National Champions 1991, 1993,
CHAMPIONS 1991, 1993, 1998 | CONFERENCE/DIVISION
CHAMPIONS 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999,
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006 | POST-SEASON
APPEARANCES 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994,
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014
2015 Schedule, Results
| 2015 Stats | 2015 Roster |
Records, Leaders (Through 2015
2014 Season |
2014 Schedule, Results
| 2014 Stats |
2014 Roster |
Comets Currently in NFL, 4-year College Football
View, Download Hugh Cox's
2015 Season ...
Sayles hurdles two Santa Ana defenders on Saturday afternoon. He
rushed for 137 yards on 20 carries and five touchdowns, the
latter to tie Palomar's all-time single-game touchdown record
and break the mark for rushing TDs. Sayles led the Comets to a
37-27 season-ending victory at Eddie West Field/Santa Ana
Stadium. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Devyn
Comer, who had three of Palomar's eight sacks
DIRECTLY ABOVE: Quarterback Austin Early sets
up Sayles' first touchdown with a 24-yard run on a quarterback
keeper. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Devyn
Comer, who had three of Palomar's eight sacks
Sayles' 5 TD runs tie, set PC marks in 37-27
ANA (11-14-2015) -- Palomar finished its football
season with a 37-27 Southern Conference victory over Santa Ana
College on Saturday afternoon at Eddie West Field/Santa Ana
Stadium as running back Daviante Sayles, playing his last game
as a Comet, went out in record-setting style.
Sayles tied a Palomar record for
touchdowns in a game by scoring five times on runs of 1, 55 and
2 yards in the first half and 2 and 12 yards in the second half.
He finished with 137 rushing yards on 20 carries
The sophomore out of Rancho Buena Vista
High School tied the mark set by Toby Flanagan in the Comets'
83-0 victory over Santa Barbara City College in the sixth week
of the 1958 season and equaled by Lafo Malauulu in a 55-19 win
over San Diego Mesa on Thanksgiving Day 1984 and Markeith Ross
in a 45-28 victory over Mt. SAC in the 1992 Simple Green Bowl.
Sayles now has the Comets' sing-game
rushing TD record by himself with 5. Flanagan, playing both
ways, returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns as part of his now
57-year-old record performance. Malauulu's touchdowns came on
four pass receptions and a punt return. And Ross had a TD
reception to go with four rushing touchdowns.
Sayles accounted for 30 of Palomar's 37
points Saturday, tying him for second on the all-time Palomar
list for that category with Malauulu and Ross. Flanagan holds
the record for points in a game with 32 points in that 1958
game. Along with his five touchdowns, he also had a two-point
conversion run. 1958 was the first season the two-point
conversion was used in college football.
Santa Ana took its only lead of the
game 3-0 on a 43-yard field goal by Jonah Mack with 4:37
remaining in the opening period. The Comets answered back with a
nine-play, 53-yard drive that culminated with Sayles' 1-yard
touchdown with 7:08 to play in the quarter. Sayles' 55-yard run
with 4:50 left made it 13-3 as the first period ended.
It was 20-13 at halftime and 23-20
entering the final quarter. Sayles upped Palomar's advantage to
37-20 by scoring his last two touchdowns of the day in the
quarter's first 2 minutes and 7 seconds.
Reggie Wilson had the Comets' other
seven points on four extra-point kicks and a 32-yard field goal.
Palomar spent most of the fourth
quarter running down the clock.
Trayce Cauley added 60 yards rushing on
10 carries for the Comets, including a 36-yard run that set up a
touchdown. Quarterback Austin Early added 103 yards passing and
broke off a 24-yard run on a keeper to set up Sayles' first TD.
LaMont Chaney was the leading receiver for Palomar with four
catches for 31 yards, and tight end Robert Ursua had two
receptions for 35 yards.
Palomar's defense was a huge factor in
the victory. The Comets held the Dons to 5 yards rushing on the
day, got interceptions fro Michael Moore and Malique Taylor, and
fumble recoveries from Roger Mann and J.D. Fox. Michael
Almodovar forced two fumbles.
Meanwhile, the Comets made life
miserable for Santa Ana quarterback Thomas Becerra, sacking him
eight times for 53 yards, led by Devyn Comer with 3 sacks for 20
yards. Hunter Moore and Mann each had a sack and combined on an
additional sack, while Rafael Sangenes and Almodovar had a sack
In all, Palomar accumulated 12 tackles
for losses for 61 yards. Diovanni Brewer was the tackle leader
with 7. Michael Moore, Almodovar and Hunter Moore each had 5
Punter Sam Tapia, playing with an
injured kicking foot, had a 52-yarder that got the Comets out of
questionable field position and deposited 2 punts inside the
The Comets finished an injury-plagued
season 4-6 (2-4 in the Southern Conference). Santa Ana concluded
its season 1-9 (0-6).
