Bowen, a 5-6 sophomore, scored all five of his touchdowns on short runs, with one coming a play after an interception and return by Ryan McAleenan and another coming one play after a 63-yard pass from Dawson to Louis Gipson. The latter score, which came early in the fourth quarter, coupled with Bowen's fifth touchdown with 1:50 left clinched the win for the streaking Cougars.
Canyons (6-1, 3-0) started the game with Lance Poole intercepting a Brad Odeman pass on the game's first play from scrimmage. But the Cougars gained just two yards on three plays and had to punt. On that fourth down play, the snap was high and punter Dan Vear was tackled at the Cougar 5 as he corralled the loose ball. One play later, Aaron Stanton scored and Ventura (4-3, 2-1) had a quick 7-0 lead just 1:38 into the game.
Ventura got another break moments later when Ben Dixon sacked COC quarterback Jake Dashnaw and knocked the ball loose. Richard Palmer recovered for the Pirates and returned it to the Cougar 34. But the drive stalled after a penalty and Ventura ended up coming away empty when Kevin Kircher's 40-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
Canyons never trailed again, and scored on its next three drives to take a halftime lead. Dashnaw stayed in the game and led a 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended with Bowen's first touchdown run, a 1-yard plunge with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Then after a Ventura punt, Dawson entered the game and led COC on a 9-play, 91-yard drive, tossing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Travion Tucker on a fourth down play to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.
Ventura answered with a fourth-down touchdown play of its own, with Odeman throwing a 14-yard scoring pass to Kevon Mitchell that made it 14-13. But Kircher's extra point try clanked off the left upright. And Canyons answered with another scoring drive, with Bowen scoring his second touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run with 39 seconds left in the half. The Cougars seemed to be trying to run a fake kick play on the conversion, but a low snap doomed the play, and holder Garrett Dibene was tackled in the backfield, so Canyons held a 20-13 lead at the half.
Canyons started the second half with a punt, but got the ball back moments later when McAleenan intercepted an Odeman pass and returned it to the Pirate 7 yard-line. On the very next play, Bowen scored his third touchdown of the night to make it 27-13 just over three minutes into the second half.
Ventura took advantage of a Cougar mistake to pull within seven points. After another Pirate punt, Canyons had the ball deep in its own territory when Dashnaw and Deshone Randall missed connections on a handoff and the ball bounced into the Cougar end zone. Ventura's Chet Sterling recovered the fumble in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, and Alex Nelson's extra point made it 27-20.
The teams exchanged field goals after that, with Canyons pushing its lead to 30-20 on Eric Kreitz' 42-yard field goal with 1:26 left in the third quarter. Nelson answered with a 36-yard field goal for Ventura to keep the Pirates within seven points with 12:52 left in the game.
But moments later Canyons was in control of the game, thanks to Dawson and receiver Gipson, who finished with 7 catches for 138 yards on the night. Gipson took a short pass from Dawson, ran all the way across the field and just missed scoring before being pushed out of bounds at the Pirate 2 yard-line. On the next play, Bowen scored his fourth touchdown of the night to make it 37-23 and put the Cougars in contol.
Ventura got the ball twice more after that, and punted it away with 10:49 left. The Pirates got possession again with 6:37 left, but soon faced a 4th and 2 from their own 43. Trailing by 14 points, Venture eschewed the punt and went for the first down, but Stanton was tackled for a 2-yard loss, turning the ball over to the Cougars on downs. That led to Bowen's 5th touchdown of the game, a 4-yard run with 1:50 left that made it 44-23 and ended any remaining doubt as to the game's outcome.
With the win, Canyons maintains a half-game lead over Cerritos in the National Division's Northern Conference while winning its sixth straight game under first-year head coach Ted Iacenda. The Cougars have a bye next week, but will host Cerritos November 9th in what looks to be the key game in the conference this season. Ventura travels to Cerritos next Saturday and will attempt to break a 2-game losing streak after losses to Saddleback last week and now Canyons.
