Video by Tyler Rubin and CJ Schmid
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Football season is here and College of the Canyons football team is ready to bounce back after last season. After an overtime loss to Golden West to start the season, the Cougars looked to strike against the Saddleback Gauchos on Saturday.
The game started off with a fast pace when Saddleback College scored the first touchdown in their opening drive just three minutes after the game started. Gauchos quarterback made it known early with a nine yard connection to receiver Terrell Johnson that he was a passing threat.
The Cougars showed poise after the score when Freshman quarterback Ryan Kasdorf threw a short pass to Tim White, who would break defenders and make an 82 yard touchdown run. White had 120 yards in 4 catches and 59 yards in kickoff and punt returns in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Ben Longshore stepped into he game in the second quarter for the Cougars and would stay in until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Longshore’s substitution into the game added up to two passing touchdowns, both of which were in the second quarter. The Cougars would go into halftime leading the Gauchos 24-16.
Saddleback decided that it was time for them to make the second half their half.
With a little over 12 minutes left in the third quarter, Gauchos special teamer Tyler Firestone blocked a COC punt attempt and brought it back for a touchdown, pulling the team just one point behind the Cougars.
The Cougars tried to respond, but could not get a touchdown until Drew Phillips returned a kick for 90 yards early in the fourth quarter. This would be the only touchdown COC would score in the second half, and the only other score being a 24 yard field goal by kicker Neil Franklin.
The Gauchos took advantage of the opportunity and scored 34 in the second half, ending the game at 50-34.
“They did a pretty good job adjusting to the things that we were doing, and we made some adjustments off that,” said COC Head football coach Garett Tujague. “It was the first time in a long time that I’ve played a serious chess match with an opposing coach.”