COC football beats No. 11 Long Beach City College

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College of the Canyons football bounced back from a loss to defending state champion Fullerton College on Saturday night, taking down No. 11 Long Beach City College at home.

The Cougars, who were ranked No. 20 in the most recent JC Athletic Bureau coaches poll, relied on confident play from starting quarterback Andrew Brito as well as his backup, Darryn Blackshere.

After a 39-yard touchdown rush from Keland White to open the game, Brito connected with Leroy Deshazor to close out the frame with a nine-yard score.

The Vikings dented the scoreboard with a rushing touchdown in the next quarter.

Brito threw to Desean Holmes for a touchdown at the 12-minute mark in the second quarter, but Long Beach would score twice more after that.

Louis Eusebi nailed a 46-yard field goal to pull the Cougars ahead 24-21 heading into halftime.

COC played part of the second quarter without Brito, who sustained a minor wrist injury and was taken out as a precautionary measure. Blackshere filled in to hold off the Vikings.

“Darren played his butt off,” said coach Ted Iacenda.

Canyons started off the second half with a one-yard touchdown rush from White, then running back Elijah Bynum scored for the Vikings with 10:15 left in the quarter.

RB Marlow caught a 13-yard pass from Brito as the Cougars bit back two minutes later, but Bynum scored once more to close out the third quarter.

Brito broke the silence in the fourth quarter with a 44-yard touchdown run with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Bynam scored once more on a 10-yard scamper, but it was White with the final word on a 20-yard run.

White finished the game with 136 yards on 16 carries. Brito went 15-of-27 for 228 yards and rushed for an additional 84 on 12 carries.

“It was a weird game,” Iacenda said. “We started off throwing the ball well and we hit some early touchdowns and later in the game our run game took over.”

Iacenda credited a strong offensive line when it came to the ability to score both on the ground and through the air.

“We’ve got three sophomores and two freshmen (on the line),” he said. “And it’s a great group. They’re very capable … tough kids.”

The Cougars next play Grossmont College on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 3 p.m.

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