No. 14 College of the Canyons allowed a season-low nine points and topped the 40-point plateau for the second time in as many week to down No. 22 Cerritos College 45-9 at Cougar Stadium on Saturday night.
Canyons (6-2, 2-1) was in control from the opening whistle, limiting Cerritos (3-5, 1-2) to just 12 first downs on the evening and a mere 274 yards of offense. The Falcons were just 1-of-14 on third down.
COC quarterback Andrew Brito led the Cougars in another spectacular offensive showing which resulted in 492 yards of total offense and seven touchdown scoring drives.
Brito, who finished 21-of-30 for 318 yards and three touchdowns and one interception, needed just one play to put the Cougars on the board, connecting with RB Marlow on a 37-yard pitch and catch on COC’s first offensive snap.
Louis Eusebi would have his PAT attempt blocked to keep the early COC advantage at 6-0.
Later in the half Brito looked to Marlow again, this time on a 15-yard touchdown toss that capped a 13-play drive and put Canyons ahead 13-0 with 6:15 to go before halftime.
Marlow finished the game with four catches for 78 yards and the two scores.
The lone highlight for Cerritos came just moments later as Falcons quarterback Isaiah Bravo found wide receiver Justin Garrett open over the middle for what turned out to be a 75-yard scoring strike. Bravo’s two-point conversion attempt was no good, and the Falcons were in the game, for the moment, at 13-6.
Brito and company were quick to answer, however, this time in the form of a 25-yard dart to Leroy Dashazor in the back of the end zone. Another missed PAT would keep it at a 19-6 COC lead heading into halftime.
The Falcons had an opportunity early in the third quarter after COC running back Keland White fumbled the ball deep in Cougar territory. Cerritos started the drive on COC’s 15-yard line, but couldn’t get much closer before eventually settling for a 30-yard field goal to stay in the fight at 19-10.
On the ensuing drive White quickly made up for his miscue with a one-yard touchdown plunge, his ninth of the season, that created some additional separation at 26-9 after Eusebi’s successful PAT.
The Cougars later turned to running back Jalen Logan to help grind away at the Falcons’ defensive front, and were rewarded, when Logan punched into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown run with 5:10 to go in the quarter. The PAT made it a 33-9 ballgame.
Logan ended the night at COC’s leading rushing, going for 72 yards on seven carries, including a long run of 24 yards. White, who had a 52-yard fourth quarter touchdown run called back, had a solid night, picking up 63 yards on 13 carries.
Brito also made some noise in the ground with a three-yard scoring scamper of his own that helped seal Cerritos fate by making it a 39-9 lead for the Cougars.
Canyons scored once more on a drive highlighted by the emergence of running back Forrest Carter. Carter rushed for 56 yards during the drive, including back-to-back carries of 24 and 23 yards, before getting into the end zone. His one-yard run ended the scoring at the eventual 45-9 final score.
Defensive standouts were everywhere for the Cougars on Saturday night.
Noel Iwuchukwu finished the game with seven total tackles and a sack. Khalid Taylor led the defense with seven stops and Earl English had four tackles, including two for loss.
Dorian Gerald recorded his team-leading eighth sack of the season and forced a Falcons fumble.
Likewise, KJ Latu forced a Cerritos fumble, while DeAndre Henderson and Brandon Hattori were each credited with fumble recoveries.
Brito once again spread the ball around with efficiency, connecting with eight different receivers with a 64.5 percent completion percentage. The freshman has now thrown for two or more scores in five straight games, and currently stands at 23 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions on the season. He has also rushed for two touchdowns this year.
Jarrin Pierce led all COC receivers with four catches for 86 yards, followed by Marlow, and Desean Holmes with four catches for 54 yards.
Canyons will now prepare to face conference opponent Santa Monica College (1-7, 0-3) on Saturday, Nov. 4, with that game scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m.
COC entered its contest vs. Cerritos as the No. 14 ranked team in the state as compiled by the JC Athletic Bureau. Canyons is also ranked No. 8 in Southern California, according to the most recent California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association regional state football poll released on Oct. 23.
The Cougars will close out the regular season with a home date vs. Bakersfield College on Saturday, Nov. 11.
The Renegades (7-1, 3-0) currently lead the SCFA National Division, Northern League, followed by Ventura (6-2, 3-0) with Canyons a game back.
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
— Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information
— Photos by Tim Strong/COC Sports Information
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