA Valley 18 (5 rush, 11 pass, 2 penalty), Allan Hancock 20 (14
rush, 5 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: LA Valley 32-150, Allan Hancock 55-321
Passing Yds: LA Valley 203, Allan Hancock 98
Comp-Att-Int: LA Valley 22-40-2, Allan Hancock 7-9-0
Return Yds: LA Valley 204, Allan Hancock 255
Sacks-Yds: LA Valley 1-9, Allan Hancock 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: LA Valley 1-1, Allan Hancock 2-2
Penalties-Yds: LA Valley 10-87, Allan Hancock 9-60
Time of Possession: LA Valley 27:38, Allan Hancock 32:22
Rushing: V 6-Dickson 24-118, 14-Cowan 5-19, 23-Njimboua 3-13; AH 29-Cirino
11-115, 3-Stewart 14-67, 8-Dally 7-59, 23-Goode 10-50, 26-Hirsch 10-21,
20-Stollmeyer 2-13, 38-Denson 1-(-4)
Passing: V 14-Cowan 22-40-2-203, 1 TD; AH 8-Dally 7-9-0-98, 1 TD
Receiving: V 4-Johnson 7-87, 3-Harper 7-62, 6-Kinard 4-15, 81-Davis 3-33, 68-Sanchez 1-6; AH 87-Munnerlyn 3-47, 26-Hirsch 2-27, 2-Catayas 2-24
Fumble Rec.-Ret Yds: V 15-Evans 1-23, 9-Fonua 1-0; AH 58-Roberts 1-0
Sacks-Yds: V 42-Alanis 1-9; AH none
Punters: V 12-Vokos 2-29.5 avg; AH 31-Velasco 4-42.8 avg
Kick Returns: V 1-Feig 2-96, 4-Johnson 1-58, 6-Kinard 1-19, 32-Flores 1-3; AH 23-Goode 4-117, 20-Stollmeyer 1-37, 29-Cirino 1-32, 2-Catayas 1-25
Punt Returns: V 1-Feig 1-5; AH 20-Stollmeyer 1-8
Notes: AHC ent. 5-1, 3-0 in WSC-North and ranked #11 in South; Valley ent. 1-5, 0-3 in WSC-South. The holder dropped the snap on AHC's 1st XPA. Sanchez' reception came on a double-deflection but it was important as Renteria's 52-yd FG came on the next play and those 6 yards sure helped. Renteria's 4th FG came on a second-chance after he missed the first attempt from 22 yds but a running into the kicker penalty gave him another shot. AHC's 5th TD came 2 plays after Roberts' fumble recovery. Valley's last TD came after Johnson's 58-yd kickoff return. This was Cowan's first start of the year for Valley. Stollmeyer (2nd leading rusher in the WSC) left the game early due to apparent injury.