No. 17 College of the Canyons scored its first conference victory of the season with a 40-16 home win over Moorpark College at Cougar Stadium on Saturday night.
Canyons (5-2, 1-1) was in control from the onset, striking on its first possession of the game after an 86-yard, 11 play drive that would set the tone for the evening.
On its opening possession, COC received a 22-yard run from RB Marlow before quarterback Andrew Brito hooked up with Keland White on a 31-yard pass to set the Cougars up near the goal line. From there, Alonso Reeves finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run and the ensuing PAT made it a 7-0 game.
COC extended the lead on its next possession as big plays again drove the Canyons offense. Brito found Marlow for a 17-yard gain on the drive, then completed a perfect pass to Desean Holmes for another 28-yard pickup that set the Cougars up deep inside Raider territory once again. Brito then capped the drive by finding Marlow on a four-yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Louis Eusebi made it 14-0 with 2:52 to go in the first quarter.
Moorpark (1-6, 0-2) was able to answer back with an impressive drive of its own, moving the ball 65-yards in 15 plays and getting on the board after a touchdown pass from Tanner Darling to Lorenzo Bernardi that brought the game to 14-7 early in the second quarter.
COC's defensive unit would then shift the momentum on the ensuing drive.
After 30 yards of penalties gave Moorpark an advantageous setting from which to kick, the Raiders attempted, and recovered, an onside kick and started its possession on the COC 20-yard line.
Moorpark's eventual field goal attempt was no good, and the score stayed at 14-7.
From there, Brito and company went back to work. White promptly broke off a 59-yard touchdown run that helped grow the COC lead to 20-7 midway through the second quarter.
The Cougars' offense continued to dominate late in the first half, with Brito breaking free on a 47-yard run and then finding Brandon Pierce for a 40-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining in the first half. Despite a missed PAT, the Cougars were in control 26-7.
Moorpark continued to fight, however, and the Raiders were able to drive 47 yards in nine plays to get back into field goal range before halftime. Kicker Riley Garrett drilled a 45-yard kick right before the half to make it 26-10 heading into the locker room.
The second half saw more fight from Moorpark, as the Raiders were able to drive 94 yards on 13 plays on their first possession of the third quarter. Moorpark missed on another field goal attempt, but a personal foul call on the Cougars kept the drive alive.
Darling then connected for his second touchdown pass of the night to Vincent Corso for a nine-yard score that closed the gap to 26-16.
That score would hold until the fourth quarter when Brito created another big play, throwing his third touchdown of the night on a 62-yard bomb to Jarrin Pierce as the Cougars offense continued to control the game at 33-16.
Canyons scored one more touchdown before the night was over.
On fourth down, Brito was able to find Holmes on a 15-yard touchdown pass that put the game away at 40-16.
Brito finished the night 20-of-29 for 395 yards and four touchdowns — good for a 69 percent completion percentage. He also added 14 yards rushing. Brito also connected with eight different receivers in the game.
Jarrin Pierce was COC's leading receiver with 82 yards and a touchdown on three catches, while Holmes had 67 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.
White led the Cougar rushing attack with 87 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
The Cougars finished the night with 523 yards of total offense while not turning the ball over.
Defensively, Noel Iwuchukwu was a force in the trenches, recording six tackles including three for loss, and a sack.
Khalid Taylor recorded a game-high eight tackles to go with two pass break ups, an interception and a fumble recovery.
Dorian Gerald finished with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Canyons will next host Cerritos College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Cougar Stadium.
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 and story by Tim Strong/COC Sports Information