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College of the Canyons football coach Ted Iacenda said one challenge presented by Cerritos College – the Cougars’ National Division, Northern Conference opponent in Saturday’s road game — is that it uses multiple formations on offense.

The Falcons can morph from spread to a two-running-back look depending on down and distance.

Over the course of a week, the Cougars have proven they can change, too. They’re no longer a team on a losing streak or one with a sometimes stagnant passing attack.

COC (3-4 overall, 1-1 in conference) snapped a four-game skid with a 26-10 win over Moorpark last week. The Cougars did it with a new quarterback under center.

His name is Matt Moore.

“He’s always had a great understanding of our passing game, and he has a cannon for an arm,” Iacenda said of the sophomore. “… We never questioned him being capable offensively.”

MORE COC: COC Insider: A promising postseason start

One question was whether or not the Cougars could protect Moore, who is far less mobile than the team’s other quarterbacks, CJ Williams and Louis Eusebi.

The offensive line, though, has improved and for the second time in the last six games, COC isn’t playing one of the top teams in California. That should help with protection.

Moore replaced Williams midway through a 48-25 loss to Ventura on Oct. 15, completing 6-of-14 passes for 116 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pounder started last week and went 22-of-34 for 319 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Did that garner another start?

“That’s a safe assumption,” Iacenda said.

Iacenda also said that, while the Cougars never lost hope this season, the mood at practice this week reflected the win.

“Anytime you get a win, it’s obviously a little nicer to come to work,” he said. “It’s a little less stressful. But it only lasts so long. We have a very capable opponent in Cerritos this week.”

Cerritos is only 3-4 overall (1-1 in conference), but it stayed close with state No. 1 Riverside (31-16 loss) and No. 5 Fullerton (31-19 loss).

The Falcons have been balanced on offense, averaging 196 yards through the air and 146 on the ground per game.

Sophomore running back Kishawn Holmes has been the main weapon running for 94 yards a game and five touchdowns.

The Cerritos defense is allowing 315 yards per contest.

COC has allowed north of 400 on average. The Cougars cut that number to 373 against Moorpark, but they may need a stronger performance to earn the same result against Cerritos.

“On offense they have dynamic players, skill-wise,” Iacenda said. “They’re dangerous with the ball.”

Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.

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Mason Nesbitt
Mason Nesbitt is The Santa Clarita Valley Signal's Sports Editor.
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