Sayles is both
Athlete of the Week, Player of Week
BEACH / SAN DIEGO (11-17-2015) -- Palomar football
player Daviante Sayles has been honored as Athlete of the Week
in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference for all men's sports,
as well as Offensive Player of the Week for the Southern
California Football Association's Southern Conference.
Sayles, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound
sophomore running back out of Rancho Buena Vista High School by
way of a redshirt season at Eastern Illinois University in 2013,
tied a 57-year-old Palomar record for touchdowns in a game on
Saturday. He scored five TDs in a 37-27 season-ending Southern
Conference victory on the road over Santa Ana, his last game in
a Palomar uniform.
Sayles' touchdowns came on runs of 1,
55 and 2 yards in the first half and 2 and 12 yards in the
second half as he equaled the record set by Toby Flanagan in
1958 and previously tied twice, in 1984 and 1992.
ABOVE: Quarterback Austin Early (No. 9) and running back
Daviante Sayles (No. 6), pictured in last week's game with
Fullerton, will play their final games for Palomar on Saturday
at Santa Ana. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Freshman tight
end Robert Ursua, who has been cleared to play Saturday after an
neck injury scare on the final play last week
PC closes out
season on the road Saturday
ANA (11-13-2015) -- Palomar will try to close its
injury-ridden 2015 football season on a positive note on
Saturday when the Comets visit Santa Ana College (1 p.m., Eddie
West Field at Santa Ana Stadium) in their final game.
The Comets will be trying to end the
season with a 4-6 record. The Dons come into the game 1-8.
Freshman tight end Robert Ursua,
who has come on strong late in the season, has been cleared to
play after a scare on the final play last week against Fullerton
when he sustained a possible neck injury. He was released after
spending the night at Palomar Medical Center and cleared by
doctors to play Saturday.
Quarterback Austin Early,
running back Daviante Sayles, receiver/kick returner Wayne
Ganan, center Charlie Long, offensive tackle Mike Stevens,
defensive tackle Hunter Moore, linebacker Michael Almodovar,
cornerback Diovanni Brewer and strong safety Malique Taylor are
listed starters for Saturday that will be playing their final
game as Comets.
SATURDAY'S PALOMAR LINEUP
TOP PHOTO: Garrett
Fielder takes a handoff on his 23-yard run for Palomar's second
touchdown on Saturday.
The hidden blocker for
the Comets, who is engaging Fullerton's 6-foot-3, 295-pound
defensive tackle Dominic Sanchez, is Matt Kesling, who came in
when starting center Charlie Long aggravated an injury DIRECTLY
ABOVE: Quarterback Austin Early straight-arms the
Hornets' Steve Everette on a keeper. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Hornets sting injury-ridden PC in home
(11-06-2015) -- Last week, Palomar
nearly upset Golden West, ranked No. 1 in the state
and No. 3 in the nation, and the Comets have been in
the game against almost every opponent during what
has been a disappointing football season.
But Palomar, banged up by
injuries, were never in the game on Saturday, when
it fell 42-14 at Escondido High's Wilson Stadium to
an up-and-down Fullerton College team that has
defeated defending state champion Mt. SAC and clobbered Riverside
City College 52-21 when the Tigers were ranked
second in the nation.
The Hornets (6-4, 3-3 in the Southern Conference),
who were playing their last regular-season game,
jumped in front 4 minutes, 32 seconds into the game
on Trey Tinsley's 1-yard quarterback sneak. They
were never in trouble.
An inability to defend against vertical
pass routes and more injuries to key players during the game
destroyed the Comets' chances as Tinsley, Tanner Hodges and
Colin Kearon passed for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Hodges
came in for an early series to throw for a TD, Phillip Butler
scored on a 1-yard run and Deryck Fletcher returned an
interception 40 yards for a touchdown.
For Palomar (3-6, 1-4), Austin Early
was 20-for-36 passing for 186 yards including an 18-yard
touchdown to running back Daviante Sayles. Garrett Fiehler
scored the Comets' second TD on a 23-yard run with 2:56 left in
Reggie Wilson kicked the PAT after the
first touchdown, then switched with regular holder Sam Tapia, so
Wilson held as Tapia, the Comets' punter, kicked the second
Sayles finished with 134
total yards, 9 rushing on 11 carries and 85 yards on
eight pass receptions. Tight end Robert Ursua also
had eight catches for 78 yards, but the game was
ended 10 seconds early after Ursua sustained a neck
injury being tackled at the end of a
17-yardreception of an Early pass for a first down.
Ursua was transported by ambulance to a
local hospital for precautionary reasons and was expected to be
released later in the evening.
