Lopsided loss leaves Falcons flat

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The Comets took full advantage of the opportunity to atone for its only loss of 2014 by beating West Hills-Coalinga (1-1) 24-3 on Sept. 12 in Coalinga.

Last year the Falcons put a 50-21 beatdown on Contra Costa College (2-0) and for all the players who are still here from last year the chance to see WH-C on the field could not have come sooner.

“It’s just one of three tough games in a row,” CCC coach Alonzo Carter said. “We are not overlooking Reedley (College).” The Comets host the Tigers Saturday at 3 p.m.

The West Hills game had an ominous feel from the start for the home team as Comet defensive back Rodney Washington (four tackles) stripped Falcon quarterback Douglas Clem (9-18 passing for 55 yards) of the ball which was recovered by Comet linebacker Amari Mount.

Needing only nine seconds to get the ball back, CCC’s rushing attack was the driving force of the first possession.

Freshman quarterback Cameron Burston (16-22 passing for 121 yards) got past the first wave of defense in a 15-yard scamper. Then running backs Austin Harper (two carries for eight yards) and Harris Ross (16 carries for 75 yards) tore off runs of eight yards each.

“I tried to take too many chances but overall I think we played well,” Burston said “This week we need to really put in work in practice so things will come to us easier on the field.”

The drive ended with a five-yard touchdown by Ross.

“Last year’s game definitely had an effect on the way we prepared for this game,” Ross said. “We remembered how (West Hills-Coalinga) ran up the score on us.” 

CCC led in total offensive yards gained with 304 compared to WH-C’s 277. Neither team threw an interception throughout the game, but the Falcons ran seven more plays than the Comets 67-60, respectively.

On the Falcon’s second offensive possession Clem led his team down the field by taking bite size chunks of yards, ultimately gobbling 55 yards in 17 plays that took eight minutes off of the clock.

The Comet defense held and the drive ended with a 27-yard field goal by kicker John Canes, cutting the Falcon deficit to 7-3.

“We came out hungry and stuck to the game plan,” CCC linebacker Chima Onyeukwu (six tackles, one fumble recovery) said. “I’ve already been studying film for next week. We want to go undefeated.”

Penalties continue to be the parasite that plagues CCC’s offensive productivity. On the next Comet possession the team netted five penalties and punted the ball away after earning minus 22 yards on two plays.

For the game the Comets were flagged for 16 penalties for 104 yards.

Infractions notwithstanding, the CCC defense found its form early and the special teams looked to take its turn at downing the Falcons.

After the Comet penalty-heavy drive, West Hills went on another long drive that aimed for the same result — a field goal.

The Falcon field goal kick, however, was blocked by Comet defensive back Prentiss Reid and recovered by CCC.

Lorran Fonseca (one for two kicking with a 35-yard field goal) gave the Comets their final score of the half — a 35-yard field goal to give the Comets a 10-3 lead at halftime.

Following the break, Burston gave his visiting team more of a scoring lead on a two-yard touchdown with 12 minutes left in the third quarter.

With the Falcon’s spirit on the brink of destruction CCC poured on one more score to put the game fully out of reach.

Makeshift Comet defensive back Robert Wilkes’s 44-yard burst up the field provided the final touchdown of the game, and sealed the success of the CCC road trip of revenge.

“We have a determined hungry football team, they feel overlooked so they constantly want to prove themselves and I think they did,” Carter said.

The squad continues the trek through the teeth of its schedule on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Reedley College at Comet Stadium.