College of the Canyons Cougars 44, Ventura Pirates 23
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 6 pm @ Ventura College
National Division - North Conference
V - Stanton 5 yd run (Kircher kick) 13:22 (0-7)
C - Bowen 1 yd run (Kreitz kick) 3:32 (7-7)
C - Tucker 36 yd pass from Dawson (Kreitz kick) 9:38 (14-7)
V - Mitchell 14 yd pass from Odeman (kick hit left upright) 3:49 (14-13)
C - Bowen 1 yd run (run failed) 0:39 (20-13)
C - Bowen 8 yd run (Kreitz kick) 11:44 (27-13)
V - Sterling recovered fumble in end zone (Nelson kick) 7:51 (27-20)
C - FG Kreitz 42 yds 1:26 (30-20)
V - FG Nelson 36 yds 12:52 (30-23)
C - Bowen 2 yd run (Kreitz kick) 12:19 (37-23)
C - Bowen 4 yd run (Kreitz kick) 1:50 (44-23)
First Downs: Ventura 14 (3 rush, 11 pass), Canyons 20 (12 rush, 8 pass)
Rushes-Yds: Ventura 22-70, Canyons 50-191
Passing Yds: Ventura 230, Canyons 232
Comp-Att-Int: Ventura 28-47-4, Canyons 12-20-1
Return Yds: Ventura 52, Canyons 231
Sacks-Yds: Ventura 3-12, Canyons 2-13
Fumbles-Lost: Ventura 1-0, Canyons 3-2
Penalties-Yds: Ventura 8-74, Canyons 3-20
Time of Possession: Ventura 27:45, Canyons 32:15
Rushing: V 5-Odeman 9-35, 3-Stanton 10-34, 26-Harris 2-3, 21-Lelsey 1-(-2); C 5-Bowen 29-100, 10-Dawson 11-98, 2-Washington 1-41, 23-Randall 1-1, 9-Gipson 1-(-4), 12-Dashnaw 4-(-17), team 3-(-28)
Passing: V 5-Odeman 27-44-3-226, 1 TD; 12-Evans 1-2-1-4; team 0-1-0-0; C 10-Dawson 7-10-1-151, 2 TDs; 12-Dashnaw 5-10-0-81
Receiving: V 3-Stanton 7-51, 10-Lee 5-53, 88-McCormack 4-37, 15-Mitchell 4-35, 80-Soto 3-25, 4-R.Smith 2-16, 11-Mondy 1-13, 21-Lesley 1-3, 26-Harris 1-(-3); C 9-Gipson 7-138, 8-Feyh 2-34, 11-Tucker 1-36, 23-Randall 1-19, 85-Mandic 1-5
Interceptions-Ret Yds: V 1-Hall 1-0; C 3-Poole 2-67, 42-McAleenan 1-36, 58-Houghton 1-20
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: C none; V 58-Palmer 1-9, 37-Sterling 1-0
Sacks: V 1-Hall, 20-Camacho, 56-Dixon; C 15-Barden ½, 47-Johnson ½, 53-Guy ½, 56-Harris ½
Punters: V 17-Nelson 3-40.0 avg; C 7-Vear 3-34.5 avg
Kick Returns: V 88-McCormack 4-25, 4-R.Smith 1-8, 15-Mitchell 1-6; C 11-Tucker 4-91, 13-Strange 1-12
Punt Returns: V 10-Lee 1-4; C 4-Adams 1-5
Missed FG: V 38-Kircher 40 yds (wide left); C none
Notes: Canyons entered #7-National Division and #21 in nation and improves to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in National-North. Ventura entered #4-National and #25 in nation and falls to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in National-North. Dashnaw started at QB and played the 1st quarter & 3rd quarter until the fumble that Sterling recovered for the TD; Dawson played the 2nd, the last 7:51 of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarters. A bad punt snap gave Ventura the ball at the COC 5 and Stanton scored 1 play later for the game's 1st TD. Dixon's sack forced a fumble that Palmer recovered, but VC came away empty on the missed field goal. COC's 1st TD of the 2nd half came 1 play after McAleenan's interception. COC leads the all-time series, 17-8.