Devyn Comer had 2 sacks for the Comets
for 14 yards. Taylor Thorne contributed 7 tackles including a
tackle for loss, while Christian Prince had 5 tackles and broke
up a pass. Diovanni Brewer and Hunter Moore each had five
The Comets played most of the game
without Wayne Ganan (injury), and the complete game without
leading tackler Brad Dozier (injury), J.D. Fox (illness) and
long snapper Austin Parades (season-ending injury. They lost
center Charlie Long, receiver Dakota Jones and Moore during the
game with injuries.
Palomar will end the season against
Santa Ana College next Saturday afternoon at Santa Ana Stadium's
Eddie West Field.
Palomar's Daviante Sayles breaks into
open against state No. 1 and nationally No. 3-rated Golden West
last week. Sayles rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries and caught
seven passes for 31 yards in a near-upset against the Rustlers.
The Comets host Fullerton on Saturday afternoon in their final
home game. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
PC hosts Hornets in
rare day game Saturday
ESCONDIDO (11-06-2015) --
Palomar, coming off a near-upset against now state No.
1-ranked and nationally No. 3-ranked Golden West, will close out
its home season on Saturday with a rare afternoon game against
The Comets need two wins against the
Hornets and Santa Ana College next week on the road to finish
the regular season at .500 (at 5-5 and 3-3 in the Southern
Conference) and become bowl eligible.
Fullerton, a national Top Ten team in
the preseason, comes in to Saturday's game at 5-4, 2-3 in the
Austin Early (35-for-48 passing for 353
yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions), Daviante Sayles
(100 yards passing on 18 carries and 7 receptions), Wayne Ganan
(10 catches for 106 yards and 2 TDs) and Robert Ursua (8 catches
for 110 yards) all had big games against Golden West.
But it wasn't enough to pull the Comets
through as the Rustlers scored on two late pass plays to break a
21-21 tie and pull out a 34-21 win.
Due to injuries, Palomar probably be
without its leading tackler, Brad Dozier, while the availability
of receiver / kick returner Wayne Ganan will be a game-day
Fullerton quarterback Trey Tinsley has
passed for 1,743 yards and 11 touchdowns with six interceptions.
The Hornets have a bye
next week and will be closing their regular seson Saturday.
SATURDAY'S PALOMAR LINEUP
Brad Dozier (No. 30) and Christian Prince (24) put a hurt on
Golden West running back Johnny Hills. The
Comets held the Rustlers to 62 yards rushing. DIRECTLY
Early flips the ball to
running back Daviante Says (not pictured) for an 8-yard gain on
a shovel pass
late in the second quarter. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.
BELOW LEFT: Wayne Ganan, who caught 10 passes for 106
yards and two touchdowns. BELOW RIGHT: Daviante
Sayles, who rushed for 100 yards. Both Ganan and Sayles returned
to the game after sustaining injuries
PC upset bid is
nation's No. 5 team
-- Golden West College, second-ranked in California
and No. 5-ranked in the nation, survived Palomar's
upset bid Saturday on a scary Halloween night for
the Rustlers at Wilson Stadium's Chick Embrey Field.
The final score of 34-21 was about as
deceiving as it could be on a night that the Comets outgained
the visiting Rustlers (8-0, 4-0 Southern Conference) 443 yards
to 424, ran off 83 plays to the visitors' 50 plays and had a
37-minutes to 23-minutes advantage in time of possession.
The Comets led 14-0 in the second
quarter after touchdown passes of 15 and 6 yards from
quarterback Austin Early (35-for-48, 353 yards, 3 TDs, 0
interceptions) to Wayne Ganon, with another scoring pass to
Ganon nullified by a penalty which kept Palomar's early
advantage from growing to three touchdowns.
It was 14-7 early in the third quarter
when the Comets missed two golden opportunities to extend their
lead on the same series, on what would have been a touchdown
pass the intended receiver dropped on a third-down play from the
Golden West 9-yard line and, on the following play, a missed
26-yard field goal attempt.
Early had two more drops when a
receiver was open on vertical routes in the red zone.
The Rustlers scored twice in a
five-minute span late in the third quarter to lead for the first
time 21-14. But Comets struck again on the third Early TD pass
that counted, hitting LaMont Chaney for 22 yards to tie the game
Daviante Sayles (100 yards rushing on
18 carries) left the game with a hand injury, then returned to
set up the Early-to-Chaney touchdown when he broke off a 41-yard
run down to the Golden West 22.
The Rustlers then won the game
late in the fourth quarter when they twice got receivers open
past Palomar's defense on touchdown plays covering 42 and 57
Ganan (10 receptions for 106 yards),
tight end Robert Ursua (8 receptions for 110 yards) and Sayles
(7 receptions for 31 yards) combined to catch 25 of Early's 35
completions for 247 yards.
Sam Tapia dropped three more punts
inside the 20-yard line, including two inside the 10-yard line
and the other one inside the 5-yard line at the Rustlers' 3.
