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COC football: COC rebounds in Ventura

Canyons snaps four-game losing streak, Jeff Flores kicks field goal as time expires

Posted: November 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.

VENTURA — Nothing has come easy this season for College of the Canyons football.

The offense made big plays all night long and the defense forced Ventura College to be one-dimensional, yet it still took a last-second Jeff Flores 23-yard field goal for COC to muster a 36-34 victory Saturday night at Ventura College.

The come-from-behind win marks the Cougars’ first National Division, Northern Conference win this season and snaps a four-game losing streak — the school’s longest since 1976.

“It’s a tremendous relief,” said COC head coach Garett Tujague. “Obviously, the guys have worked hard, the coaches have worked hard and it hasn’t been because of a lack of effort. This is a great lesson for them.”

Led by quarterback Chris Rini, COC (3-6, 1-3) took possession at its own 8-yard-line with 47 seconds left in the game and no timeouts.

Trailing 34-33, Rini marched the offense down the field on a six-play, 86-yard drive, which included a 44-yard pass to Louis Gipson on a play where Rini had to extend the play and scramble to his left.

That got COC to the 6-yard-line to set up the game-winning kick as time expired.

Flores had already booted a 43-yard field goal earlier in the game.

The teams had been exchanging blows throughout the second half up to that point, but Ventura (5-4, 2-2) took the upper hand when defensive back Scotty Wong returned a Rini interception 22 yards for a score.

After a failed two-point conversion, the Pirates took a 34-33 lead with 5:28 left.

Rini completed 33-of-49 passes for a season-high 433 yards, three touchdowns and the one interception.

Two of his touchdown passes went to Gipson, who had a game-high 10 receptions for 160 yards.

COC running back Jamie Wilson also caught an 8-yard score from Rini in the first quarter.

The Cougars had to overcome five turnovers in the game, four of which came in the second quarter.

Despite limiting the Pirates to just 92 yards in the first half, the score was tied 7-7 at the break.

Ventura quarterback Chase Smith finished with just 47 yards passing, but the Pirates ran the ball effectively, tallying 278 total yards on the ground.

COC defensive back Jarrett Tryon came up with two interceptions in the game.


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