SANTA CLARITA — The College of the Canyons Cougar football team hasn’t achieved a conference title since 2008.
Saturday night, those at Cougar Stadium witnessed something special.
The Cougars (8-1, 5-0) beat Cerritos College (6-3, 4-1) 27-10 for the Southern California Football Association Northern Division title.
As expected, the win didn’t come easy for the Cougars.
In the first quarter, Falcons running back Dominique Small broke a huge 61-yard touchdown run to put Cerritos up 7-0.
COC was held scoreless in the first quarter, after a blocked field goal by Eric Kreitz from 39 yards out.
In the second quarter, Tony Dawson would hit Michael Mandic on a 16-yard touchdown to cut the lead to one point after Kreitz missed the fake extra point attempt.
COC would once again show up on the defensive side of the ball, as they would intercept Falcons quarterback Cody Clements three times on the evening.
A huge interception occurred in the second quarter, as Austin Murillo to a pick back almost to the house.
Murillo was stopped at the Falcons’ 33 yard line.
That set up Cougar running back Matt Bowen for a 3-yard touchdown run to put COC up, 13-7.
Bowen would have a huge game carrying the ball 16 times for 105 yards, his third straight 100-yard rushing game.
“I felt great, I couldn’t do it without my O-line and defense. They step up every game,” Bowen said.
The second half consisted all of big-time plays and strong defensive play.
“As long as they don’t score, we’re good,” said defensive lineman Antonio Guy, who had 6 tackles, a fumble recovery, and 3 sacks.
In the third quarter, Dawson connected with Vincent Strange for an ankle-breaking 81-yard touchdown-catch to put COC up 20-10.
In the fourth quarter, Clements kept struggling throwing the ball, as he found Cougar linebacker Cory Harris for a pick-six to put COC up 27-10.
The Cougars have been “all in” this season with new head coach Ted Iacenda, and it showed that night.
“We have great character on this team, and they put their minds to it and we got it accomplished,” Coach Iacenda said about his players buying into the program.