Canyons Suffers Bowl Game Loss at Citrus
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
GLENDORA — College of the Canyons ended its season with a 42-13 loss at Citrus College in the 2023 Western State Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Canyons (6-5) aided the Owls by committing a season-high seven turnovers in what was the Cougars' first postseason bowl game loss since the 2016 season.
Citrus (8-3) opened an early 21-0 advantage with its third score coming on a 64-yard run from Tayvonne Miller. Miller was one of two Owls runners to top 100 yards on the day, joining Kannon Ketzer in that department.
COC managed to steal some momentum back right before the end of the half when quarterback Emery Floyd connected with Noah Staples on a 13-yard touchdown toss. The PAT attempt was no good and Canyons trailed 21-6 at halftime.
Floyd finished the game 11-of-22 for 165 yards with the touchdown and an interception. He added 42 yards on the ground.
Staples recorded three catches for 49 yards, including the touchdown grab. Damon Barkus led the Cougars with three catches for 66 yards.
Joshua Clark headed the Canyons ground attack with 104 yards on nine carries and a long gain of 34. His 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put COC on the board a second time at 35-13.
Citrus ended the game's scoring with a 29-yard pick-six on a pass from Cam Fouts for the 42-13 final.
Canyons ran more offensive plays and outgained the Owls, along with winning the third down battle but were undone by five fumbles.
Canyons and Citrus had previously met in the 2023 season opener with the host Owls able to get away in a 34-28 thriller.
COC was playing in a postseason bowl game for the first time since 2017. That year Canyons claimed a 28-16 victory over Mt. SAC in the Western State Bowl. The Cougars then qualified for the state playoffs in three straight seasons in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Canyons athletic programs did not compete in 2020 due to cancellations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, COC shared a tri-conference championship but did not play in the postseason.
The Cougars finished the 2023 regular season third in the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division, Northern League behind co-conference champions Ventura and Allan Hancock College. Canyons was also the No. 13 ranked team in the state according to the JC Athletic Bureau Head Coaches poll released on Nov. 15