College of the Canyons football stock action image of No. 9 Joshua Clark in game vs. Allan Hancock College on Oct. 21, 2023.

No. 12 Canyons Falls Short in Wild 49-45 Loss to No. 22 Allan Hancock

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director  

No. 12 College of the Canyons found itself on the wrong end of a wild 49-45 result vs. No. 22 Allan Hancock College on Saturday, as the Bulldogs were able to get the final score in a frenzied fourth quarter that featured a combined four scoring drives. 

The loss ended a four-game win streak for Canyons (4-3, 3-1) which had entered the game ranked No. 12 in the statewide coaches poll and No. 11 in the sports information directors association's weekly rankings. 

Allan Hancock (4-3, 3-1) won its third straight contest as part of a resurgence following its mid-season three-game slide. 

The two sides ended the first half knotted at 21-21 before the Bulldogs began the third quarter with a 96-yard kick return touchdown from Makai Puga to open an action-packed final 30 minutes of play. On its next possession, Allan Hancock added a 70-yard touchdown run from Caden Harris that moved the game to 35-21 after the ensuing PAT.

COC sophomore Joshua Clark got the Cougars back in the game with a six-yard touchdown run to narrow the gap at 35-28 after Asa Johnson's PAT. Clark was spectacular as a runner and receiver for Canyons, adding back-to-back runs of 25 and 22 yards on the third quarter scoring drive before getting into the end zone. 

Clark added a second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter and ended the day with 108 yards on 10 carries. He was equally impactful as a receiver, hauling in four passes for a game-high 153 yards including a long gain of 77 yards on a touchdown pass from Emery Floyd that put COC on the board first at 7-0 in the first quarter.

Canyons tacked on three points on a 23-yard chip shot from Asa Johnson with 1:40 to go in the third quarter, narrowing the AHC advantage to 35-31.

On the Cougars' first possession of the fourth quarter the Bulldogs were able to jar the ball away from receiver Don Ray Hall, recovering the fumble on the COC 11-yard line. Facing a 4th-and-1 on the COC 15-yard line, the Bulldogs again looked to Harris who answered with a 15-yard scoring run. 

Harris finished the game with 200 yards on 13 carries and three rushing scores. His fourth quarter touchdown put the game at 42-31 with 8:17 to go.

Down but not out, Canyons needed just three plays on its next drive before Floyd was able to hook up with Lyndon Ravare for a 69-yard catch and run into the end zone. Almost on cue, COC's defense forced a quick three-and-out which helped setup Clark's second scoring run, this time an 18-yard scamper that put the Cougars ahead 45-42 with 1:35 to go in the game.

Facing 3rd-and-10 on its own 24-yard line, Allan Hancock once again came up with the big play as quarterback Jackson Clavel found Kollins Pettawa before the Cougars' defense for a 76-yard game-winning touchdown. 

Floyd attempted to orchestrate one final scoring drive but could get no closer than the COC 42-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. The sophomore finished the game 20-of-36 with a season-best 384 yards to go with two touchdowns and an interception, his first of the season. He also rushed for 56 yards along with a pair of first half touchdown runs.

Canyons churned out 612 yards of total offense in the game with 228 yards coming on the ground.

Timothy Jackson led the Cougars with six tackles, followed by Jairon Dorsey at five and Jeremiah Alemayehu and Andre Bray with four apiece. Ajani Smith recorded three pass break ups in the game. Joseph Marsh and Jackson Volk both registered a tackle for loss. 

The Cougars now sit in a three-way tie with El Camino College (5-2, 3-1) and Allan Hancock for second place in the SCFA National Conference, Northern Division. Ventura College (5-2, 4-0) is the current conference leader.

Up next, Canyons travels to Moorpark College (2-5, 0-4) at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

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 X, InstagramFacebook and YouTube

—Photo by Dylan Stewart/1550 Sports