No. 4 Canyons Picks Apart No. 8 Bakersfield for 35-21 Conference Victory
By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
BAKERSFIELD — College of the Canyons extended its win streak to six games as the No. 4 ranked Cougars defeated No. 8 Bakersfield College 35-21 on the road in the SCFA National Division, Northern League opener on Saturday night.
Canyons (6-0, 1-0) benefited from three Bakersfield turnovers on the night, including an interception from Cougars' defensive back Camron Bell on the Renegades' sixth play of the game.
Bell's interception was returned 29 yards to set the Cougars up at the Bakersfield 35-yard line. After seven straight rushing plays, COC quarterback Colton Doyle found the end zone on a one-yard keeper. Ty Morrison's PAT put Canyons ahead 7-0.
Bakersfield (4-2, 0-1) was quick to answer with a 14-play, 77-yard scoring drive of its own to tie the game at 7-7.
That's where the score stayed until Doyle was able to get into rhythm with wide receiver Tiquan Gilmore. On the first play of COC's next scoring drive Doyle found Gilmore for a 42-yard pass down the sideline. Three plays later the Doyle to Gilmore connection netted a seven-yard scoring strike to put the game at 14-7 after Morrison's second PAT.
Gilmore finished the game with four catches for 73 yards. The touchdown, his seventh of the season, places him third among state leaders.
The Cougars' defense wasted no time in further disrupting the Renegades' game plan. This time it was Cole Bullock who was able to pluck a pass out of the air from Bakersfield quarterback Deter Frampton. Bullock returned the ball 28 yards to the Bakersfield eight-yard line.
On the very next play COC sophomore Cyrus Zuell ran it the final eight yards for another Cougars touchdown.
COC continued with that same formula on the next Bakersfield possession.
With the Rengades near midfield, Frampton again tried to go deep. But this time it was defensive back Ahvie Harris coming away with the big Cougars' interception.
On the very next play Doyle immediately went 54-yards over the top to sophomore wide receiver Tim Wiggins, putting the Cougars in full control at 28-7 with three minutes to go in the half.
Canyons has recorded 11 interceptions this season, including three in back-to-back games vs. Riverside City and Bakersfield.
The Cougars defensive front has certainly done their part to aid in those efforts. COC recorded four sacks in the game while applying constant pressure to Frampton.
Reggie Jones, Dajour Dixon, Dean Miller and Henry Ikahihifo were all credited with QB takedowns on Saturday. Dixon also forced a fumble. As a team, Canyons has 20 sacks on the year, good for the state's No. 4 mark.
Meanwhile, Doyle's exploits in the pocket continued to lead the Cougars' offense. Doyle finished the game 17-of-27 for 255 yards, an interception and the two touchdowns. He also led all rushers with 85 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Doyle's interception came on the Cougars' opening drive of the second half. Bakersfield jumped on the opportunity, with Frampton able to find Bakersfield receiver Xavier Marshall for a 27-yard scoring toss. The touchdown cut the Canyons advantage at 28-14. Frampton finished the game 30-of-45 for 311 yards and three touchdowns and three INTs.
Canyons added a fourth quarter scoring run from Damon Banks with 2:27 to go in the game, upping the lead back up to 35-14.
Bakersfield continued to fight, with Frampton's final scoring score coming with eight seconds to go in the game and the final outcome already in hand, placing the final score at 35-21.
The victory was COC's third road win of the season and came during Bakersfield's annual homecoming celebration. Canyons was now emerged victorious in 10 straight contests vs. the Renegades.
Canyons currently ranks No. 4 in the most recent California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) poll released on Oct. 5. COC also checked in at No. 4 in the JC Athletic Bureau Head Coaches Poll. Bakersfield entered the game ranked No. 8 in both polls.
With just four regular season games remaining, Canyons will return home to Cougar Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 23 vs. conference opponent Allan Hancock College. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. All SCV youth football and cheers teams will be admitted to Saturday's game free of charge (w/ uniform).
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 Dylan Stewart / 1550 Sports