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Hancock Football Falls to Undefeated Citrus College

Hancock Football Falls to Undefeated Citrus College

Allan Hancock College football lost to Citrus College 23-7 on Saturday, Oct. 5. Bulldogs linebacker Honus Wagner led the team in with nine tackles and running back Desmond Newkirk scored the lone touchdown in the second quarter. The loss ends the Bulldog's five-game winning streak against the Owls and puts the all-time series at 5-2. The Bulldog's record falls to 2-2, while the Owls remain undefeated at 5-0. 

On the seventh play of the Owls second drive, defensive back Kyron Smith picked off Citrus quarterback Austin Zavala. Hancock did not convert on the turnover.  

The stalemate was broken with 5:30 left in the first quarter when Zavala hit receiver Jeremiah Linebe for a one-play 45-yard touchdown pass over two Bulldog defensive backs. After a successful extra point attempt the Owls held onto a 7-0 lead for most of the first half. 

At about the 6:30 mark in the second quarter, Hancock defensive end Justus Makainai came up with a solid tackle to force a fumble, which was recovered by defensive end John Sniffen on the Citrus 27-yard line. Hancock was not able to convert on the shortened field opportunity. On the following Citrus drive, defensive lineman Hiram Anakalea forced another fumble, which  linebacker Quintin Faison recovered on the Citrus 20-yard line. Hancock's offense capitalized on the opportunity its defense provided them when Newkirk scored a five-yard touchdown run. Following the successful extra point attempt, the game was tied at 7-7 with 0:56 left in the first half. 

Much of the first half was decided by each team's defenses. Both teams recorded season-low first halves, with the Bulldogs earning only 117 yards and the Owls earning 93 yards of total offense. 

The Owl's second drive of the third quarter ended with the game-winning Zavala touchdown pass to Linebe. The Owls offense capitalized on a forced fumble and recovery by defensive lineman Jason Villa. Citrus took the 14-7 lead with 7:45 left in the third quarter. 

The mistakes began to add up for the Bulldogs when the long snapper hiked the ball over punter Cade England's head leading to a safety. The Owls had a safe, two-score lead at 16-7 with 4:55 left in the third quarter. The ensuing Citrus drive ended in a 20-yard Zavala touchdown pass to Linebe, putting the game at 23-7 with 1:44 left in the third. 

The Bulldogs went on to turn over the ball two more times in the fourth quarter sealing the win for the Owls. 

Hancock quarterback Matt Garcia went 6-16 for 53 yards and an interception. Running  back DJ Whitmill averaged 5.7 yards per carry and picked up 68 yards on the game. Newkirk ended the game with the Bulldog's lone touchdown and picked up 60 yards on 14 attempts. Wagner led the Bulldog's defense with 9 tackles, a career-high.  

The defenses for both teams were the stars of the game. Both offenses ended the game with season low passing, rushing, and total yards gained. Hancock picked up only 230 yards and Citrus earned 251 total yards of offense during the game. 

The Bulldogs will be on the road Saturday, Oct. 12, in Lancaster when they take on the 3-1 Antelope Valley College Marauders. Hancock defeated the Marauders 26-3 last year and currently leads the all-time series 6-2. The Marauders have improved from their 3-7 season last year and will be looking for revenge next weekend. Be sure to follow Bulldog athletics on the website or on social media at ahcbulldogs on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can watch the Bulldog's live at http://athletics.hancockcollege.edu/video/streaming.