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Hancock Football Plays for Outright Conference Title Saturday, Hosts Military Appreciation Day

Hancock Football Plays for Outright Conference Title Saturday, Hosts Military Appreciation Day

This Saturday, Allan Hancock College football team will go for its first perfect run through conference play and outright conference title since 1997. The Bulldogs, who are 4-0 in American Pacific League play and 7-2 overall, will host Citrus in their final home game of the regular season. The Owls are 4-5 in league and 2-2 in league play. Kickoff was moved up to 1 p.m. at Hancock Football Field. Hancock football will also host Military Appreciation Day. All military members, veterans and their family will receive free admission to the game and lunch.

Hancock clinched at least a share of its first conference title since 2000 with a 21-7 win at Antelope Valley College last Saturday. The Bulldogs earned their seventh title in program history and first under Kris Dutra, who is in his 17th season as head coach. The defense dominated last week's game and held the Marauders scoreless on their final 13 drives over a 54-minute stretch. The defense limited AVC to 188 total yards of offense. Sophomore Basiru Jobe (Upper Room Christian HS) led the team with 16 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. JD Smith (Sheffield HS) made 10 tackles, while freshman defensive end Dominic King (St. Joseph HS) recorded seven tackles, including two sacks. Osa Omokaro (Hillside HS) had one sack and three quarterback hurries. Offensively, freshman running back Isaac Bausley (Nipomo HS) led the way with 90 yards on 14 carries, including a first-quarter touchdown on a 10-yard run. Sophomore quarterback Kimmy Kelleher (MacArthur HS) scored the go-ahead touchdown with a one-yard run in the third quarter that put the Bulldogs ahead 14-7. Kelleher later threw a 31-yard touchdown strike to tight end Dominic Chance (Atascadero HS) in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Damon Whitmill, Jr. (N. Kansas City HS) rushed for 84 yards on 20 carries, while Ryheem Skinner (Clinton HS) added 49 yards on 15 carries.

The Hancock offense leads the Pacific League by averaging 217.9 rushing and 374 total yards per game. The defense leads the state with 41 total and ranks third in the state by allowing only 63.7 rushing yards per game. Hancock's defense has forced 26 total turnovers, 13 via interceptions and 13 from fumble recoveries. The Bulldogs are +12 in the turnover department this season.

Individually, Omokaro leads the league with 11 sacks, while Jobe ranks first by averaging 9.8 tackles per game. Kelleher ranks third in the league with 131.6 passing yards per game and third with eight touchdown passes. Skinner ranks third in the league with seven rushing touchdowns and sits second with a 91.6 rushing yards per game average. The freshman has 641 rushing yards. Whitmill, Jr. ranks second on the team with 550 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Pollard ranks first in the league with 11 field goals.

Citrus is coming off a 10-7 win over L.A. Valley. The Owls intercepted three passes and recovered one fumble. This season, Citrus' defense has allowed just 16.2 points, 102 rushing yards and 255 yards of total offense per game. Freshman Henry Karimu ranks second in the league with eight sacks, while freshman defensive end Grant Trueman sits third with seven sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Safety Jeremiah Vasquez leads the team with 65 tackles and four interceptions.

Offensively, Citrus averages 15.1 points, 137 rushing yards and 123 passing yards per game. Quarterback Darreon Lockett has thrown for 544 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Devin Floyd is the team's leading rusher with 580 yards and three touchdowns. However, he has lost six fumbles. Receiver Mason Mesina-Rowe has 17 catches for 273 yards and three touchdowns, while Jacob Bystry has 23 catches for 203 yards.

As conference champion, Hancock is guaranteed a postseason playoff game. The CCCAA will announce its bowl game schedule on Sunday, Nov. 12. Seven bowl games involving Southern California teams will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18. Hancock has played in 16 bowl games, most recently in 2011 when the Bulldogs defeated LA Harbor 58-11 in the Western State Bowl.