It was a dominant effort from the start, and the game was much more one-sided than the final score would suggest. In addition to Reynolds' kickoff return and the school-record performance by the offense, Canyons got a strong performance from the defense as well, holding Andre Cirino, who entered the game as the state's leading rusher, to just 89 yards with most of that coming long after the outcome of the game had been decided.
Canyons got the best possible start thanks to Reynolds, a 5-10 sophomore who played at LA Valley last season. Reynolds reached down for the ball at his own 4, corralled it at the 7 and burst through the coverage and up the left sideline for a 93-yard touchdown return on the first play of the game to give Canyons a lead it would hold the rest of the way.
Though the defense was stellar from the start, the Cougar lead was still just 7-0 after the first quarter as twice the COC offense stalled after driving deep into Hancock territory. On each occasion, the Cougars settled for a field goal attempt, but Paul Weinstein missed both, including a 47-yard try that hit the left upright.
But Canyons took over the game in the second quarter on both sides of the ball. After the third Hancock punt of the game, COC got a 43-yard pass play when Frias threw a short toss to Winborn, who broke through the defense for the long-gainer. Only a saving tackle by Hancock's Erik Anderkavich prevented the touchdown, but two plays later Reynolds bowled over a defender at the goal line to score the Cougars' second touchdown on a 10-yard run to make it 14-0.
After another Hancock punt, Canyons increased its lead to 21-0 when Winborn scored from 3 yards out to cap a 7-play, 72-yard drive. The big play came when Frias stood in and took a big hit just as he delivered a long pass that Jovonne Augustus hauled in with a spectacular leaping catch. He made it to the Hancock 5 before falling as he dove for the ball, and two plays later Winborn scored to give Canyons a three-touchdown lead.
After still another Hancock punt, Canyons increased its lead to 28-0 on a 9-yard shovel pass from Frias to Winborn with 7:13 left in the first half. That came three plays after the catch of the night, an amazing, leaping catch by the 5-11 Carpenter who somehow outjumped the defender to snatch the ball out of mid-air. That play was good for 52 yards, the longest pass play of the night for the Cougars.
Hancock finally got on the board – after punting the ball away on each of its first 5 possessions – with a big play of its own on its next play from scrimmage. Quarterback Casey Cathcart threw a short pass to Tyrell Munnerlyn along the left sideline, and the 6-3 sophomore receiver eluded one defender, picked up a block and ran down the left sideline for a 75-yard scoring play that made it 28-7.
But Canyons scored again to restore its lead to 28 points at the half. This time Frias and Carpenter combined on a picture-perfect pass play on which the freshman quarterback lofted a beautifully-thrown pass into the left corner of the end zone. Carpenter made the catch just before the back line, dragging his feet to stay inbounds for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 left in the half that made it 35-7.
Canyons increased its lead to 42-7 early in the second half on another touchdown pass from Frias to Carpenter, this one good for 20 yards. That came six plays after the game's first turnover, a fumble on a bad pitchout by Cathcart that Clayton Byrd recovered for Canyons at the Cougar 38.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hancock got its second touchdown on another big play as return man Diondrea Bryant took the kick at his own 4 and burst down the left sideline for a 96-yard touchdown return, diving into the end zone from about the 3 to punctuate the run (he was flagged for unsportsman like conduct) and cutting the Canyons lead to 42-14.
But Canyons scored again before the third quarter was over with Winborn taking it in from the 2 to finish a quick 6-play, 48-yard drive that began after a 34-yard kickoff return by Reynolds. A 21-yard run by Winborn, a 13-yard run by Reynolds and an 11-yard run on a quarterback keeper by Frias figured in the drive that made it 49-14.
Hancock scored a pair of touchdowns in the final quarter as both teams substituted liberally. Cirino finally broke free for a 61-yard run – he had just 11 yards in the first half and only 28 before that run – before being caught from behind by Canyons' Tyler Roby at the 29. Then backup quarterback Greg Draper threw to tight end Kyle Pollack for 25 yards to get a first and goal. Three plays later, after a pass interference penalty on Canyons in the end zone, Cirino scored from two yards out to make it 49-21.
Hancock's final touchdown came after Isiah Anderson sacked Canyons' backup quarterback Austin Civita and knocked the ball loose. William Roundtree picked up the ball just outside the 15 and returned it all the way for a touchdown for the game's final score. On the ensuing kickoff, Hancock tried an onsides kick and Lamar Allen recovered for the Bulldogs, but that drive would end after a 10-yard loss on a pass play and a 9-yard quarterback sack by COC's Jonathan Hollins.
For Canyons, it was a record-setting night as the offense racked up 701 yards of total offense. And there was almost perfect balance; the Cougars rushed for 359 yards and passed for 342. Reynolds led all rushers with 149 yards on 15 carries and totaled 293 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns. Winborn added 133 yards and two touchdowns, also on 15 carries, and caught a touchdown pass. Carpenter had another spectacular night, going over the 1000-yard mark for the season with 193 yards on 7 catches and two touchdowns. And Frias, making his second start of the season in place of injured Andrew Miramontes, completed 15 of 21 passes for 333 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions while rushing for 55 yards on 15 carries in a near-flawless performance.
