COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS NOTEBOOK: CANYONS TO MEET BAKERSFIELD AGAIN.
As a map indicates, College of the Canyons' football team has to pass Bakersfield on its way to Fresno, where the state championship will be played Dec. 10.
And in its last meeting on Oct. 1, Marcel Marquez connected with Billy Omahen with a pass over Bakersfield's defense in the final minute to give the top-ranked Cougars a 24-23 victory.
The teams meet again Saturday night in the Southern California Regional semifinals, with Canyons (11-0), the defending state titlist, home against fourth-seeded Bakersfield (9-2).
Some of the protagonists have been shuffled and some of the X's and O's moved since the first meeting, but the core of both teams remains the same.
Bakersfield is well aware of Marquez, who passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns at the start of October.
``Marquez is a tough guy to contain,'' Bakersfield coach Jeff Chudy said. ``They (COC) have talent on both sides of the ball, but much like us, they've got a lot of strength at quarterback.''
Bakersfield counters with Thomas Peregrin, a tough quarterback who doesn't back down from pressure. In the last meeting, Peregrin led the Renegades to 16 unanswered second-half points for a 23-17 lead with less than five minutes remaining.
Peregrin, Bakersfield's career passing leader, gave a strong performance last weekend in a 54-20 win over fifth-seeded Fullerton in the Golden Empire Bowl. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a school-record 27 TD passes this season.
``They're going to do some things different,'' Canyons coach Chuck Lyon said. ``It's going to be who adjusts the quickest.''
Lyon also is concerned with Renegades kicker Jose Martinez, who is returning from injury. ``That could cause us some problems,'' Lyon said.
Martinez missed the first meeting, and the difference in the game was an extra point missed by backup Nathaniel Berk.
Martinez made six of seven extra points and put seven of 10 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks against Fullerton.
``He's such a weapon,'' Fullerton offensive coordinator Tim Byrnes said. ``He should be the defensive MVP, because he made us start from the 20 so many times.''
The winner advances to the Dec. 3 Southern California final against the winner of Saturday's other semifinal, Grossmont (10-1) at El Camino (11-0).
--Gomez in top five: Senior Jessica Gomez finished her COC cross-country career last week at the State Championships in Fresno, finishing fourth in the women's race.
Gomez (Saugus High), who is bound for California State University, Northridge, won All-State and Junior College All-America honors. Belinda Kane coached Gomez in cross country and track and watched her steady improvement.
``She's unbelievable,'' Kane said. ``She's earned every bit of it.''
Gomez is the COC record holder in the 800 meters, is a four-time all-conference, three-time all-state and three-time All-American in cross country and track.
``I'm really going to miss (Kane),'' Gomez said. ``She's taught me all the little things, like shoes, water, food and everything with running. I'll be sad to leave them.''
Nate Brown, (818) 713-3607
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Nov 24, 2005|
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