National Champions 1991, 1993,
CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPIONS 1991,
CONFERENCE/DIVISION CHAMPIONS 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006
APPEARANCES 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
2014 Schedule, Results | 2014
Roster | 2014 Coaches
Individual Records, Leaders (Entering 2014 Season) | Palomar Football History
in NFL, 4-year College Football
Download Hugh Cox's Photos
Shawn Cameron returns a kickoff 99 yards for a
touchdown in the first quarter Saturday evening to
give the Comets a 21-14 lead over Saddleback at
Wilson Stadium in Escondido. The return tied Cameron
for second on the all-time Palomar list. The
Gauchos, however, came back to win the teams'
Southern Conference opener 32-21.DIRECTLY
ABOVE: Deviante Sayles hurdles the line on
a short that gave Palomar a first down early in the
second quarter and set up a field goal.
-- Photos by Hugh Cox.
BELOW: M.J. Bailey, who had six
receptions for 143 yards, including a 71-yard
touchdown from quarterback Mitch Bartram.
Palomar can't hold on in conference opener
ESCONDIDO (9-27-2014) --
Saturday night's Southern
Conference opener against Saddleback at Wilson
Stadium featured plenty of spectacular football by
Shawn Cameron, a freshman from Carlsbad High School,
returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown with
5:42 left in the first quarter, giving the Comets
their third lead in the game's first 9 1/2 minutes
and tying Chris Cash for second on the all-time
The Comets led three
separate times in a 4-minute, 22-second span in the
opening quarter -- on a 4-yard touchdown run by
Deviante Sayles that made it 7-0, a 71-yard pass
play from Mitch Bartram to M.J. Bailey that made it
14-7 and on Cameron's kickoff return that put them
on top 21-14.
Damon Nolan set up Sayles' TD with a 44-yard punt
return on the previous play.
But, each time, Saddleback answered back. And when
Patrick Koch kicked a 28-yard field goal that broke
a 21-21 tie and put Palomar ahead 24-21 early in the
second quarter, it would be the last time the Comets
would lead in the game.
The Gauchos went on to record their first victory of
the season 32-21, and Palomar must now win next
Saturday afternoon at Grossmont to keep from falling
to 0-2 two weeks into the conference season.
The Comets only scored once more during the course
of the evening, on Bartram's 8-yard TD pass to
Daniel Warren with eight minutes to play in the
game. That pulled Palomar, which had fallen behind
by 11 points, back within range at 35-31.
However, after Jadon
Henry returned Grant Fleming's kickoff following the
touchdown 42 yards out to the Saddleback 45, the
Gauchos slit the Comets' throats on the ensuing play
when Bautista and Chris Dimry hooked up on a 55-yard
TD pass play. Bautista also hit Dimry for a 52-yard
touchdown that got Saddleback on the scoreboard for
the first time in the opening quarter.
On the night, Bautista connected on 22-of-35 passes
for 356 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for an
additional 47 net yards, which gave him 403 yards of
Even after the second Bautista-to-Dimry touchdown,
Palomar still had chances to get back into the game.
But they shot themselves in the foot on each
occasion and saw time tick methodically away as the
Comets fell to 2-2 overall.
Palomar made just enough mistakes to prevent them
from slamming the door on the Gauchos (1-3). The
mistakes ranged from 110 yards on 14 penalties,
including one illegal procedure and false-start
penalty after another, to dropped passes,
misdirected passes, blocking breakdowns and
badly-blown pass coverages that left Saddleback
receivers ridiculously wide open downfield.
If not for just some of those mistakes, the Comets
made more than enough big plays to win the game.
Bartran passed for 320 yards. Bailey caught six
passes for 143 yards and one touchdown. Wayne Ganan,
Nolan and Warren added nine more catches for 161
yards and Bartram's second TD. Bartram, Sayles,
Justin Harris and Ganan ran for a combined 103
Defensively, Palomar had four sacks, 10 tackles for
losses and two broken-up passes. Dylan Donahue led
the Comets with 10 tackles (5 solo), 6 of them for
losses that added up to 34 yards, and 2 sacks for 13
yards. Drew Madera had 9 tackles and a half-sack.
