first_imgCan anyone stop them? The College of the Canyons football team enters tonight’s Western State Conference game against visiting Allan Hancock in the midst of several winning streaks, each one seemingly more impressive than the one before. The Cougars (7-0, 4-0), the defending state champions, have won 46 consecutive conference games, 35 straight regular-season contests, 24 in a row at home and the last 21 overall, including the postseason. “We’re getting used to winning,” sophomore quarterback Marcel Marquez said. “We have a lot of pride in what we do here.” If any team has a chance of putting an end to the winning ways it might be Hancock (6-1, 4-0), ranked No. 5 in Southern California in the most recent COA/California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association poll. The Bulldogs are No. 15 in the nation, according to J.C. Grid-Wire. “No question about it. Canyons will be tested,” said Hank Ives, editor of J.C. Grid-Wire. “Hancock is the last stop between Canyons and an undefeated season. “If I was going to bet, I’d bet on Canyons, though. Being at home, that’s a three-point swing right there. It’s going to be a great game, regardless.” Hancock prefers to control the game by running the ball, something it does very well – the Bulldogs average 372 yards per game, by far the top total in the state. Hancock averages 500 total yards per game, second only to Santa Rosa. “They do things the old-school way. Smash-mouth style football,” Canyons sophomore linebacker Joey La Rocque said. “It’s going to be physical. We like physical games and teams that run the ball. We’re prepared.” Hancock’s Drew Williams has rushed for 15 touchdowns this season and only needs 32 yards to surpass the 1,000 yard plateau. His 7.8 yards-per-carry average is tops in the state. He might find it difficult to match the feat against La Rocque and company, who are holding opponents to 277 total yards per game, 92 rushing. “Hancock knows what they want to do,” Canyons coach Chuck Lyon said. “They run the ball on everyone. We know what we’re going to see. Our thinking is, when you play a team like Hancock the object is to make them change their game plan. We’re going to put nine in the box and dare them to throw. Or hopefully, we can get an early lead. They start throwing it, we win.” Offensively, Canyons is balanced. There’s no real standout in the group, no individual ranking among the top 15 in any one category, rushing, receiving or passing. Together, however, the unit is as formidable as it comes, averaging 457 total yards per game, ninth in the state. The Cougars are scoring more than 40 points per game and are defeating opponents by 22 per contest. It appears a team-first mentality breeds winning. “We’re going out there and playing football,” Marquez said. “We’re having fun. When we do that, we’re unstoppable. The only team that can beat us is ourselves.” Apparently so. Sean Ceglinsky, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] AT A GLANCE HANCOCK (6-1, 4-0) AT CANYONS (7-0, 4-0) Time: 7 p.m., Cougar Stadium. Radio: 1220-AM. Outlook: Canyons enters the game ranked No. 3 in the nation, according to J.C. Grid-Wire. Hancock is no slouch, ranked No. 15. The winner takes over sole possession of first place in the Western State Conference with two regular-season games remaining. Did you know? The last time Canyons lost at home it was to Hancock, 24-20 in the WSC Bowl, back in November 2000. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img