The #4-ranked (JC Grid-Wire) Cougars excelled in virtually every facet of the game in a 54-14 win over host Antelope Valley September 6th in both teams' season opener at Quartz Hill HS.
Carpenter caught 9 passes for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also returned a punt for a score. Winborn rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown. Each of the two Canyons quarterbacks - Brad McClellan and Joey Frias – rushed for a touchdown and passed for a touchdown. And the defense held Antelope Valley to just 9 first downs and didn't surrender a point until the fourth quarter when the game was long since decided.
Things started out well enough for Antelope Valley, as Eddie Russ Jr. took the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. Russ had initially misplayed the bouncing kickoff, and the ball went over his head and came to rest in the thick grass at the 4 yard line. But Russ quickly scooped up the ball, surveyed the coverage and found a seam. By the time he reached the end zone, the large crowd – most of both sides' bleachers were filled - was cheering and the Marauders had an early lead.
And the AVC defense quickly forced a Canyons punt. But Ricky Drake started the momentum shift with a 46-yard punt that was downed at the AVC 3. Four plays later, AVC had to punt, and Carpenter fielded Brett Lloyd's line drive kick at the Marauder 47. The speedy Carpenter burst towards the right sideline and into the end zone, tying the game at 7 just 5:54 into the game.
Canyons took advantage of a pair of AVC turnovers to take a 21-7 lead as the quarter continued. On the ensuing kickoff, Russ again took the ball but this time lost control as he crossed his 20 yard line. Matt Miller recovered for COC at the 28, and five plays later Winborn scored from 5 yards out to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.
On the next series, AVC nearly cut into the lead, driving to the Canyons 26 after another excellent kickoff return by Russ. But when the drive stalled, Lloyd came on to attempt a 43-yard field goal, and his kick was wide, keeping the score 14-7. AVC got the ball back moments later when Darius Sears recovered a fumble by COC receiver Jason Engelberg. But on the next play, AVC receiver Terrance Shepard lost the ball as he struggled for a few extra yards. COC's Marquis Jackson, the twin brother of USC's Malik Jackson, picked up the ball and returned it 30 yards to the AVC 32. Six plays later, Frias scored from 3 yards out to make it 21-7.
After all that action in the first quarter, neither team came close to scoring in the second quarter as the defenses on both teams dug in. Canyons drove to the AVC 35 after linebacker Eric Wells recovered an AVC fumble, but Drake's 52-yard field goal try was low and into the line, and was blocked. So the score remained 21-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, Canyons scored four touchdowns to take complete control of the game. It didn't start particularly well for the Cougars, however, as Carpenter fumbled the ball away after a catch, giving the Marauders possession at the AVC 37 following the recovery by Taylor Martin. But the Canyons defense held strong, and forced an AVC punt.
That's when Carpenter sprung into action again. Taking the kick at his own 35, Carpenter sped down the left sideline for a 40-yard return before finally being pushed out of bounds at the AVC 25. Three plays later, McClellan scored from a yard out to make it 27-7.
Two plays after that, the Canyons defense got into the act when Josh Gibbs intercepted a Rodney Dorsette pass at the AVC 46 and returned it the distance down the left sideline to make it 33-7. Then the COC defense forced the Marauder offense to punt twice more before the end of the quarter, again allowing Carpenter to assert himself.
Carpenter scored his second touchdown of the game – his first after a pass reception – on a 21-yard pass from Frias that capped a 7-play drive and made it 40-7. Then when COC got the ball back after the next AVC punt, Carpenter got behind the Marauder defense and hauled in a 54-yard touchdown pass from McClellan that made it 47-7 in the final minute of the third quarter.
Each team scored a long touchdown in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring. AVC's Jamie Jones took a short pass along the right flat and burst through the Cougar defensive reserves for a 77-yard scoring pass from Dorsette. And less than a minute later, COC reserve back Brandon McDonald burst through the AVC defense for a 47-yard scoring run that made it 54-14.
Aside from the coverage on the first kickoff, the two fumbles and 16 penalties for 171 yards, it was an impressive overall performance by Canyons. Winborn led the rushing attack, which totaled 256 yards for the game. McClellan and Frias passed for 235 yards as the Cougars totaled nearly 500 yards of offense. The defense allowed just 9 first downs and 173 yards, much of which came in the final quarter when the game was already decided, and scored a touchdown on Gibbs' interception return. And though the special teams allowed a touchdown return, they also got one from Carpenter to tie the game early on.
For AVC, it was a tough night, but Russ distinguished himself with his 3 kickoff returns for 151 yards and a score, as well as some strong play in the defensive backfield. But the running game was mostly absent – third-string quarterback John Perez actually led AVC with 15 yards on two carries – totaling just 42 yards on 32 attempts. Dorsette completed 9 of 23 passes for 131 yards, but more than half of that came on the 77-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to Jones, who led AVC receivers with 109 yards on 4 catches.
Canyons opens its home schedule next Saturday against Santa Barbara City College, while Antelope Valley travels to Ventura to face the Pirates. After that, the schedule gets much kinder to the Marauders, who will not face another team that was ranked in the top 20 in the preseason the rest of the way.
