SANTA CLARITA — With sophomores at every offensive skill position, No. 3 Canyons took advantage of SBCC‘s youth to post a 56-6 nonconference football victory Saturday night at Cougar Stadium.
The Vaqueros (0-2), who returned only six of 22 starters from last year, were stung by a 73-yard touchdown pass from Brad McClellan to Hayo Carpenter on the Cougars’ first play from scrimmage. Canyons (2-0), the state’s third-ranked team, piled up 314 yards on the ground and 575 yards of total offense. Sophomore running back Fred Winborn averaged nearly 15 yards per carry with 223 yards on 15 attempts. He accounted for four TDs — two rushing, one passing and one receiving.
“They’re a good football team,” said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos. “You can’t turn the ball over and leave their offense on the field and that’s what we did. They’re a good team, give them credit.”
Carpenter caught six passes for 164 yards and three TDs — all in the first half. Canyons, which led 35-0 at intermission, intercepted a pair of passes in the first half, leading to two touchdowns.
“The kids never gave up and that’s all I ask,” said Moropoulos.
Conner Rehage, a sophomore from Dos Pueblos High, started the game at quarterback for the Vaqueros and split time with Austin Civita, a sophomore transfer from Canyons. Civita, whose first pass was intercepted in the second quarter, completed 11-of-22 for 113 yards wth one touchdown while Rehage was 7-16 for 87 yards with a pick.
Neither quarterback had much time to throw as Canyons’ bigger linemen stormed into the backfield to record eight sacks.
Trailing 21-0, Ravonte Wilkerson returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown that was wiped out by a holding call back at his own 25.
Canyons, which has outscored its opponents 110-20 this year, stretched the lead to 49-0 on Winborn’s TD runs of 28 and 8 yards in the third quarter.
Civita directed the Vaqueros’ touchdown drive, a 12-play, 63-yard march that ended with an 8-yard scoring toss to Robin Lawson on the last play of the third quarter. The PAT kick was blocked. Civita and Oscar Loza (5 catches, 65 yards) hooked up for a pair of third-down pass conversions, covering 16 and 13 yards.
SBCC finished with 252 yards and 19 first downs but converted just 4-of-17 chances in third-down situations.
“We moved the ball in the third quarter but we’ve got to shore some things up,” said Moropoulos. “We’re very young up front. If you play against a good team like Canyons, you cannot turn the ball over and give them field position because they will hurt you.”
The Vaqueros will be on the road for their final nonconference game Saturday against Ventura College at Larrabee Stadium. On Sept. 27, they’ll take on Antelope Valley in their American Pacific Conference opener at home.
Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College‘s sports information specialist.