Allan Hancock College football opened league play by defeating Pasadena City College 45-14 on Oct. 19. Bulldogs running back DJ Whitmill led the team in rushing yards and linebacker Honus Wagner led the defense in tackles. The win extends the Bulldog's streak over the Lancers to three games and improves the all-time series to 9-3. The Lancers fell to 2-4 for the season, while the Bulldogs improved to 4-2 for the season and 1-0 in league play.
The Bulldogs opened the game receiving the kickoff. Running back Eddie Battle received the ball on the Hancock 14-yard line and cut outside to the right sideline for an 86-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game. The Bulldogs defense forced a quick three-and-out and gave Hancock another scoring opportunity one minute after the opening kickoff. Whitmill took advantage of an opening up the middle and hurdled a defender for a 67-yard run to the Pasadena 10-yard line. Running back Maurice Smith scored from 10 yards out to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0 just two minutes into the game.
Four minutes later, Pasadena answered back when quarterback Edward Norton hit receiver David Telles for a nine-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs carried a 14-7 lead into the second quarter.
Pasadena opened the second quarter by driving all the way to the Hancock 9-yard line. Bulldogs defensive back Curt McDonald forced a fumble at the four-yard line. Linebacker EJ Barrera scooped up the fumble at the five-yard line and outran the Lancers offense for 95-yard fumble recovery touchdown. The Bulldogs extended the lead 21-7 with 10:37 left in the first half. Pasadena answered back five minutes later when quarterback Kade Wentz passed to receiver Justin Campbell for a 33-yard touchdown. The touchdown was the Lancer's final score of the game and put Pasadena within a single score of the Bulldogs at 21-14.
Pasadena's kickoff went awry and gave the Bulldogs a shortened field at the Pasadena 43-yard line. The Bulldogs, however, could not capitalize on the shortened field, with an Edgar Zacarias scoring a field goal from 39 yards out. The field goal put the Bulldogs ahead by double digits 24-14.
The Bulldogs defense forced another three-and-out, which put the Pasadena offense on their own 45-yard line. On second and 10, quarterback Matt Garcia launched a pass to tight end Michael Dutra. The Lancer's defense knocked Dutra down, but the sophomore tight end pulled the pass in while on the ground at the Pasadena two-yard line. Whitmill finished the drive scoring from two yards out to extend the lead to 31-14 right before the half.
Pasadena started the second half driving down to the red-zone once again, but was stopped when Bulldogs defensive back Kyron Smith intercepted the Wentz pass in the end zone. That play was the closest either team would come to scoring in the third quarter.
During the Bulldog's opening drive of the fourth quarter, Whitmill broke free yet again for a 34-yard touchdown run. The run capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive that started at the end of the third quarter and put the Bulldogs up 38-14 with 12:29 left in the game. Hancock scored again on the ensuing drive when Garcia floated a pass to tight end Jerome Afe for a 16-yard touchdown. The touchdown was the first for the sophomore in his Hancock career. The Bulldogs ended the game 45-14.
Whitmill led the Bulldog's running game with 166 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns. Garcia bounced back with 161 yards passing and a touchdown pass. Afe led the receiving corps with 62 yards and a score. On defense, Wagner led in tackles with 11 and linebacker Richard Goldhammer trailed closely behind with 10.
Despite the score, each team recorded similar offensive stats. Hancock ended the day with 426 yards of total offense and Pasadena ended with 408. The Bulldogs threw for 161 yards and ran for 265 yards. Pasadena threw for 150 yards and ran for 258. Hancock's defense was a deciding factor in the victory. The Bulldog's defense forced two Pasadena turnovers in the red-zone, which helped secure a comfortable lead for the team.
The Bulldogs currently lead the state in rushing yard per game and are second in total rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. They trail West LA, who has played one more game than the Bulldogs. Smith continues to lead the state in touchdowns, with eight total, and Whitmill is fourth in the state in rushing yards, with 638 total.
The Bulldogs will be back at home in Santa Maria on Saturday, Oct. 26, when they take on the 2-4 Santa Monica College Corsairs at 2 p.m. Hancock held the Corsairs scoreless in a 52-0 game last season and leads the all-time series 10-4. Be sure to follow Bulldog athletics on the website or on social media at ahcbulldogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can watch the Bulldogs football live at http://athletics.hancockcollege.edu/video/streaming.