Dominic Darby added 2 sacks.
Cameron's achievement on his kickoff return is not
to be taken lightly. He missed tying Nakoa
McElrath's Palomar record of 100 yards against
Fullerton in 1997 by 1 yard. McElrath moved on to
become a first-team All-Pac 10 receiver at
Washington State and led the Pac 10 in receiving in
1999. He later played for the Seattle Seahawks.
Cash, whose 99-yard return came against Pasadena
City College in 1999 and whom Cameron tied with his
return on Saturday, moved on to earn All-Pac 10
honors at cornerback for USC and was a three-year
starter for the Detroit Lions. Cash finished his NFL
career with the Atlanta Falcons and is now the
defensive backs coach at Florida A&M.
Bumped from third to fourth place on the all-time
Palomar list: current Comet head coach Joe Early,
who had a 98-yard TD return against Orange Coast in
1979. Early moved on to Long Beach State, which
since has dropped football.
Dylan Donahue (49)
chases down San Diego Mesa quarterback Brandon Diaz
during the Comets' 33-6 victory last week. Donahue,
who leads Palomar in five defensive categories, and
the Comets will host Saddleback in a Southern
Confernce opener on Saturday evening at Wilson
Stadium in Escondido. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Palomar tries to go 3-1 against Saddleback
ESCONDIDO (9-26-2014) --
Fresh from last week's
33-6 road win over San Diego Mesa, Palomar's
football squad will host Saddleback in its Southern
Conference football opener on Saturday at 6 p.m. at
The Comets are 2-1 on the season. The Gauchos are
0-3 but are about as dangerous a community college
team as they come.
"We're facing a wounded bear," Palomar coach Joe
Early said. "They're very talented and very
dangerous. We'd better come ready to play."
Mitch Bartram, who threw three touchdown passes
against Mesa, will get his second straight start at
quarterback for the Comets. Wide receiver M.J.
Bailey and slot Damon Nolan have caught 33 passes
for 443 yards and four touchdowns between them in
three games. Justin Hartris and Deviante Sayles both
are threats running the ball.
End Dylan Donahue leads Palomar's defense in tackles
(25), solo tackles (16), sacks (5), tackles for
losses (9) and quarterback hurries (3).
GAME DAY: Saddleback (0-3, 0-0) at Palomar
Wilson Stadium, Escondido High School, Saturday 6 p.m.
Ht Wt Yr
||RB 5-10 190
||RB 5-10 180
||Rancho Buena Vista
/ So. Illinois University
||SL 5-7 155 So
||FL 5-10 175
6-2 282 Fr
||Poway / Purdue
||LG 6-1 315
||LT 6-7 295 So
||RG 6-4 310
||RT 6-8 320 Fr
||DL 5-10 275 So
(Antelope, CA) / Sacramento CC
Palomar Special Teams
||PK 5-10 165
||La Costa Canyon
||RET 5-8 190
||RB 5-10 190
Palomar's Damon Nolan (9) has been
selected as Southern Conference Special Teams/All-Purpose Player
of the Week for his 272 all-purpose yards in Saturday's 33-6
victory over San Diego Mesa. DIRECTLY ABOVE:
The Comets' Junior Tau
(94), shown taking down
Mesa's quarterback and running back at the same time on an
attempted hand-off, was named Defensive Player of the Week. Tau
had 9 tackles (7 solo), a sack and 3 tackles for losses against
the Olympians. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
take Southern Conference honors
LONG BEACH (9-23-2014) --
The Southern Conference has seleced Palomar's Damon Nolan and
Junior Tau for Player of the Week honors for their performance
on Saturday in the Comets' 33-6 victory over San Diego Mesa.
