Cerritos Runs Past Canyons, 39-32.

Jermaine Whiten rushed for a Cerritos school record 308 yds and scored 4 TDs, 3 in the 2nd quarter, to lead the Falcons to a 39-32 win over College of the Canyons September 21st in Norwalk. Teammate Josh Herrera added 116 yds on 14 carries, and Cerritos piled up 442 yds on the ground for the game and scored 5 rushing TDs. Glenn DeBerg threw a 31-yd pass to Randy Raphiel just before halftime for Cerritos' other score.

The Cougars made a late charge on the strength of Kyle Bauer's passing, but were unable to recover an onsides kick attempt in the final minute after scoring to close the margin to 7.  Bauer finished 21 of 33 for 265 yds, 3 TDs and no interceptions for College of the Canyons.

The way the game began would prove ominous for the Cougars.  Cerritos' Josh Herrera took the handoff on the Falcons' first play from scrimmage and ramble 74 yards up the right sideline to the COC 6.  Three plays later, Herrera scored from 2 yds out to give Cerritos the early lead.

But Michael Williams changed things quickly for Canyons.  He took the ensuing kickoff, and after letting it bounce around a while he picked it up at his own 12.  Then he cut through the Cerritos coverage and down the left sideline.  By the time he was brought down, he was inside the Falcon 10 yard line.  Moments later, Bauer hit Eddie Robinson with a 5-yd scoring pass to even the game at 7.

After a Cerritos punt, COC again moved the ball into Falcon territory.  The drive stalled at the Cerritos 25, so the Cougars brought in Jason Tompkins to try a 42-yd FG.  His kick sailed just over the crossbar, giving COC a 10-7 lead. 

On the ensuing kickoff, Cerritos handed the Cougars a gift.  Return man Carlos Velasquez handled the kick 6 yds deep in his own end zone, and then curiously brought the ball out just beyond the goal line.  Then, apparently realizing his mistake, he inexplicably retreated back into the end zone and took a knee for a safety.  That made it 12-7.

After the free kick, COC again drove into Falcon territory.  But when the Cougars faced 4th down at the 26, they elected to go for the first down rather than try another field goal.  Cerritos' defense held, turning the ball over on downs.  This was one of two 4th-down stands that the Falcons would make on the night.

But Cerritos handed the ball right back on a fumble.  COC's Shalom Tuimalealiifano fell on the ball for the recovery.  When the drive stalled at the 27, the Cougars elected this time to try another field goal.  But this one (a 44-yd attempt) fell far short, leaving it 12-7.

However, Cerritos wasn't through making mistakes just yet.  Greg McCardell stepped in front of a Cerritos receiver and intercepted a Michael Keeling pass at the Falcon 42, and took it all the way for a score.  This made it 18-7 Canyons just less than 3 mintutes into the second quarter.

Then Whiten took over.  First, he ran 72 yds for a TD to close the gap to 18-13.  Then he had a run of 29 yds, followed by a 13-yd scoring run to give Cerritos a 19-18 lead.  And then he scored from 7 yds out to make it 25-19.  Two failed 2-pt conversions and a blocked XPA kept it a one-score game, but in the space of just over 7 minutes of playing time Whiten rushed for over 150 yds and 3 touchdowns.  And he gave Cerritos a lead they would keep the rest of the way.

But Cerritos wasn't done scoring yet.  On their final drive of the half, Glenn DeBerg threw his 31-yd scoring pass to Raphiel to make it 32-18 just 35 seconds before halftime.  It was the Falcons' only pass play of the night that went for more than 3 yds, but gave them a comfortable lead at intermission.

And midway through the third quarter, Whiten made it a little more comfortable for the home team.  He took the ball to the right, but the play was quickly bottled up.  So he cut back to his left, running around most of the COC defense.  Then he cut back through the Cougar defense, breaking several attempts at arm tackles as he ran.  Now into the defensive backfield, he slowed down to let his teammates set their block three different times as he headed downfield.  One last Cougar grabbed at his foot at about the 10 yard line, but Whiten stepped right through that and into the end zone.  The truly remarkable 84-yard run seemed to clinch the deal for Cerritos.

Still, COC wasn't through just yet.  On the next series, they got some help from 4 Cerritos penalties and got the ball to the Falcon 2 yard line for a first and goal.  Four times the ball went to J.J. Arrington, and four times the Cerritos defense held.  The Falcons goal-line stand seemed to finish off any chance the Cougars had. 

And yet, the Canyons had one more rally left.  First, Bauer hit Trevor Brackett on a 29-yd touchdown pass with just over 7 minutes left.  That closed it to 39-25. 

Cerritos stopped COC on their next drive, but now the Falcons were unable to move the ball and forced to punt.  And COC's Dennis Ellis broke through and partially deflected the next Falcon punt, which went just 22 yds.  Moments later, Bauer got the ball to Ramon Perry, who scored from 31 yds out on a spectacular run down the right sideline.  His TD made it 39-32 Cerritos with 47 seconds left.