Diovanni Brewer (6 tackles, 1
interception, 1 pass break-up) and Devyn Comer (6 tackles 0.5
tackle for loss) led the Comets defensively on an evening
Palomar's defense had extremely limited opportunities for
tackles, with Golden West running off only 50 plays.
Michael Moore had an interception, a
broken-up pass and a tackle for loss. Malavai Taylor also
contributed a tackle for loss.
Palomar (3-5, 1-3) will host Fullerton
next Saturday in a 1 p.m. game, then will visit Santa Ana in its
10th game the following Saturday afternoon.
Comets are playing starring roles at the next level
Former Palomar tight end Sam Browning breaks off
a 30-yard gain after catching a pass for Eastern
Michigan against LSU in a game played before a
crowd of 102,341 on Oct. 3 at Baton Rouge,
Louisiana. Browning had six receptions for 87
yards against the Tigers. LSU led by only 30-22
after three quarters before finally taking a
48-29 win. BELOW LEFT: Jeremiah
Kose, starting linebacker at the University of
BELOW RIGHT: Bryan Jones,
starting corner at defending NCAA Division II
national champion Colorado State-Pueblo --
Kose, Jones, Paopao star
MI / CARROLLTON, GA / MISSOULA, MT (10-28-2015) -- Five
ex-Palomar football players are having big seasons on the
four-year college level.
Sam Browning (Eastern Michigan
University), Dylan Donahue (West Georgia), Jeremiah Kose
(Montana), Bryan Jones (Colorado State-Pueblo) and Eric Paopao
(Humboldt State) are all starting, with considerable success, in
NCAA Division I FBS, Division I FCS or Division II.
Tight end Sam Browning (Eastern
Michigan) -- A late-summer transfer from Palomar
to Eastern Michigan University, Browning has caught 14 passes
for 216 yards and two touchdowns in his first season on the
Division I FBS level.
Browning's marquee performance came
against LSU on Oct. 3 before a crowd of 102,341 at Baton Rouge,
Lousiana, where he caught six passes for 87 yards with a long
reception of 30 yards. The Eastern Michigan Eagles trailed by
only 30-22 after three quarters
The previous week, on Sept. 26 at
Laramie, Wyoming, Browning had four catches for 66 yards and a
touchdown in a MAC game against Akron. His first Division I
catch went for a 3-yard touchdown to put Eastern Michigan in
front in a 48-29 win over Wyoming.
The Escondido High School alum also had
two catches for 41 yards against Toledo and one catch for 19
yards vs. Northern Illinois.
Browning received his first FBS offer
from the University of Colorado after his sophomore season for
the Comets in 2013, but didn't yet have enough credits to
transfer at that time and wound up staying through 2014 to
finish his academic requirements. Because of his footspeed and
athletic ability, the 6-foot-5, 233-pound junior is considered
an NFL prospect.
Defensive end Dylan Donahue
(West Georgia University) -- A year ago, the athletic
6-foot-3, 235-pound Donahue was being recruited by FBS schools
and tripped, among others, to Colorado State. But he couldn't
get out until the end of the summer and wound up at one of the
marquee programs in Division II. West Georgia reached the
semifinals of the 2014 national playoffs where they lost to
eventual champion Colorado State Pueblo 10-7.
Donahue is starting at defensive end
for the Wolves, who are 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation by
all three ratings services, including the American Football
Coaches Association poll and the D2Football.com media poll. He's
played in 5 1/2 games, missing the other 2 1/2 games with
injuries, and has 23 tackles (15 solo), with six sacks and nine
tackles for loss.
The 2015 Southern Conference Defensive
Player of the Year at Palomar, Donahue had six tackles and 2.5
sacks in a 49-28 win over nationally-ranked Valdosta State on
Oct. 10, when West Georgia was the consensus No. 2-ranked team
in the country. He forced a fumble with a sack, which was picked
up by a teammate and returned for a touchdown.
Donahue had 131 tackles in two seasons
with the Comets. His dad, Mitch Donahue, was the WAC Defensive
Player of the Year in both 1989 and 1990 for the Univesity of
Wyoming and still holds the Cowboys' record for sacks both for a
career (46) and a single season (21).
Linebacker Jeremiah Kose
(University of Montana) -- Kose, a Vista High School
product, transferred from Palomar to Montana after his freshman
season, red-shirted in 2014 and now starts at linebacker and is
the Grizzlies' second leding tackler with 85 (33 solo).
He had nine tackles when the Grizzlies
upset North Dakota State, which has won the last four FCS
national championships, on Aug. 29 at Missoula, Montana. Last
Saturday, Kose had nine tackles and intercepted a pass in a
38-35 victory over North Dakota.
