|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
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
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.
Cerritos College (Falcons)
21-308, 40-Herrera 14-116, 16-Keeling 3-30, 2-G.DeBerg 2-(-4), 28-Lowen
4-8-0-33, 1 TD; 16-Keeling 1-3-1-2
CER: 7-Raphiel 2-33, 28-Lowen 1-3, 15-Kirkpatrick
1-2, 30-Whiten 1-(-3)
2-32, 30-Whiten 1-29, 4-Camarillo 1-21, 8-Harris 1-0
CER 3: 5-Burks
1½, 6-Miller, 44-Taufa ½
Cerritos Runs Past Canyons, 39-32.
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