Nolan, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound sophomore
from Murrieta Valley High School, accumulated 272 all-purpose
yards against the Olympians. He ran the ball once for 17 yards,
caught 7 passs for 97 yards and the game's first touchdown and
returned 7 punts for 158 yards.
Tau, a 5-10, 275-pound sophomore from
Temecula Chaparral High School, had 9 tackles (7 solo), a sack
and 3 tackles for losses.
Co-Players of the Week on Offense were
Golden West quarterback Chris d'Entrement and wid receiver
Zimari Manning for their performances in a 36-30 win over Citrus
on Saturday night.
Sayles, a redshirt freshman from Rancho Buena Vista High School
by way of Eastern Illinois University, cuts off a block by Khris
Alvarez, a freshman from San Marcos High, to score Palomar's
third touchdown of the night in the third quarter.
DIRECTLY ABOVE: Linebacker Austin Wolff (47) and tackle
Joe Naotala (partially hidden, No. 95) haul down Mesa's P.J.
the first quarter.
Cornerback Diovanni Brewer (29) arrives to help. -- Photos by
BELOW LEFT: Damon
Nolan, who had 236 all-purpose yards, not counting a 69-yard
punt return that was called back. BELOW RIGHT:
MacKenzie Bettle, who blocked a Mesa punt that sailed out of the
back of the end zone for a safety
continue domination of Olympians
DIEGO (11-20-2014) --
Palomar's defense made life a living hell for quarterback
Brandon Diaz and his San Diego Mesa football teammates on
Saturday night. And the Comets' offense and special teams
weren't far behind in inflicting pain on the Olympians.
who haven't lost to Mesa in 47 years in an on-again,
off-again rivalry, rolled to a 33-6 victory at
Merrill Douglas Stadium. The Olympians never
seriously threatened until they scored on a 53-yard
Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game --
getting the ball off on an off-balance fling from
backup QB Scort Weismann to Chris White after it
was snapped with less than one second remaining.
Palomar's front seven of Junior Tau, Dylan Donahue,
Hunter Moore, Ian Kelly, Toefua Amu and Austin Wolff
spent the better part of the evening punishing Diaz
and his teammates in and behind the Olympians'
backfield, slot receiver Daman Nolan and the offense
set the tone for the night immediately following the
A 17-yard run
by Nolan on an end-around play and two Mitch
Bartran-to-Nolan pass plays that went for a combined
53 yards put the Comets on top early 7-0 after a
one-minute, 55-second opening drive. Bartran and
Nolan connected on a 28-yarder for the touchdown and
Palomar never let up on the way to its second win in
also scored on a 43-yard field goal by Patrick Koch,
a 4-yard pass from Bartram to Daniel Warren, a
5-yard run by Daviente Sayles, a safety when
MacKenzie Bettle blocked a punt that sailed out of
the back of the end zone, and a 10-yard pass from
Bartram to M.J. Bailey. Koch converted after all
four Palomar touchdowns.
making his first start at quarterback, connected on
15-of-26 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns
before giving way in the fourth quarter to Austin
Early, who was 4-for-5 for 26 yards. With the Comets
leading 33-0, Early's fifth attempt was dropped by a
tight end who was wide open in the back right corner
of the end zone.
accounted for 272 all-purpose yards (7 catches for
97 yards, the 17-yard run and 7 punt returns for 158
yards). He also had a 69-yard punt return to deep in
Mesa territory called back because of a block in the
back away from the play.
Justin Harris, Sayles and
back-up fullback Ricky Smith combined to run for 163
Defensively, Tau led the Comets with 9
tackles (7 solo), 1 sack and 3 tackles for losses. Donahue
contributed 1 sack for a 10-yard loss and had 3 tackles for
losses. Naotala had 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for losses. Wolff
had 1 sack for 12 yards and 1.5 tackles for losses. Amu had 1.5
tackles for losses. Moore had a 9-yard sack, and Miranda also
had a tackle for loss.
