By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
After a whirlwind Saturday afternoon of cancellations and rescheduling plans, No. 15 College of the Canyons finally took to the turf at Cougar Stadium and posted a 63-10 victory over Santa Barbara City College in a rare Sunday night game.
SBCC had been scheduled to host the Cougars for a week three road contest at La Playa Stadium. However, an on-campus power outage prevented the Vaqueros from hosting and the two schools eventually opted to shift locations back to Santa Clarita.
Canyons (2-1), the designated away team, controlled the contest from the opening whistle, jumping out to an early 21-3 first quarter advantage before scoring 42 unanswered points in the second half.
The Cougars amassed 676 yards of total offense including 403 rushing yards. COC had four players top the 80-yard rushing plateau and scored six rushing touchdowns.
Freshman running back Cyrus Zuell finished with a game-high 109 yards on eight carries including a 14-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
Sophomore Cayden Dunn ended with 94 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Dunn racked up 43 yards on the Cougars' second offensive drive of the evening to help set the tone for the remainder of the game. His touchdown run with 5:37 to go in the first quarter put Canyons on the board first and was the first of nine touchdowns.
On the Cougars' ensuing possession COC quarterback Armani Edden wasted little time in connecting with wide receiver Trey Longstreth for a 25-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0 after Tanner Brown's PAT.
Longstreth enjoyed a breakout game with six catches for 64 yards and was a major matchup problem throughout the first half.
Brown was a perfect 9-of-9 on PATs in another flawless performance. The sophomore has yet to miss an extra point in his career at Canyons.
Edden also looked sharp throughout, completing his first 10 pass attempts and eventually finishing the game 18-of-24 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore suffered a second half interception on a tipped ball in the end zone. He also ranked third on the team with 86 rushing yards.
The Vaqueros (1-2) briefly stopped the bleeding with a 27-yard field goal by Lucas Ellbacher to make it 14-3 with 3:19 to go in the quarter.
But Canyons was quick to find the end zone once again, with Edden locating Tiquan Gilmore for a 44-yard touchdown catch that made it a 21-3 advantage after the PAT.
SBCC battled back with a short touchdown run from quarterback Scotty Forbes which capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive. That made it a 21-10 ballgame, which is where the score would be heading into halftime. The Vaqueros would come no closer.
Forbes was 8-of-17 with 79 yards and an interception for the game. Bradley Kleven also took snaps for SBCC going 11-of-19 for 122 yards in the process.
Canyons turned back to the run game in the second half, as Zuell ripped off 68 yards on six carries during the Cougars' first possession of the third quarter.
After another SBCC punt, Cayden Dunn scampered into the end zone for his second touchdown run of the night, putting Canyons ahead 35-10.
Freshman Moises Haynes added another rushing score at 42-10 with 1:52 to go in the quarter.
COC sophomore Michael Wilson relieved Edden in the fourth quarter and promptly launched a 25-yard touchdown to Romello Cook which extended things at 49-10. For the second time in as many weeks, Wilson recorded a touchdown pass on his lone attempt of the game.
Freshman running back Jordan Anderson brought the crowd to its feet with a 66-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter and Kartilus McFadden put the exclamation point on the victory on a two-yard touchdown plunge with 1:59 to go in the game.
Lost in the Cougars offensive exploits was the play of the COC defense, which forced three turnovers and pitched a second half shutout while recording five sacks and 14 tackles for loss in the contest.
Canyons entered the game the No. 15 ranked team in the state according to the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) Preseason Poll. The Cougars were also ranked No. 12 in the JC Athletic Bureau Head Coaches Poll. The Vaqueros are currently unranked.
The 63 points scored by Canyons matches the offensive output inflicted on the Vaqueros in the teams' 2018 meeting. COC won that game by a 63-0 final score.
Sunday's game came just one day after the 45th Anniversary of Cougar Stadium, which originally opened on Sept. 21, 1974. The 6,000-seat facility officially opened for the COC football team's first home game of the 1974 season. Canyons fell to L.A. Harbor 26-21 that night but not before quarterback Chuck Lyon scored the first TD in the stadium history! Lyon would go on to coach the Cougars from 1998-2006 winning a State and National Championship in 2004. He is currently dean of the college's School of Kinesiology & Physical Education.
Canyons will next host Cerritos College (3-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the Cougars' 50th Anniversary Homecoming. Admission and parking for this event are free.
Beginning at 4 p.m., fans and community members are invited to enjoy a variety of pre-game family activities, food and concessions, music, photo opportunities, T-shirt and rally towel giveaways, and a special on-field halftime alumni photo.
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.
—Photo by Jim Bloomfield/COC Sports Information