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Defense Forces Five Turnovers, No. 2 Hancock Football Dominates No. 5 LA Valley 46-7

Defense Forces Five Turnovers, No. 2 Hancock Football Dominates No. 5 LA Valley 46-7

The defense forced five turnovers in the first half, and the Bulldogs scored the first 37 points of the game as the Allan Hancock College football team dominated the defending league champion L.A. Valley 46-7 at Hancock Football Field on Saturday. The Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 2 in the Southern California – American Division poll, improved to 2-0 in Pacific League play and 5-2 overall. Hancock and Antelope Valley College are now tied for first in the league standings at 2-0. The No. 5 Monarchs dropped to 1-1 in league and 4-3 on the season.

The opening drive of the game set the stage. JD Smith sacked Valley quarterback Julious Sabasti, who coughed up the ball that Osa Omokaro recovered at the 12-yard line. The Bulldogs needed just five plays to cash it in with a one-yard touchdown run by Ryheem Skinner to give Hancock the early lead 6-0 with 11:38 to play in the opening quarter.

The Bulldogs added to their lead with 3:49 to play in the first when quarterback Jimmy Kelleher hit Kevin Stark for a 12-yard touchdown strike to push Hancock's lead to 13-0. It accounted for Stark's first touchdown of the season.

Later in the quarter, Sabasti's pass was intercepted by Hancock's Lenny Roundtree, Jr., the sophomore's third pick of the season and seventh in his Bulldog career. The Bulldogs immediately turned the turnover into points as Skinner cut right and outsprinted the entire Monarch defense for a 90-yard touchdown to give Hancock a 20-0 lead with seconds left in the opening quarter. The 90-yard run broke a Hancock record for longest touchdown run. The previous record of 88 yards was set by Redell Windley in 1976 and matched by Matt Almaguer in 1987.

Hancock led 20-0 to start the second quarter and forced fumbles on Valley's first two possessions of the period. Hancock turned the second fumble of the quarter and fourth Valley turnover of the game into points as Damon Whitmill, Jr. ran it in from eight yards out to give Hancock a 27-0 lead with 6:19 remaining in the first half.

The Bulldogs seemed destined to carry a 27-point lead into halftime, but with less than a minute to play, Valley's DeAndre Dorsey fumbled a punt deep in Monarch territory that Kaleb Monette recovered at the Valley 16-yard line. On the very next play from scrimmage, Whitmill ran it in from 16 yards out, his second touchdown of the half to give Hancock a 34-0 lead at intermission.

Sophomore Jordan Pollard kicked two field goals in the second half. The first, a 26-yard kick, came on Hancock's opening drive of the second half to make it 37-0 Bulldogs. The second, a 27-yard field goal, happened early in the fourth quarter to push Hancock's lead to 40-7.

The Bulldogs' final score came with less than four minutes to play in the game on a three-yard touchdown run by freshman Martiez Prather, his second of the season to cap the scoring at 46-7.

The Hancock defense dominated all game long. The Bulldogs forced five turnovers, held the Monarchs to -13 yards rushing and 56 yards of total offense. Dominic King, Jquan Langley, Parker Burnett and Smith each recorded one sack. Basiru Jobe and Stephen Sings had six tackles apiece. Pollard averaged 43.3 yards per punt to do his part in limiting Valley's offense. The sophomore booted a season-long 61-yard punt.

The Bulldogs finished with 364 rushing yards and 429 yards of total offense. Skinner led the Bulldogs with a career-high 145 yards on the ground on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Whitmill compiled 104 rushing yards on 16 carries and two scores. Isaac Bausley ran the ball 11 times for 63 yards, while Prather rushed for 31 yards and one score.

Kelleher completed seven of his 15 passes for 62 yards and one touchdown. Michael Ferraro, Nick Kimball and Stark had two catches apiece for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs will travel the next two Saturdays, starting next week with a league game at L.A. Pierce College. Kickoff will be at 4 p.m.