Palomar sacked Diaz and Weismann six
times for 45 yards. All in all, the Comets tackled the Olympians
14 times behind the line of scrimmage for 67 yards in losses.
The non-conference victory
kept the Comets unbeaten against the Olympians since Oct. 14,
1967, when Mesa won 14-7.
Palomar will return home
to Wilson Stadium in Escondido next Saturday to host Saddleback
in a Southern Conference opener at 6 p.m.
GAME STATS |
Speedy Damon Nolan will start at slot
receiver and return punts for the Comets at San Diego Mesa on
Saturday evening. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT:
Charlie Long, a Poway High School product and a
transfer from Purdue, will be one of Palomar's two co-captains
for the game. Long is the Comets' starting center. BELOW
RIGHT: Bryan Jones, a sophomore starting corner from
Great Oak High School in Temecula who will be Saturday's other
PC will try to bounce back
to first-game form
DIEGO (11-19-2014) --
Palomar will attempt to
win for the second time in three 2014 football games on Saturday
when the Comets go on the road to play non-conference opponent
San Diego Mesa at the Olympians' Merrill Douglas Stadium.
Coach Joe Early is dead sure of one thing. The Comets will be
much better off if they play like they did in their opener, a
come-from-behind victory over Citrus, as opposed to their
performance last week when they sleep-walked through an
embarrasing loss to a powerhouse Long Beach City College team.
"We have to play back to
the way we played against Citrus," Early said. "They want to win
as badly as we do. They're 1-1 just like we are. They're playing
us at their place. They play with a lot of energy. We've got to
match that energy."
Mesa, a member of the
Mountain Conference in the lower-tier, non-playoff eligible
American Division, will be getting its only shot of the year
against an opponent from the upper-tier National Division. Only
teams from the National Division are eligible for the four-team
Southern California Community College playoffs and are able to
advance to the CCCAA State Championship game.
line: This is a "statement game" for the Olympians. And it's
what is referred to as a "trap game" for the Comets of the
powerful Southern Conference, one of three conferences in the
Southern California upper-tier National Division.
Palomar will have a new
starting quarterback Saturday evening in Mitch Bartram, an
Escondido High School product who steps in for Brett
Hollingsworth, the starter the first two weeks. Hollingsworth
apparently suffered an undetected concussion early in the Long
Beach game but played on and off into the fourth quarter before
The third quarterback in
the mix for Palomar is freshman Austin Early, Joe Early's son,
an Orange Glen High alumnus who gray-shirted a year ago. Early
has had success throwing the ball the first two games but was
sacked seven times by Long Beach.
Hollingsworth, who played at Riverside King and Perris' Citrus
Hill High School and was Southern Conference Offensive Player of
the Week for his performance against Citrus, will be on the
sideline on Saturday but won't suit out.
The big-play performer for the Comets
on offense the first two games has been sophomore receiver M.J.
Bailey, a San Marcos High product and a nephew of all-time
Palomar great Jerry Garrett. Bailey has caught 15 passes for 195
yards and an average of 13.0 yards per reception the first two
weeks of the season
End Dillon Donahue, a
sophomore from Billings, Montana, and cornerback Bryan Jones
from Temecula's Great Oak High School have been the Comets'
the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week after the
Citrus game, leads the team in tackles (19), solo tackles (12),
sacks (4), tackles for losses (5) and quarterback hurries (3).
Jones, Saturday night's
other co-captain, is second in tackles (15) and solo tackles
(10), broke up what would have been a touchdown pass in the left
corner of the end zone against Long Beach and also has an
interception that was called back.
DeAngelo Ivey, the other
startering corner and a freshman from Carver High in Atlanta,
intercepted a pass six yards deep in the end zone and ran it out
62 yards to the Long Beach 44-yard line in last Saturday's game.
