NC talent helps lead AHC to bowl game

(Photos courtesy of Hancock Athletics)

Bulldogs host San Bernardino Valley in American Championship Bowl

SANTA MARIA — The Allan Hancock Community College Bulldogs football team put a 55-14 beat down on LA Harbor Community College on Saturday, Nov. 10, to claim their second consecutive Pacific League Championship. This Saturday, the Bulldogs will host San Bernardino College in the American Championship Bowl at 6 p.m. at Righetti High School.

Hancock has been as dominant as a football team can be this year and, as of the most current rankings for the California Community College Athletic Association, are ranked No. 15 in California and No. 3 in the American Division. The Bulldogs are 9-1 on the season and have won eight straight games to end the year, but it isn’t just that they’re winning that is so impressive, it is how they are winning. In their last four games, Hancock’s average margin of victory has been 37.5 points, over the entire eight-game winning streak they are winning by an average of 29.5 points per a game.

This season, the Bulldogs’ offense, quarterbacked by former Atascadero Greyhound Tommy Carr, has averaged an astounding 51 points per a game while their defense has only surrendered on average 20 per game.

“It has been a great year,” Carr said Wednesday. “Obviously, you know, just having great teammates helps a lot. Our running backs are phenomenal, they have done a lot of the work. Having trust in our offensive coordinator to call the right plays, as well as our defense, has been amazing also. I don’t know the numbers but shoot, I don’t think any team has done to hot against our defense either.”

Carr is one of 14 players on Hancock’s roster that played at either Atascadero, Templeton or Paso Robles high schools. Carr is joined by fellow Greyhounds Henry Chance, Logan Armstrong, Arik Machado, and Kamren Brown. The Bearcats currently have eight players on the roster with Steven Schouten, Seth Matthysse, Spencer Pool, Daniel Giroux II, Tristin Durfee, Cade England, Johnny Aviles, and Jacob Stanko and the Eagles currently have one representative in Colton Boronda

“We’ve got a good nucleus of local guys that kind of lead the team,” Hancock head football coach Kris Dutra said. “Tommy Carr is our guy. He has done a good job of managing our offense… Durfee plays a ton for us he is kind of a nickel/secondary guy and is also our kick returner.”

Brown, who earned defensive lineman of the year for the PAC 5 last year for the Hounds, also starts for the Bulldogs and will be a player to watch on Saturday as San Bernardino could pass the ball upwards of 40 times.

“I love when teams mostly pass the ball, it’s my favorite thing,” Brown said. “Because there isn’t much reading and all you have to do is just go off the ball and try to sack the quarterback.”

Saturday’s game against San Bernardino will be the ultimate clash of styles and should make for a highly entertaining game. Hancock currently ranks as the top rushing team, 421 yards ahead of Cerritos who is in second, in the Association averaging 306 yards per game and will come out in I-formation and pro-style sets while San Bernardino ranks fourth in passing offense and will work almost exclusively out of the shotgun. The Bulldogs have two rushers in the top 20 in the state in Ryheem Skinner at 116 yards per game (No. 5) and Jayden Vargas at 85 yards a game (No. 19) while the Wolverines have the third-highest passer in the state, 292 yards a game, and their top receiver is leading in touchdown catches with 12.

San Bernardino is currently ranked No.14 in the state, one spot higher than the Bulldogs, and No. 2 in the American Division, also one spot ahead of AHC, and averages 317 yards passing per game while Hancock averages 306 yards per game on the ground.

“I definitely have faith that our defense will hold them so it is up to the offense,” Carr said. “If we can come out and play like we have been and give this team an offense they haven’t really seen before, we’re such a powerhouse up front and our running backs do such a great job that I think it will really open up the passing game as well. So going into the game I am excited to see what they can throw at us.”

Allan Hancock had four current players on preseason NFL rosters this season. Malik Williams, a former Bulldogs running back, scored his first NFL touchdown in a preseason game with the Atlanta Falcons. Josh Thorton, a former AHC corner, made a game-saving pass breakup in the preseason for the Houston Texans before being placed on IR and second-year pro Brian Price is now a Cleveland Brown and has recorded five tackles this season. Cameron Artis-Payne, who was an All-American running for AHC before transferring to Aubrun and leading the SEC in rushing, is in his fourth-year with the Carolina Panthers and is now the team’s No. 2 back, according to multiple reports, after releasing CJ Anderson earlier in the week. Artis-Payne has rushed for 422 yards and four touchdowns in his NFL career.

There may be more future professional football players on the field Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday night at Righetti High School in Santa Maria.


(Photos courtesy of Hancock Athletics)

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