Allan Hancock College football continued its undefeated streak in conference play by defeating LA Pierce College 45-13 on Saturday, Nov. 9. Bulldogs running back Eddie Battle led the team in offensive yards and linebacker EJ Barrera led the Bulldogs defense in tackles. The win extends the Bulldog's winning streak to five and improves the all-time series against Pierce to 19-1 in favor of Hancock. The Brahmas fell to 1-3 in conference play, and 2-7 on the season. The Bulldogs improve to 4-0 in conference, and 7-2 overall.
Hancock started the game receiving the ball and got off to a strong start when linebacker Quintin Faison returned the ball 26 yards to the Pierce 49 yard line. Bulldogs running back Maurice Smith ended the first drive of the game with a nine-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs up 7-0. The drive lasted eight plays and took just over four minutes off the clock in the first quarter. Hancock did not lose the lead at any point during the game.
The Brahma's opened their first drive on their own 35-yard line and drove all the way to the Hancock one-yard line. Hancock's defense pushed back and defensive back Curt McDonald intercepted Brahma quarterback David McCullum on the Hancock one-yard line. Pierce's opening drive lasted nearly 8 minutes and Hancock took over with 2:43 left in the first quarter.
Hancock's ensuing drive once again lasted just over four minutes and crossed over into the second quarter. Battle brought the ball to the Pierce one-yard line but could not punch it through. Kicker Edgar Zacarias came out for a 20-yard field goal try and made it right down the center to put the Bulldog's up 10-0.
Pierce once again started on their own 35-yard line. The Brahmas drove to the Hancock 34-yard line where running back Kevin Ascencio broke free and ran it in for a touchdown bringing Pierce to within a field goal 10-7.
Hancock answered back on the next drive off quarterback Matt Garcia's eight-yard pass to tight end Jerome Afe to go up 17-7. Afe has made himself a valuable target for Garcia, scoring three touchdowns in conference play. On the following Pierce drive, McDonald intercepted McCullum once again. The Bulldogs maintained their lead going into halftime.
Punter Cade England started the kickoff for the second half with a blast out of the back of the endzone for a touchback. Pierce started their first drive of the half on their own 25. Two plays in, new Pierce quarterback Andrew Young attempted a short pass but was intercepted by McDonald, his third and final of the game. McDonald had one interception coming into conference play and now sits tied for first in conference and tied for 12th in the state.
Following the interception, Hancock ended their drive off running back Desmond Newkirk's one-yard run. After the successful Zacarias point after try the Bulldogs held a three score lead over Pierce 24-7. Two Pierce drives later, Linebacker LJ Vongsy rounded the edge of the Pierce punt attempt and came up with a block that put the Bulldogs on the Pierce 17-yard line. The Bulldogs capitalized on the chance and Smith ran it in from a yard out, his second of the game. Hancock entered the fourth quarter with a 31-7 lead.
Pierce started the fourth quarter by driving 43 yards to the Hancock 37-yard line but could not covert on the fourth-down attempt and turned the ball over on downs.
Hancock took over on their own 37-yard line. On the first play Battle ran to the right and broke free from the grasp of several defenders up the sideline for a 63 yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs further ahead 38-7. The Bulldog's defense came up with a solid stop when defensive lineman John Sniffen sacked McCullum and forced a fumble that was recovered by Faison. The Bulldogs scored their final points off the turnover when defensive back Qualik Davis came in at running back and hit the outside down the left sideline for a 13-yard touchdown run to put Hancock up 45-7.
With Hancock relief players in, Pierce scored their second touchdown of the game off a Jakobe Harvey three-yard run. Hancock Linebacker Honus Wagner was able to get behind the line on the point after try and blocked the kick. The game ended not long after with a final score of 45-13.
The Bulldogs ended the game with 371 yards of total offense. Pierce earned 272 yards. Hancock ran for 332 yard and threw for 39. Pierce ran for 175 and threw for 97. Hancock's running game is currently first in the state in yards, yards per game, and touchdowns.
Hancock's defense and special teams performed well with six sacks, three interceptions, two broken up passes, and two kick blocks. Hancock's defense sits in top ten in the state in yards allowed per game and is top three in passing yards allowed per game.
Battle ended the game with 114 yards on 10 attempts and a touchdown. Newkirk ended with 89 yards and a touchdown. Smith ended the game with 85 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the state in touchdowns with 13. Afe and Davis both ended the game with a touchdown score. Barrera and defensive back Seth Matthysse tied for team lead in tackles with seven. Linebacker James Gilmet and McDonald came up with six tackles each. McDonald earned three interceptions for nine yards.
The Bulldogs end the regular season on the road in Wilmington on Saturday, Nov. 16, when they take on the 3-6 LA Harbor Seahawks at 3:00 PM. Hancock defeated Harbor 55-14 last season and leads the all-time series 8-2. Be sure to follow Hancock Athletics on the website or on social media at achbulldogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can watch Bulldogs football live at http://athletics.hancockcollege.edu/video/streaming.