Cornerback Bryan Jones
(Colorado State University-Pueblo) -- Jones (Great Oak
High School in Temecula) is a starting corner as a junior for
the defending FCS national champions, who are 7-1 with their
only loss coming by one point (31-30) to West Texas A&M and are
currently ranked fourth or fifth in the nation, depending on
which national poll one looks at.
Jones is third for the Thunderwolves in
tackles with 40 tackles . He has two tackles for loss and has
broken up three passes.
Safety Eric Paopao (Humboldt
State University) -- Paopao is a starting safety as a
senior for the Lumberjacks, one of only two Division II programs
in California but ranked 15th in the nation.
He has 47 tackles on the the season,
including 19 in two games vs. Azusa Pacific (10 in a 62-41 win
on Sept. 12 and nie in a 41-16 victory on Oct. 10). Those were
against a team that was 10-1 a year ago. Jones also has seven
tackles for loss and three sacks.
Ex-Comet punter Wuthrich
lands at Indiana
Codey Wuthrich, Palomar's punter during the 2013 and 2014
seasons, has landed at Indiana University in the Big Ten
Wuthrich, who is sitting out out the
2015 season after graduating from Palomar during the summer,
will leave for Bloomington, Indiana the first week of March.
Classes for the second eight-week
session of the spring semester at Indiana start March 7 and the
Hoosiers begin spring practice at the end of the month.
Wuthrich holds Palomar records
for punts inside the 20-yard line for a single season (22) and
career (41, demolishing the previous record of 26 set by Matt
Kovacevich, who was Utah's punter for two seasons under Urban
Wuthrich, a La Costa Canyon High School
product, was co-Most Valuable Player, almost unheard of for a
punter, for the Comets in their 30-22 Patriotic Bowl victory
over Glendale in 2014.
He initially goes to Indiana, as do
many Division I starting punters to begin with, as a preferred
walk-on, with an opportunity to earn a scholarship by winning
the starting job.
Wuthrich originally was offered a
preferred walk-on opportunity by the University of Colorado, one
that was later withdrawn after a change in the Buffaloes'
situation at punter.
Palomar football has a history with
Indiana. Offensive tackle Pita Elisara, an All-Big Ten selection
when he started all 11 games for the Hoosiers in 2009, later was
with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens
and Washington Redskins.
ABOVE: Palomar linebacker Christian
Prince sacks Orange Coast quarterback Mason Dossey
during Saturday night's game at the Pirates' LeBard
Stadium in Costa Mesa. Prince turned in a very
active defensive performance with two sacks and six
tackles for losses. -- Photo by Philip Farry.
BELOW LEFT: Devyn Comer, who had 10
tackles, including two sacks and five tackles for
BELOW RIGHT: Rafael Sangines who also contributed 10 tackles, and
both forced and recovered a fumble
3rd-and-long conversions do in PC
MESA (10-17-2015) --
Palomar jumped out to a
10-point lead Saturday night in the game's
first 9 minutes, but the visiting Comets couldn't
contain third down-and-long yardage conversions and
big plays that enabled Orange Coast to win the
teams' Southern Conference game 34-24 at LeBard
Palomar went in front barely four minutes into the
game, on the second play after Rafael Sangines
knocked the ball loose from the Pirates' Kyle White
and recovered the fumble at Coast's 32-yard line.
Quarterback Austin Early (15-for-26 passing, 234
yards, 2 touchdowns) connected with Kameron Calhoun
on a 30-yard touchdown play, and Reggie Wilson's
first of two conversion kicks gave the Comets a 7-0
Later in the first quarter, Palomar forced an
Orange Coast punt and, with Daviante Sayles carrying
the ball for most of the yardage, drove from its own
36-yard line to the Pirates' 6, and Wilson's 24-yard
field goal made it 10-0 with 5:46 left in the
But Orange Coast battled back, traded leads with the
Comets and eventually drew away thanks in large part
to touchdown passes of 54 and 34 yards from
quarterback Mason Dossey to Stefan Derrick and a
77-yard interception return by Derrick Worthy with
11:15 remaining in the fourth quarter that put the
Sayles scored two touchdowns for the Comets, on a
2-yard run in the third quarter that gave Palomar a
17-13 lead, and a 31-yard pass play from Early with
one minute left in the game.
Palomar's defense, sparked by an extremely active
night by freshman linebacker Christian Prince (2
sacks, 6 tackles for loss), kept OCC quarterback
Dossey on the run all evening long, driving him into
the artificial turf surface for 49 yards in losses,
including six sacks for 43 yards.
Prince sacked Dossey twice for 15 yards, Devyn Comer
sacked him twice for 14 yards, Hunter Moore had an
8-yard sack and Michael Almodovar contributed a
In all, Palomar's defense had 16 tackles for loss
for 63 yards and limited Orange Coast to 70 net
Comer had 10 tackles, five of them for losses, a
broken-up pass and a quarterback hurry as he and
Prince kept constant pressure on Dossey. Sangines
finished with 10 tackles, a half-tackle for loss,
the forced fumble and fumble recovery. Malavai
Taylor had 9 tackles.
