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Football

Hancock Remains Unbeaten in League Play, Takes Down L.A. Pierce

Sophomore Jordan Pollard kicked three field goals, and freshman running back Ryheem Skinner scored three rushing touchdowns to help the Allan Hancock College football team outlast L.A. Pierce 44-34 in an American Pacific League game Saturday evening in Woodland Hills. The Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 23 in the state and No. 2 in the division, stayed unbeaten in league at 3-0 and 6-2 overall. The Brahmas dropped to 1-2 in league and 3-5 on the season. Hancock extended its winning streak against L.A. Pierce to 17 games.

Skinner became the first Hancock running back to score rushing touchdowns in a single-game since Cameron Artis-Payne ran in the ball four times against Bakersfield in November 2012. Skinner’s first score of the game came on the Bulldogs’ second play from scrimmage on their opening drive of the game. Skinner, who set the program record for longest touchdown run last week with a 90-yard sprint, broke free for a 78-yard touchdown to give Hancock an early 7-0 lead.

The Brahmas answered with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs regained the lead with a 38-yard field goal from Pollard, his longest of the season, to put the Bulldogs ahead 10-7.  It remained a three-point game until Skinner found the endzone for a three-yard touchdown run to give Hancock a 17-7 lead with about 9:30 to play in the opening half. The Brahmas answered later in the quarter with a touchdown to make it a 17-14 game at halftime.

The Brahmas received the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly scored on a three-yard touchdown pass to take their first lead of the game at 21-17. The lead did not last long because Hancock’s Markese Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 24-21. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a Bulldog since Bobby Collins in 2011.

Hancock’s defense forced the Brahmas to punt on their next possession, and the offense turned it into three points with a 26-yard field goal by Pollard to drive the Bulldogs’ lead to 27-21 with 4:25 to play in the third quarter. Pierce answered with a touchdown on a reverse that ended with a 29-yard touchdown catch by quarterback Jonathon Saavedra. Edjuan Works blocked Pierce’s PAT though to keep the game tied at 27-27 at the end of three quarters.

The Bulldogs regained possession and strung together a scoring drive to open the fourth quarter that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Kelleher to sophomore Laron Gilchrist in the back of the endzone that gave Hancock the lead for good at 34-27. Pollard padded the lead to 37-27 with a 30-yard field goal with about 5:15 to play.

Pollard, the reigning Special Teams Player of the Week in the Pacific League, became the first Hancock kicker since Casey Belus in 2008 to convert three field goals in one game. The Righetti High School graduate has made six consecutive field goals attempts. The sophomore accounted for 14 points on the day.

The Brahmas needed just three passing plays to find the endzone to climb to within 37-34. They went for the onside kick and appeared to recover the ball, but the Bulldogs caught a break because referees ruled the onside kick did not travel 10 yards. Hancock regained possession and sealed the win with a scoring drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown run from Skinner.

Individual and team statistics are not available at this time from the host college.

The Bulldogs will play their final home game of the regular season at 6 p.m. next Saturday, November 4, at Antelope Valley College. AVC kicked off at L.A. Valley Saturday at 6 p.m. AVC started this week tied for first with Hancock at 2-0 in league and 4-3 overall.

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