It all came down to the onsides kick if the Cougars were to continue their comeback bid.  But Cerritos' Andrew Harris clinched the win for the Falcons when he recovered the kick.

Cerritos' stars were clearly Whiten and Herrera, but their defense was also impressive.  LB Justin Burks had 1-1/2 sacks and was a huge presence all night.  LB Marcus Miller had a sack and blocked an XPA.  And safeties Doug Stewart and Eric Frierson were huge as well, putting several mammoth hits on Cougar receivers.

For Valencia, Bauer had two main targets:  TE Brian Miller (7 catches for 59 yds) and WR Trevor Brackett (5 catches for 106 yds).  J.J. Arrington had 19 carries for 85 yds.  And Williams finished with 187 yds on 6 kickoff returns.

Saturday, September 21, 2002 - 7 p.m.
at Falcon Stadium, Norwalk, CA
A Non-Conference California Community College Game

Cerritos College (Falcons)  39
College of the  Canyons (Cougars)  32

1st Quarter:
CER – Herrera 2 yd run (Sonntag kick) 9:34 -- 7-0
CAN – Robinson 5 yd pass from Bauer (Tompkins kick) 8:22 -- 7-7
CAN – FG Tompkins 42 yds 3:24 -- 7-10
CAN – Safety – Velasquez re-entered ez and downed ball 3:16 -- 7-12 

2nd Quarter:
CAN – McCardell 42 yd interception return (kick blocked) 12:03 -- 7-18
CER – Whiten 72 yd run (pass failed) 11:40 -- 13-18
CER – Whiten 13 yd run (run failed) 7:05 -- 19-18
CER – Whiten 7 yd run (kick blocked) 4:48 -- 25-18
CER – Raphiel 31 yd pass from G.DeBerg (Sonntag kick) 0:35 -- 32-18

3rd Quarter:
CER – Whiten 84 yd run (Sonntag kick) 9:38 -- 39-18 

4th Quarter:
CAN – Brackett 29 yd pass from Bauer (Tompkins kick) 6:55 -- 39-25
CAN – Perry 31 yd pass from Bauer (Tompkins kick) 0:47 -- 39-32 

Team Statistics:



First Downs

15 (2 pass; 13 run)

21 (13 pass; 4 run; 4 pen)

Rushes – Yards



Passing Yards



Comp - Att – Int



Return Yards



Sacks – Yards



Fumbles – Lost



Penalties – Yards



Time of Possession



Individual Statistics:


CER:  30-Whiten 21-308, 40-Herrera 14-116, 16-Keeling 3-30, 2-G.DeBerg 2-(-4), 28-Lowen 1-(-8)
CAN:  30-Arrington 19-85, 20-Cumming 1-9, 10-Bauer 6-2, 24-Williams 1-1, 18-Winn 4-(-16), team 1-(-2)


CER:  2-G.DeBerg 4-8-0-33, 1 TD; 16-Keeling 1-3-1-2
CAN:  10-Bauer 21-33-0-265, 3 TDs; 18-Winn 3-8-0-16; 3-Brackett 0-1-0-0


CER: 7-Raphiel 2-33, 28-Lowen 1-3, 15-Kirkpatrick 1-2, 30-Whiten 1-(-3)
CAN:  4-Miller 7-59, 3-Brackett 5-106, 7-T.Smith 3-60, 30-Arrington 3-(-13), 33-Hogan 2-23, 8-Lopez 2-10, 5-Perry 1-31, 15-Robinson 1-5


CER:  39-Cornejo 6-35.0 avg
CAN:  20-Cummings 4-36.0 avg

Kick Ret:

CER:  25-Velasquez 2-32, 30-Whiten 1-29, 4-Camarillo 1-21, 8-Harris 1-0 
CAN:  24-Williams 6-187, 5-Perry 1-4

Punt Ret:

CER:  10-Allen 2-9
CAN:  2-Johnson 1-11, 5-Perry 1-6

Int-Ret Yds:

CER:  none
CAN:  1-McCardell 1-42

Fumble Rec:

CER:  32-Cowan
CAN:  74-Tuimalealiifano


CER 3:  5-Burks 1½, 6-Miller, 44-Taufa ½           
CAN:  none

Missed FG:

CER:  none
CAN:  22-Tompkins 44 yds (short)

XPA Blocks:

CER:  6-Miller
CAN:  46-Peko

Both teams entered 1-0.  COC was ranked #3 in South; Cerritos was ranked #4 in South.  Jermaine Whiten set new Cerritos mark for rush yds, game.  His final TD run was just incredible.  Cerritos had goal-line stand on 4 Arrington runs from the 1 or 2 midway thru  3rd qtr.  COC changed QBs (Bauer to Winn) for 4 series after getting 12-7 lead – and didn't score on offense again until the 4th qtr.  44-Ellis partially blocked Cerritos' last punt.  Williams had 79-yd kick ret to set up first COC score.  Harris' return was recovery of onsides kick, ending COC's last chance.

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