Sayles had 152 all-purpose yards (88 rushing, 64
receiving) and Wayne Ganon totaled 188 all-purpose
yards incljuding 162 on kickoff returns and a
21-yard punt return. Sam Tapia deposited two punts
inside the Pirates' 10-yard line, one of them a
Palomar, which has its bye coming up next Saturday,
will return to action on October 31, Halloween
night, when the Comets host undefeated and state No.
3-ranked Golden West in a Southern Conference gam
eat Escondido's Wilson Stadium. The Comets are 3-4
on the year and 1-2 in the conference, while Orange
Coast adanced to 4-2, 2-0 in conference.
SEASON GAME-BY GAME
Daviante Sayles heads for daylight behind tight end
Robert Ursua's block in Palomar's 42-21 victory over San Diego
Mesa the third week of the season. Sayles, who rushed for 133
yards last week against Moorpark and received Southern
Conference Offensive Player of the Week recognition, will play a
key role when the Comets visit Orange Coast on Saturday night.
-- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Charlie Long,
Palomar's best lineman from a year ago when he joined the squad
as a transfer from Purdue of the Big Ten Conference, will make
his 2015 debut when he starts at center. He missed the first six
games with an injury. BELOW RIGHT: Brad Dozier,
the Comets' leading tackler
Long cleared to face Orange
Coast on Saturday
MESA (10-14-2015) --
Palomar will get a huge boost when the Comets return to Southern
Conference action on Saturday at Orange Coast (LeBard Stadium, 6
Charlie Long, the Division I transfer
(from Purdue) who was the Comets' best offensive lineman a year
ago as a redshirt freshman, has been cleared to play coming off
a season-long injury. He'll start at center against the Pirates
as he makes his first appearance in a year that has seen Palomar
face an uphill battle on the O-line because of youth and
Defensive ends Roger Mann and Arnold
Voa also return from injuries. So does defensive tackle Hunter
Moore, who was originally thought to have suffered a ligament
tear in his knee last week in an upset loss to Moorpark. But the
injury turned out to be a bruise and he'll be back in the lineup
The Comets (3-3, 1-1 in
conference) again are expected to count heavily on
running back Daviante Sayles, the former Rancho
Buena Vista High School star who bounced back to
Palomar prior to last season after a redshirt year at
Division I Eastern Illinois. Sayles rushed for 133
yards last week, accounting for 74.7 percent
of the Comets' 178 offensive yards.
Sayles was selected as the Southern
Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Linebacker / strong safety Christian
Prince, who has become more of a factor each week and returned
an interception 40 yards last week, moves into the starting
lineup. Corner Michael Moore also had a pick against Moorpark,
returning it 60 yards for a TD.
Orange Coast (3-2, 1-0), which has won
three straight games, counts heavily on the offensive side of
the ball on sophomore receiver Stefan Derrick from Long Beach
Poly High School who has 28 receptions in five games for 553
yards. He has eight touchdown receptions and a two-point
Defensively, Mark Cushing, a 6-foot-0,
220-pound linebacker from Holt High School in Wentzville, MO,
leads the Pirates with 11.2 tackles per game.
SATURDAY'S PALOMAR LINEUP
Sayles rushes for 133 yards but
(10-10-2015) -- After a decisive victory
over Grossmont one week earlier,
Palomar came up flat in a non-conference football
game at previously winless Moorpark on
Saturday night at Griffin Stadium.
The result: the Comets
imploded on opportunity after opportunity and the
Raiders posted a 24-14 upset victory that leaves
Palomar at 3-3 on the season as the Comets return to
Southern Conference action next Saturday evening at
Orange Coast. Palomar never was able to get in sync
and followed its best game of the season with its
Daviante Sayles, making many of his
yards on his own behind an injury-depleted offensive line,
rushed for 133 yards on 27 tough carries which accounted for a
74.7 percent of the Comets' 178 offensive yards.
The Comets scored on an 11-yard pass play from Austin Early to Wayne Ganan in
the right corner of the end zone midway through the
first quarter and on a 60-yard interception return
by Michael Moore (above right) early in the second
The Early-to-Ganan pass
tied the game at 7-7 after Reggie Wilson's PAT kick.
Moore's interception return pulled the Comets to
within three points at 17-14 after the Raiders had
opened up a 17-7 lead.
Palomar also missed a
second-quarter field goal attempt and couldn't
capitalize after forcing the Raiders to punt from
their own 1-yard line.
The Comets had their share
of big plays in the loss. Brad Dozier and J.D. Fox
recovered fumbles in Moorpark territory, and
Christian Prince intercepted a pass
and returned it 40 yards to the Moorpark 39-yard
line with 5:52 left in the third period. But Palomar
was unable to turn any of those opportunities - plus
others -- into points.
