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Vaqueros overcome 10-point deficit to beat Hancock, 21-20

Receiver+Elijah+Cunningham+%28No.+13%29+of+City+College+attempts+to+make+a+catch+in+the+end+zone+Saturday+afternoon+Sept.+12+at+La+Playa+Stadium.+City+College+beat+Hancock%2C+21-20.
Receiver Elijah Cunningham (No. 13) of City College attempts to make a catch in the end zone Saturday afternoon Sept. 12 at La Playa Stadium. City College beat Hancock, 21-20.

Receiver Elijah Cunningham (No. 13) of City College attempts to make a catch in the end zone Saturday afternoon Sept. 12 at La Playa Stadium. City College beat Hancock, 21-20.

Daniel Feldtkeller

Daniel Feldtkeller

Receiver Elijah Cunningham (No. 13) of City College attempts to make a catch in the end zone Saturday afternoon Sept. 12 at La Playa Stadium. City College beat Hancock, 21-20.

LANDON HUNT, Sports Editor

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Despite falling behind 10-0, the City College football team came back to beat Allan Hancock 21-20 during Saturday’s home opener at La Playa Stadium.

“I’m really proud of the guys, they never gave up,” said head coach Craig Moropoulos. “They had a couple things that set them back, but they kept fighting and kept going.”

It only took Hancock eight plays to go 80 yards down the field to score a touchdown during the opening drive of the game.

The first half included a plethora of mistakes by City College, including a dropped touchdown pass, a missed field goal and several penalties. The Vaqueros finished the game with 14 penalties, resulting in 114 yards.

“That’s gonna change a lot,” said sophomore quarterback Brandon Edwards (No. 8), “We’re gonna sharpen up.”

It wasn’t until there was less than a minute left in the half when City College finally got on the score board. With a four yard pass from Edwards to freshman wideout Elijah Cunningham (No. 13), the Vaqueros would make it 10-7 before halftime.

Elijah Cunningham #13 pushes past Hancock defensive back after a reception Saturday Sept. 12, 2015 at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara. City College beat Hancock 21-20.

Daniel Feldtkeller
Elijah Cunningham (No. 13) pushes past a Hancock defensive back after a reception Saturday Sept. 12 at La Playa Stadium. City College beat Hancock, 21-20.

“I knew right after that score that the momentum was switching,” said Edwards, “I told everyone that the 2nd half was ours.”

That momentum did roll over into the second half when the Vaqueros took their first lead of the game after an eight yard run by Chad Woolsey (No. 24) made it 14-10.

However, Hancock answered quickly when Michael Jordano ran in for a touchdown to regain the lead.

After forcing City College to punt, Hancock would begin another march down the field until freshman City College defensive back Bryson Parker (No. 26) recorded his first career interception on a ball that had bounced off of the receivers hands.

Sophomore running back Marvin Millett (No. 27) took advantage of the turnover and scored on a four yard run giving the Vaqueros a lead they would not give up.

Millet was also key to moving the ball in the fourth quarter, picking up two first downs including a 41 yard run. He finished the game with 12 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Two of the biggest game changing plays came from City College’s Joel Whitford (No. 88), the punter from Australia who was playing in just his second American football game.

With about eight minutes left in the game City College was clinging to a 21-20 lead and Whitford was forced to punt from his own endzone. A poor punt could have put Hancock into field goal range, but the Australian put Hancock back at midfield with a 51 yard punt.

“Last week is where I sort of got the nerves out,” Whitford said, “I felt a lot more comfortable.”

With just one minute left on the clock the Vaqueros were forced to punt again. Whitford pinned the ball down inside the one yard line, forcing Hancock to go the length of the field with just 56 seconds left in the game in order to win the game.

For a moment it seemed as if Hancock would do just that when a receiver got behind the defense and had a clear shot to the end zone, but the pass was dropped.

“That one scared me for a second,” said Edwards, “I’m glad he dropped it.”

City College looks to improve its record to 2-1 against East Los Angeles 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at La Playa Stadium.

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Vaqueros overcome 10-point deficit to beat Hancock, 21-20