The Bulldogs relied on a heavy running attack and solid defense to topple Citrus College in an old-school slug fest Saturday in Glendora, winning 28-21.
The Citrus Owls are known for their defensive prowess and lived up to hype early in the match. During their first offensive possession of the game, the Bulldogs were forced to punt, being held to just 5 plays and 21-yards.
The Owls capitalized early, driving the ball 78-yards into the end zone and the first score of the game.
On Hancock's next drive, sophomore running back Ryheem Skinner rushed for two first downs but the Bulldogs were forced to punt once again.
Bulldogs defense made a big stand, holding the Owls to just 3 plays and forcing the punt.
The Owls defense mirrored the effort with a defensive stand of their own, forcing the Bulldogs to punt in just 4 plays.
Late in the 1st quarter, a 30-yard completion for a touchdown pushed the Owls lead to 0-14.
The Bulldogs weren't scoreless for long, driving the ball 9 plays for 61-yards at the start of the second quarter. Running backs Jayden Vargas, Isaac Bausley, and Alex Cecchi all completed runs before freshman quarterback Thomas Carr completed a 25-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Joe Guzman for the touchdown, closing the lead to 7-14.
Hancock defense, which tallied 6 sacks on the day, once again made its presence felt. During the next offensive possession, the Owls were pushed back -5 yards in 3 plays and forced to punt.
At the Citrus 37-yard line, Jayden Vargas broke loose for 26-yard run. Skinner powered in the ball for 6-yards for the touchdown but it was called back due to an illegal block by the Bulldogs. A missed field goal left the Bulldogs scoreless on the drive.
Both teams remained stingy on the defensive side forcing each other to punt on the next few offensive possessions.
But the Bulldogs offense began to heat up, beginning with a 6-yard touchdown by Skinner tying the score 14-14.
An interception by freshman Quintin Faison quickly gave the ball back to the Bulldogs, who quickly converted the turnover into points. A 14-yard push by Vargas and a 9-yard run by Skinner into the end zone gave Hancock the lead, 21-14.
After holding the Owls to just 5 yards in 3 plays, Bulldogs freshman Angelo Ortiz blocked the punt that was returned by sophomore Dominic Chapa for the touchdown. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 28-14 in the 3rd quarter.
A 70-yard drive for a touchdown by the Owls late 4th quarter closed the gap to 28-21. But with just over 2 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs were able to run out the clock and secure the victory. The Bulldogs are now 3-1.
The Bulldogs will host Antelope Valley College next Saturday October 6th at 2pm in Santa Maria.