Saturday, September 6, 2007 – 7 pm – Floyd Nicholson Field, Quartz Hill HS
AVC – Russ 96 yd kickoff return (Navarro kick) 14:45 (0-7)
COC – Carpenter 47 yd punt return (Drake kick) 11:16 (7-7)
COC – Winborn 5 yd run (Drake kick) 9:06 (14-7)
COC – Frias 3 yd run (Drake kick) 3:13 (21-7)
COC – McClellan 1 yd run (kick wide right) 10:36 (27-7)
COC – Gibbs 46 yd interception return (kick wide right) 10:01 (33-7)
COC – Carpenter 21 yd pass from Frias (Drake kick) 4:01 (40-7)
COC – Carpenter 54 yd pass from McClellan (Drake kick) 0:39 (47-7)
AVC – Jones 77 yd pass from Dorsette (Navarro kick) 8:14 (47-14)
COC – McDonald 47 yd run (Drake kick) 7:24 (54-14)
First Downs: Antelope Valley 9 (2 rush, 4 pass, 3 penalty), Canyons 22 (12 rush, 10 pass)
Rushes-Yds: Antelope Valley 32-42, Canyons 39-256
Passing Yds: Antelope Valley 131, Canyons 235
Comp-Att-Int: Antelope Valley 9-25-1, Canyons 18-31-0
Return Yds: Antelope Valley 307, Canyons 275
Sacks-Yds: Antelope Valley 1-4, Canyons 4-20
Fumbles-Lost: Antelope Valley 3-3, Canyons 2-2
Penalties-Yds: Antelope Valley 10-75, Canyons 17-161
Time of Possession: Antelope Valley 31:10, Canyons 28:50
Rushing: Antelope Valley 13-Perez 2-15, 7-Blood 13-12, 2-Shepard 1-12, 29-Brashears 4-7, 35-McNeil 2-7, 49-Henry 1-4, 14-Pursley 1-0, 36-Whitson 2-(-1), 6-Dorsette 6-(-14); Canyons 10-Winborn 18-120, 24-McDonald 3-54, 13-Frias 6-36, 7-McClellan 4-34, 45-Quinn 2-12, 18-Brown 2-11, 20-Dawkins 1-6, 9-Carpenter 1-0, 39-Iverson 1-(-3), team 1-(-14)
Passing: Antelope Valley 6-Dorsette 9-23-1-131, 1 TD; 13-Perez 0-2-0-0;
Canyons 7-McClellan 13-21-0-169, 1 TD; 13-Frias 5-9-0-66, 1 TD; 18-Brown 0-1-0-0
Receiving: Antelope Valley 23-Jones 4-109, 2-Shepard 3-14, 1-C.Johnson 2-8;
Canyons 9-Carpenter 9-181, 10-Winborn 4-19, 6-Leacock 2-17, 85-Wright 1-7, 3-Engelberg 1-6, 86-Pittman 1-5
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Antelope Valley none; Canyons 26-Gibbs 1-46
Fumble Rec.-Ret Yds: Antelope Valley 90-Martin 1-0, 95-Sears 1-0;
Canyons 93-Jackson 1-30, 46-Miller 1-0, 54-Jermaine Cushnie 1-0
Sacks-Yds: Antelope Valley 93-Miller 1-4; Canyons 17-Wells 1-9, 93-Jackson 1-5, 46-Miller 1-4, 92-Hollins 1-2
Punters: Antelope Valley 33-Navarro 9-38.6 avg; 41-Lloyd 1-40; Canyons 16-Drake 4-39.8 avg; 38-Watson 2-37.5 avg
Kick Returns: Antelope Valley 11-Russ 3-151, 2-Shepard 4-94, 22-B.Anderson 1-27, 24-White 1-19; Canyons 39-Iverson 1-56, 82-Burke 1-40
Punt Returns: Antelope Valley 11-Russ 2-16; Canyons 9-Carpenter 4-106, 34-Francisco 1-6, 11-Stephens 1-(-9)
Missed FG: Antelope Valley 41-Lloyd 43 yds (wide right); Canyons 16-Drake 52 yds (blocked)
Notes: Season opener for both teams. Canyons entered ranked #4 nationally by JC Grid-Wire, #3 in Southern California and #4 in California by COA. Antelope Valley entered #11 in Southern California and #20 in California by COA. Carpenter's punt return for TD was on Lloyd's punt; Navarro did the rest of the punting for AVC. Winborn's TD came 5 plays after Miller's fumble recovery; Frias' TD came 6 plays after Jackson's fumble recovery & return. COC took the opening kickoff in the 3rd quarter but lost the ball when Carpenter fumbled. But after the Cougar defense forced a punt, Carpenter atoned for his miscue with a 40-yd punt return that set up McClellan's TD. The most points AVC surrendered in a game last season was 49 (in the playoff loss to Mt. SAC). Canyons now leads the all-time series, 6-4, but has won the last 3 meetings. The last time these teams met before tonight was in 2000. The game was played at Quartz Hill HS as AVC's Marauder Stadium is being rebuilt.