Ganan caught six passes for 63 yards. Aeden
Bartolowits made five possession pass receptions in
heavy traffic and
punter Sam Tapia had a big game. Tapia pinned the
Raiders at their own 6-yard line with a 45-yarder
early in the game, dropping two kicks inside the 20.
The Raiders are 1-4 on the
season. It was the first victory for their new head
coach, Mike Stuart.
SEASON GAME-BY GAME
Palomar's Christian Prince (No. 224)
hauls down Grossmont receiver Christian Brooks in the second
quarter of the Comets' 43-24 win over the Griffins last week.
The Comets play a non-conference game at Moorpark on Saturday
evening. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Comets at Moorpark in
MOORPARK (10-09-2015) --
Palomar will play a non-conference game against Moorpark at the
Raiders' Griffen Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m.
It will be a warm-up for
the Comets for a return to Southern Conference action at Orange
Coast next week and at home the following week against state No.
3-ranked and nationally No. 10-ranked Golden West.
The Comets enter Saturday's game with a
3-2 record as they pass the halfway point in the season.
Moorpark is 0-4.
Palomar will be taking a break from its
schedule in the Southern Conference, where the Comets are 1-1.
Austin Early, who made his starting
debut last week in a 43-24 victory over Grossmont, will get his
second start at quarterback in Saturday's game. He threw for 408
yards and three touchdowns against the Griffins.
The Comets still don't have their best
lineman, center Charlie Long, back from what an injury that has
sidelined him the entire season. But The offensive line played
its best game to date vs. Grossmont.
Defensively, field linebacker
(basically strong safety) Brad Dozier and Arnold Voa lead the
Comets in tackles.
SATURDAY'S PALOMAR LINEUP
Quarterback Austin Early, the Southern Conference
Offensive Player of the Week and the Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for
all sports, breaks into the open on a
20-yard third-quarter run in Palomar's 43-24 victory
over Grossmont on Saturday night. Early, a sophomore
making his first college start, passed for 408 yards
and three touchdowns. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
PC's Early is Player of Week,
Athlete of Week
LONG BEACH / SAN DIEGO
quarterback Austin Early, who passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns in
his first community college start in Saturday's win over
Grossmont, received two major honors for his performance.
The Southern California Football
Association selected Early as the
Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week. The Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference, Palomar's all-sports conference,
named him Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports.
Early also rushed for 77 positive yards
and passed for a two-point conversion. He's the first Palomar
quarterback to throw for 400 yards since Andy Goodenough, who
went on to play for Arizona State, passed for 402 yards and
three TDs as the Comets beat Chaffey 20-13 in the 2001 Southern
California Championship Game.
Palomar's Michael Prayer, a freshman
from Vista Murrieta High School and a second-generation Comet,
hauls down Grossmont receiver Christian Brooks short of a first
down at the G-House 19-yard line
on a third-down play early in the second quarter
Malik Bell (91) and
Diovanni Brewer (29) arrive to help.The
Griffins were forced to punt on the next play and the Comets
drove 61 yards in 13 plays to score on a 2-yard run by Daviante
Sayles (below). Sayles caught nine passes from Austin Early for
118 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Early (408 yards), Comets burn
(10-3-2015) -- Palomar
needed a boost in the worst way in Saturday's home football game
against Grossmont College. Austin Early gave them one, in a huge
Early, the son of head coach Joe Early
and nephew of offensive coordinator Dan Early who has patiently
waited for his chance for 2 1/2 seasons -- first as a grayshirt
and then as a little-used back-up -- finally got it in the form
of his first start since his high school senior season of 2012.
And the Orange Glen High School product made the most of it.
Early connected on 30-of-47 pass
attempts for 408 yards (not counting a two-point conversion pass
to LaMont Chaney) and three touchdowns. He rushed for an
additional 77 yards (winding up with 44 net due to five sacks)
as the Comets trashed the G-House 43-24 at Wilson Stadium's
Chick Embrey Field in what was "must-win" Southern Conference
game for both teams.
The winner, in this case Palomar, would
catapult back into the Southern Conference race. The loser could
pretty much kiss its conference championship hopes goodbye. In
this case, that would be the Griffins.
Palomar (3-2, 1-1) had plenty of
additional stars on a night the Comets piled up 559 offensive
yards to 257 for a Grossmont team that came within two points of
shocking nationally No. 2-ranked Riverside City College two
weeks ago, losing by two points 31-29.
Daviante Sayles caught nine of Early's
passes for 118 yards and also rushed for 86 yards and two
touchdowns, totaling 204 all-purpose yards. Tight end Robert
Ursua had eight catches for 81 yards. Wayne Gannon had two
touchdown receptions. Palomar's much-maligned offensive line of
sophomores Luke Davis and Mike Stevens and freshmen Mo Cannon,
Ydan Guerrero, Matt Kesling and Ursua had its best game of the
season, hands down.
