By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons hosted its 50th Anniversary Community Homecoming Celebration with a 31-17 victory of Cerritos College in front of boisterous crowd that included a collection of current and former students, staff and alumni from the college's illustrious history.
No. 13 Canyons (3-1) collected its third straight win despite trailing for most of the first half.
No. 7 Cerritos (3-1), which had entered the game undefeated, got on the board first with a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback T.J. McMahon to receiver C.J Parks after a drive in which the Falcons converted on two long third downs, and did the same on a key fourth and 12 from the Cougar 24-yard line, to get into the end zone.
On the ensuing drive COC quarterback Armani Edden found wide receiver Trevon Elliott for a 38-yard pass-and-catch up the Cerritos sideline. The drive would go no further, but that was more than enough for kicker Tanner Brown who booted a 50-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 ballgame.
Cerritos returned the favor with a 41-yard kick by Brandon Petrues in the opening moments of the second quarter that split the uprights and pushed the Falcon lead to 10-3.
After the two teams exchanged punts Canyons took over with 33 seconds left on the clock. On the first play of the Cougars' drive Edden found Alonzell Henderson on a short route which Henderson ended up taking 87 yards to the house, evoking a roar from the crowd and swinging the momentum in COC's favor heading into the halftime locker room. Brown converted the PAT to tie the contest at 10-10.
On COC's opening drive of the second half Edden looked to receiver Trey Longstreth for a 28-yard pass on third down that extended the drive and moved the Cougars deep into Cerritos territory. Two plays later Edden hooked up with running back Jordan Anderson on a 30-yard swing pass that resulted in another COC touchdown. The seven-play, 74-yard drive ended with Brown's PAT to put the game at 17-10.
The Falcons, which entered the game having scored at least 50 points in their last two contests, were quick to respond. Falcons return man Jacoby Hardy gave his team a boost with a 68-yard return and seven plays later McMahon connected with Parks again, this time on a six-yard touchdown pass that tied things up at 17-17.
McMahon was 14-of-19 in the game for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 21 rushing yards.
Edden and company went back to work on their own 16-yard line. Running back Cyrus Zuell started the drive with a 46-yard run that was negated by a holding penalty. However, Edden used his legs to pick up 28 yards on the very next play.
On third and goal, Edden was forced out of the pocket but quickly located Cook for a short pass which the sophomore receiver bobbled at first touch, then reeled in for a five-yard score. That touchdown and ensuing PAT broke the tie and put Canyons ahead 24-17 with 3:10 to go in the third quarter.
The Cougars defense took over from there, forcing a Falcons punt after a four-play 18-yard drive by Cerritos.
COC was able to milk nearly six minutes off the clock during its next drive. Edden capped things by finding Henderson for a 10-yard touchdown that extended things in the Cougars' favor at 31-17.
From there Canyons was able to run out the clock and secure the week four victory.
Edden turned in another masterful performance in his third start of the season. He finished the game 16-of-21 for 391 yards and four touchdowns. Edden also recorded 49 rushing yards.
Henderson was COC's leading receiver with his three receptions for 109, including two touchdowns. Zuell was the Cougars' leading rusher for the second time in as many weeks picking up 98 yards on 10 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball Canyons recorded three sacks and eight tackles for loss.
The Falcons accounted for just 274 yards of total offense compared to 565 for the Cougars.
Canyons will leave the friendly confines of Cougar Stadium for the first time this season when the Cougars head to Golden West College for its week five matchup. COC had been scheduled to play Santa Barbara City College on the road in week three, but an on-campus power outage forced the game back to Santa Clarita.
COC vs. Golden West will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
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 Rylee Myers/RMM Sports Photography