Shawn Cameron returns a kickoff 48 yards from the
goal line after Long Beach's last touchdown of the
night on Saturday. BELOW:
Cornerback Bryan Jones (8) breaks up a pass intended
for De'Quan Hampton in the end zone to prevent a
touchdown by the Vikings. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
into a buzzsaw in its first loss
BEACH (9-13-2014) --
The word on the street was that Long Beach City
College may be as athletic and talented as any team
in the Southern California Football Association this
Against the Vikings on Saturday evening at Veterans
Memorial Stadium, the Comets smacked head-first into
the realization that the word on the street may have
been right on the money.
After Palomar drove down after the opening kickoff
to take a 3-0 lead on the first of two Patrick Koch
field goals from 33 yards out just 1 minute, 22
seconds into the game, Long Beach answered right
back by scoring 21 unanswered points in the next
eight minutes and continued on to a 45-13
non-conference victory over th Comets.
"They played at a faster speed than we did,"
Palomar coach Joe Early said.
To make matters worse, the Comets (1-1) did little
positive to help themselves the remainder of the
first half and found themselves staring at a 35-6
That was the bad news. The good news was that they
put up a much better battle over the last two
quarters, when they came to life and played the
Vikings (2-0) to a 7-7 standoff.
The biggest differences in the game were a huge
performance by Long Beach quarterback Kenny Potter,
who passed for 219 yards and three touchdowns and
ran for an additional 143 yards, and the Vikings'
monster pass rush that produced nine sacks.
Austin Early, the second of three quarterbacks the
Comets used, completed 6-of-9 passes for 109 yards,
including a 50-yard play to M.J. Bailey (6 catches,
108 yards) just before the half. But Long Beach
sacked him seven times.
Some other bright spots for Palomar were Shawn
Cameron's 121 yards on five kickoff returns,
including a 48 yarder from the goal line, a 62-yard
interception return by DeAngelo Ivey from six yards
deep in the end zone, and an interception by Javante
Also Dylan Donahue's 2 tackles (2 for losses) and 2
quarterback hurries, Bryan Jones' 10 tackles and 3
pass-breakups (one in the end zone) and Dominic
Darby's 7 tackles and 12-yard sack.
"We did some good things," Joe Early admitted. Just
not enough of them.
The Comets also scored on on Koch's 32-yard field
goal and quarterback Mitch Bartram's 4-yard
touchdown run with 14:25 left in the game. Koch
converted after the Bartram TD.
GAME STATS |
View, download Hugh Cox's photos
ABOVE: Palomar's Dylan
Donahue (49), last week's Southern Conference Defensive Player
of the Week, greets Citrus' Demetre Smith for a 3-yard loss in
last week's season-opening 35-28 victory over the Owls. Donahue
and the Comets will match 1-0 records at Long Beach City College
on Saturday evening. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW:
Receiver M.J. Bailey, a sophomore from San Marcos High School
who caught nine passes against the Owls for 87 yards, including
a 24-yard touchdown pass from Austin Early.
It's Comets vs. Vikings
Saturday at 'The Vet'
BEACH (9-12-2014) --
Palomar's resurgent football team will
attempt to go 2-0 for 2014 on Saturday when the Comets travel to
Long Beach City College's Veterans Memorial Stadium for a 6 p.m.
non-conference match-up with the Vikings.
The Comets turned back Citrus 35-28 in
their season opener last week. Long Beach, leading by a
touchdown, blew a close game open in their opener with Moorpark
in the fourth quarter as the Vikings won 44-27.
"They're very athletic," Palomar coach
Joe Early said. "We'll have to be at our best."
The Comets had both the Southern
Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of
the Week in week one of the season in quarterback Brett
Hollingsworth and end Dylan Donahue. Hollingsworth, who began
the game by completing nine of his first attempts, and
second-team quarterback Austin Early, who hit on seven of eight
passes, combined to throw for 219 yards and three TDs.