Not to be overlooked was the Canyons defense, which held Hancock's Cirino to just 89 yards rushing and preventing him from being a factor in the game. Hancock managed just 10 first downs on the night, and 232 yards of total offense. Jason Pierre-Paul was the most visible of Cougar defenders, registering 3 tackles-for-loss and recovering a Hancock fumble.
For Hancock, Cirino managed 89 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Cathcart completed 5 of 11 passes for 102 yards and a score, which came on the 75-yard pass to Munnerlyn, who led Bulldog receivers with 3 catches for 92 yards. Anderson registered two of the Bulldogs' three sacks.
With the win, Canyons improves to 7-1 on the season and 5-0 in the Mountain Division of the WSC, tied atop the standings with #1-ranked Bakersfield. The Cougars will host LA Harbor (ranked #16 entering the weekend) next Saturday.
Hancock falls to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the WSC-Mountain. And it doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs, who return home to face Bakersfield next week.
College of the Canyons Cougars 49
Allan Hancock Bulldogs 28
Saturday, October 27, 2007 – 7 pm – Cougar Stadium – Valencia – WSC Mountain Division
C – Reynolds 93 yd kickoff return (Weinstein kick) 14:48 (7-0)
C – Reynolds 10 yd run (Weinstein kick) 14:20 (14-0)
C – Winborn 3 yd run (Weinstein kick) 10:16 (21-0)
C – Winborn 9 yd pass from Frias (Weinstein kick) 7:13 (28-0)
AH – Munnerlyn 75 yd pass from Cathcart (Velasco kick) 6:54 (28-7)
C – Carpenter 44 yd pass fom Frias (Weinstein kick) 2:06 (35-7)
C – Carpenter 20 yd pass from Frias (Weinstein kick) 10:19 (42-7)
AH – Bryant 96 yd kickoff return (Velasco kick) 10:03 (42-14)
C – Winborn 2 yd run (Weinstein kick) 7:26 (49-14)
AH – Cirino 2 yd run (Velasco kick) 10:37 (49-21)
AH – Roundtree 84 yd fumble return (Velasco kick) 5:48 (49-28)
First Downs: Canyons 32 (19 rush, 13 pass), Allan Hancock 10 (3 rush, 5 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 57-359, Allan Hancock 33-87
Passing Yds: Canyons 342, Allan Hancock 142
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 16-22-0, Allan Hancock 9-17-1
Return Yds: Canyons 201, Allan Hancock 372
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 1-9, Allan Hancock 3-24
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 4-1, Allan Hancock 3-1
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 10-92, Allan Hancock 4-35
Time of Possession: Canyons 34:09, Allan Hancock 25:51
Rushing: Canyons 29-Reynolds 15-149, 10-Winborn 15-133, 13-Frias 13-55, 24-McDonald 8-41, 45-Quinn 1-4, 11-Civita 2-(-13), team 1-(-10); Allan Hancock 1-Cirino 14-89, 25-Denson 10-17, 29-Deras 2-15, 28-Bryant 2-3, 2-Munnerlyn 1-(-8), 12-Draper 1-(-9), 5-Catchcart 2-(-12), team 1-(-8)
Passing: Canyons 13-Frias 15-21-0-333, 3 TDs; 11-Civita 1-1-0-9; Allan Hancock 5-Cathcart 5-11-0-102, 1 TD; 12-Draper 4-6-1-40
Receiving: Canyons 9-Carpenter 7-193, 10-Winborn 3-58, 1-Augustus 3-50, 19-A.Jones 2-24, 29-Reynolds 1-17; Allan Hancock 2-Munnerlyn 3-92, 17-Pollack 2-47, 85-Henry 2-8, 1-Cirino 1-5, 25-Denson 1-(-10)
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Canyons 23-Anderson 1-40; Allan Hancock none
Fumble Recoveries: Canyons 91-Pierre-Paul 1-2, 52-Byrd 1-0; Allan Hancock 50-Roundtree 1-84
Sacks: Canyons 92-Hollins; Allan Hancock 49-Anderson 2, 50-Roundtree 1/2, 55-Swangler 1/2
Punters: Canyons 30-Shigley 2-34.0 avg; Allan Hancock 7-Velasco 7-37.1 avg
Kick Returns: Canyons 29-Reynolds 2-127, 15-Masline 1-18, 81-McClover 1-14; Allan Hancock 1-Cirino 4-109, 28-Bryant 3-142, 45-Guilliume 1-27
Punt Returns: Canyons 4-Roby 1-0, 15-Masline 1-0; Allan Hancock 24-Simpson 1-10
Missed FG: Canyons 32-Weinstein 47 yds (hit left post), 45 yds (wide left)
Notes: Canyons entered 6-1, 4-0 in WSC-Mountain, ranked #6-South (COA) and #18 in nation (JC Grid-Wire). Hancock entered 5-2, 4-0 in WSC-M, ranked #14-South. Reynolds' kickoff return set the tone for the night. COC set school records for most total offense yards (701) and most rushing attempts. Cirino entered the game as the state's leading rusher (1003 yds in 7 games) but aside from a 61-yd dash in the 4th quarter was held in check. This was Frias' 2nd college start. Anderson's 2nd sack caused Civita's fumble that Roundtree returned for the TD.