Hancock avoids a 4th quarter comeback by San Bernadino Valley College to win the American Championship Bowl 38-35 Saturday night.
After securing its second straight outright conference championship, the Allan Hancock College football team earned an opportunity to host a bowl game. The Bulldogs hosted SBVC in a game that would be the tie-breaker of an overall record of 3-3 between the Bulldogs and the Wolverines.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season 5-0 in American Pacific League action and 9-1 overall. San Bernadino Valley won the American Mountain League championship and finished 5-0 in league and 9-1 overall.
Even though the two teams shared identical records coming into the match-up, their strengths are polar opposites. Hancock boasts a deadly running attack and SBVC relied on an amazing passing game.
The Bulldogs defense would have the daunting task of trying to contain a Wolverine passing game that was 3rd in the state in touchdowns, but they would do just that. On the very next drive by the Wolverines, Raymond Paulo barreled in to sack the Wolverine quarterback, force the fumble, and recover it himself to give the Bulldogs the ball and great field position.
Sophomore stand-out running back Ryheem Skinner powered into the end zone for the touchdown, pushing the Bulldogs lead to 14-0. Skinner has led the Bulldogs all season, with a team-high 1164 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
On the next drive, the American Mountain League champs started rolling. They connected for a 32-yard touchdown to complete a 75-yard drive to close the Bulldog lead to 14-7.
After being forced to punt, the Hancock defense would once again be put to the test. On 2nd down, the Wolverines would call a play for the deep pass but it was snagged out of the air by freshman defensive back Jaquez McWilliams, who returned the interception for 44-yards.
A couple of missed field goals by both sides would hold the score steady.
At the 9:35 mark of the 2nd quarter, the Bulldogs went to their dependable "ground and pound" game, rushing the ball 8 out of 10 plays and the eventual 1-yard punch by Skinner. The Bulldogs now led 21-7.
The Bulldogs would score one more time before halftime, when the Carr-Moudourou combination once again connected for a 42-yard touchdown, extending the Bulldog lead to 28-7 at the half.
On the first drive of the half, the Bulldogs were unable to convert on 3rd down and were forced to punt. The Wolverines returned the kick for 42-yards but the kicker Cade England made an excellent play, forcing the fumble on the return. Sophomore Isaac Bausley recovered the fumble.
Hancock took full advantage of the turnover, Carr completed a 60-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run of his own. The Bulldogs led 35-7. The drive was highlighted by a 38-yard pass to receiver Joe Guzman.
The Bulldogs seemed to be in complete control. But the Wolverines would not lay down.
On their next drive, SBVC would drive 55-yards and find the end zone, cutting the lead to 35-14.
The Bulldogs responded quickly. Skinner exploded for a 49-yard run but the offense contained and had to settle for a 29-yard field-goal by kicker Gil-Garcia. The lead was 38-14 with 1 minute left in the 3rd quarter.
A 95-yard kick-off return by the Wolverines gave them excellent field position. At 2nd and goal, they found the end zone as the 3rd quarter clock expired. The Bulldog lead was cut 38-21.
The Bulldogs offense was held scoreless in the 4th quarter, while the Wolverines collected two more touchdowns. But the clock proved to be the Bulldogs ally.
With just over a minute left, the Bulldogs were able to run out the game clock and win the game.
The Bulldogs capped a nearly perfect season with a 10-1 record. Carr completed 10-15 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Moudourou caught two touchdowns and would receive Hancock College's Offensive Player of the Game. Skinner would receive the game MVP honors, finishing with 130 rushing yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns.
Congratulations to Head Coach Dutra, the coaching staff, and 2018 Hancock College Football program for winning the 2018 American Championship Bowl.