Long Beach, meanwhile, had a clean
sweep of the Central Conference's Player of the Week awards.
Quarterback Brock Dale, who hit on his first 12 attempts and was
19-for-30 passing vs. Moorpark for 277 yards and three
touchdowns, was the Offensive Player of the Week. Down lineman
Jason Fao, who had nine tackles including four for losses and
2.5 sacks, was selected on defense. The Special Teams Player of
the Week was Anterio Bateman, who contributed 201 all-purpose
yards including a 57-yard punt return for a TD.
Donahue conf. Players of Week
The Southern Conference has selected Palomar
quarterback Brett Hollinsworth (left) and
defensive end Dylan Donahue (right) as Players
of the Week for the opening weekend of the
Hollingsworth, a freshman from Citrus Hill
High School in Perris, hit on 18-of-30 pass attempts for 176
yards and two touchdowns, including a 26-yard strike to Wayne
Ganan with 2:38 to play which gave the Comets a 35-28
non-confernce victory over visiting Citrus.
Donahue, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound sophomore from Billings West
High School in Billings, Montana, did not start the game because
he was coming off an injury, but made up for lost time when he
got on the field as he sacked Owls quarterback Larry Cutbirth
four times for 47 yards. Donahue had seven solo tackles and also
contributed a quarterback hurry.
M.J. Bailey dives into
the end zone at the end of a 10-yard touchdown pass
play from Austin Early to break a 6-6 tie against
Citrus with 1:02 left before halftime on Saturday
night. The Comets won their season opener 35-28.
PHOTO SIRIES DIRECTLY ABOVE:
This is the first of two
controversial 15-yard roughing-the-kicker penalties
called on Palomar that prolonged Citrus drives. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.
Hunter Moore, a freshman defensive lineman from
Mission Hills High School who returned a fumble 13
yards for a touchdown. BELOW RIGHT:
Punter Codey Wuthridge,
who played a major role in the victory. He averaged
41.0 yards for eight punts, and his last five went
for 43, 44, 50, 49 and 53 yards.
with 2:38 left to win 2014 opener
(9-06-2014 / REVISED 9-09-2014) --
Palomar, trailing by a
point as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter
Saturday night, scored on a 26-yard pass play from
Brett Hollingsworth to Wayne Ganan with 2 minutes,
38 seconds to play to beat visiting Citrus 35-28 in
its season opener.
Hollingsworth's second TD pass of the
night put the Comets in front of the Owls 33-28, and he then hit
Daniel Warren for a two-point conversion that put Palomar in
front by the final seven-point margin.
"We overcame some adversity in this
one, and that was satisfying, and it feels good to win," coach
Joe Early said. "But we haven't done anything but win one game.
We're not satisfied with that."
While Palomar suffered its worst season
in 31 years a year ago with an extremely uncharacteristic
collapse, Citrus is coming off a year which saw the Owls go 8-3,
sustaining two of their three losses by one point to powers Mt.
SAC 37-36 and Riverside City College 51-50. They turned back
Saddleback in the Beach Bowl to cap a near-storybook run.
forgot to tell the Comets to be overly impressed. Hollingsworth,
making his debut as the starting quarterback, connected on nine
of his first 10 pass attempts and teamed with Austin Early, who
replaced him for part of the second quarter, to throw for a
combined 219 yards and three touchdowns.
The Owls, who got 327 yards passing
from quarterback Larry Cutbirth, and Comets battled back and
forth as the lead constantly changed hands. Hollingsworth threw
a 9-yard scoring pass to Damon Nolan to put Palomar in front
early 6-0, but a missed two-point conversion set the stage for
Citrus to take 14-13, 21-20 and 28-27 leads.
The Comets also scored on a 10-yard
pass play from Early to M.J. Bailey, a 13-yard fumble return for
a touchdown by Hunter Moore and a 2-yard TD run by Justin
Harris. Patrick Koch kicked three PATs.
