The No. 14 College of the Canyons football team got back in the win column on Saturday, after picking up a 26-10 road victory over No. 10 Moorpark College.
Canyons (3-4, 1-1) had previously lost its last four contests, but received a big boost from sophomore quarterbackMatt Moore who led the Cougars on three long scoring drives before capping his night with a 68-yard, fourth quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Ethan Lazarek to seal the victory.
Moore finished the game 22-of-33 for 319 yards and three touchdowns in his first start of the season.
However, it was another quarterback, freshman CJ Williams, who found the end zone first for Canyons, with a two-yard touchdown run that capped a 12-play, 51-yard scoring drive on the Cougars’ opening possession.
The scoring run by Williams, who was brought into the game as part of a special offensive package, put COC ahead 6-0 with 8:20 remaining in the first quarter. The subsequent two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Moorpark (3-4, 1-1) finally got on the board early in the second quarter with a 15-yard field goal from kicker Gavin Todd after seeing its 18-play drive stall out deep in Cougar territory.
Later in the quarter, Moore connected with Lazarek on the first of two touchdown passes to extend the Cougars’ lead at 13-3, after a successful PAT from kicker Kevin Neitzke.
The Raiders drew first blood in the second half with a four-yard touchdown run by running back Isaiah Johnson late in the third quarter to make it a 13-10 COC advantage.
Less than three minutes later, Moore found COC freshman wide receiver Marquise Brown on a 19-yard scoring strike.
Brown finished the game with six catches for 101 yards, including his team-leading eighth touchdown grab of the season.
Brown, who has scored in all but one game this season, also leads the Cougars with 33 receptions for 575 receiving yards. He has now found the end zone in three straight contests.
On the ground, Canyons running back Tylan McBride led the attack with 59 yards on 17 carries.
Defensively, the Cougars limited Moorpark to its second lowest point total of the season, while containing the Raiders to a 31 percent third down conversion rate. Canyons also recorded four sacks and two interceptions in the contest.
COC linebacker Jerel Hall finished the game with 10 tackles and a sack, while defensive back Blake Austin had eight tackles, including seven of the solo variety.
Linebackers Alonso Reeves, Brandon Shook and defensive lineman Dorian Gerald also registered sacks in the game. Gerald leads the Cougars with eight sacks on the season.
Nolan Jackson and DeAndre Henderson each came away with interceptions.
Canyons is currently tied for second place in the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National League, Northern Division, with Bakersfield (5-2), Cerritos (3-4) and Moorpark each claiming identical 1-1 conference records.
Ventura College (5-2, 2-0) currently sits atop the conference standings.
The Cougars will next travel to face Cerritos College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29.
— Jesse Munoz/COC Sports Information Office
— Photos by Jim Bloomfield/COC Sports Information