Defensively, the Comets made big plays
all night long, minus 2 minutes and 10 seconds of hell early in
the third quarer when the Griffins struck for 21 unanswered
points to turn a 13-0 Palomar lead into a 21-13 Grossmont lead.
Coordinator J.G. Aegerter's defense
held the visitors to one third-down conversion on 14 attempts.
Devyn Comer recorded 3.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks for 17
yards among his six tackles. He also had a crucial quarterback
hurry. Brad Dozier (5 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss) came up big
in the first half to help set the tone in back-to-back scoreless
quarters for Grossmont. Hunter Moore had 2.5 tackles for loss,
blocked a kick and contributed a key pass break-up. Diovanni
Brewer broke up 3 passes, Arnold Voa 2 passes.
All the above helped the Comets limit
the Griffins (2-3, 0-2) to only 21 minutes of possession time
(Palomar had just under 39 minutes). The Comets also were able
to run off 94 offensive plays (Grossmont had 61).
And Reggie Wilson kicked three field
goals of 30, 40 and 34 yards on three attempts and was 4-for-4
on extra points.
After Grossmont outscored Palomar 24-9
in the third quarter and appeared it had taken command of the
game, the Comets answered by outscoring the Griffins 21-0 in the
Early became the first Palomar
quarterback to pass for 400 yards in a game since Andy
Goodenough, who would go on to play at Arizona State, threw for
402 yards and three TDs in a 20-14 victory over Chaffey in the
2001 Southern California championship game.
ABOVE: No pass
interference call was made on this play, during which a
Saddleback defender appears to grab Wayne Ganan's jersey with
4:30 left in the first quarter last Saturday night in Mission
Viejo. The Comets wound up punting on the ensuing play. -- Photo
by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Austin Early, who will
start at quarterback on Saturday evening against Grossmont
Comets, Griffs both face
(10-2-2015) -- Palomar and Grossmont
College find themseves in the same boat as the two teams
prepare for a Southern Conference game on Saturday
(Chick Embrey Field, Wilson Stadium at Escondido High
School, 6 p.m.).
Each with a conference loss,
both the Comets (2-2, 0-1) and Griffins (also 2-2, 0-1) face
Both put themselves into this
situation with losses last week. Grossmont, which nearly
upset state No. 1-ranked and nationally No. 2-ranked
(JCGridiron.com) Riverside City College two weeks ago
(losing 31-29), couldn't get on the scoreboard until late in
the game in a 17-7 loss to nationally 10th-ranked Golden
Palomar led Saddleback
entering the fourth quarter on the road before losing 30-13.
For Grossmont sophomore
safety Airric Parker, it all comes down to the play of the
"We need to force (Palomar)
to pass, because I don't think they'll be able to beat us if
they have to go through the air," Parker told
The Comets' chances, coach
Joe Early feels, depend on getting the job done on all three
phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams -- a
mantra he recites before every game. Last week against
Saddleback, Palomar did that part of the time. But part of
the time, the Comets didn't get it done. And the Gauchos
were able to capitalize. The elephant in the room for
Palomar once again was mistakes.
Michael Carrillo, back at
what coach Mike Jordan says is "full speed" after missing
the Riverside game with an injury, will be at quarterback
for the Griffins.
Austin Early will get his
first start for the Comets.
The game features two
outstanding running backs, Grossmont's Thomas McDonald, who
is averaging 7.5 yards on 43 carries and has committed to
the University of Utah, and Palomar's Daviente Sayles.
Linebacker Nick Galatis (44
tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception for a touchdown) leads the
End Arnold Voa and field
linebacker Brad Dozier help lead a Palomar balanced Palomar
defense with a combined 42 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4
sacks, a blocked kick and a fumble recovery between them.
FOOTBALL SIGNINGS, TRANSFERS
|Player (High School)
|TE Sam Browning (2013 team)
Michigan (D I FCS)
|LB Dylan Donahue (Billings
Georgia (NCAA Div. II semifinalists)
|CB Bryan Jones (Great Oak)
State-Pueblo (D II national champions)
|DE Ian Kelly (Temecula
State-Pueblo (D II national champions)
|CB Javante O'Roy (Antelope,
(D I FBS)
|DT Joe Naotala (Army-Navy
State (D I FCS)
|LB Austin Wolff (Fallbrook)
State (D I FCS)
|WR M.J. Bailey (San Marcos)
(D I FCS)
|LS Jared Sargent (2013)
Pacific (D II)
|SL/PR Damon Nolan (Murrieta
University, Kansas (NAIA)
|DT Dominic Darby (Mission
College, Nebraska (NAIA)