Early was 7-for-8
passing. Bailey had nine pass recreptions for 87 yards.
Palomar got a huge effort from touted
defensive end Dylan Donahue, who didn't start for the Comets
after just receiving a medical clearance from a minor injury on
Friday but made up for lost time once he entered the game by
sacking Cutbirth four times for 43 yards in losses.
Sophomore punter Codey Wuthridge played
a major role in the Palomar win. He averaged 41.0 yards for
eight punts, and his last five punts went for 43, 44, 50, 49 and
The Comets will try to go to 2-0 when
they visit Long Beach City College in another non-conference
game next Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the
Download Hugh Cox's Photos
Coach Joe Early talks to his Palomar
football team at the end of Friday's walk-through before
Saturday's night's season opener against a high-powered Citrus
team. The Owls were 8-3 last season, with two of their losses
coming by one point (33-32 to Mt. SAC and 51-50 to Riverside
City College). Citrus defeated Saddleback in the Beach Bowl. --
Photo by Hugh Cox
'New-look' Comets will
kick off 2014 vs. Owls
ESCONDIDO (9-05-2014) --
Palomar will attempt
to put its forgettable last two seasons in the rear-view mirror
on Saturday when the Comets kick off the 2014 season against
Citrus College at Escondido High School's Wilson Stadium.
Kickoff will be at 6 p.m.
The Comets will unveil a
new look that will include both a highly-regarded freshman
quarterback (Brett Hollingsworth), four new assistant coaches
including former Washington State, Washington, Stanford and
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Bill Dietrick, a re-tooled
offensive line and a re-tooled defense.
As a high school senior at
Citrus Hill in Perris last season, Hollingsworth passed for
3,340 yards and 32 touchdowns, and rushed for 443 yards and 10
TDs, as the CIF Southern Section Inland Division Offensive
Player of the Year. He led the Hawks to a 13-1 record and a
receivers corps will be split end M.J. Bailey (San Marcos High
School), slot Damon Nolan (Murrieta Valley) and flanker Wayne
Ganan (Del Norte). Daniel Warren (Carver High in Atlanta) goes
in when the Comets use a four-receiver package.
The Comets have two
breakaway threats in the backfield in returning starter Justin
Harris (Temecula Chaparral) and transfer Daviante Sayles (Rancho
Buena Vista, Eastern Illinois University). They'll run behind a
line of tackles Alex Dunn (6-7, 295, Vista Murrieta) and Mike
Stevens (6-8, 320, Valhalla), guards Eddie Grajeda (6-1, 315,
Escondido) and Khris Alvarez (6-4, 310, San Marcos) and transfer
center Charlie Long (6-2, 282, Poway, Purdue University).
Defensively, end Dylan
Donahue (6-3, 245, Billings West High in Montana), who is one of
the most highly-sought community college defensive linemen in
the country, was cleared to play Friday after a minor injury in
last Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage. Miami and Oregon are among
an impressive list of D-I powers recruiting Donahue.
Javante O'Roy (Antelope
High, Sacramento City College), who broke a Palomar record with
a 101-yard interception return against El Camino last season,
returns to stabalize the secondary, Local defensive starters
include linebackers Drew Madera (Temecula Chaparral), Toefua Amu
(El Camino High) and Austin Wolff (Fallbrook), linemen Dominic
Darby (Mission Hills), Hunter Moore (Mission Hills), Junior Tau
(Temecula Chaparral) and Ian Kelly (Temecula Chaparral), and
DB's Diovanni Brewer (Oceanside) and Bryan Jones (Temecula Great
Citrus, went 8-3 last season with two of those losses coming by
one point (33-32 to Mt. SAC and 51-50 to Riverside City College.
The Owls defeated Saddleback 25-14 in the Beach Bowl.
"We know they're a good
football team," Palomar coach Joe Early said. "We need to come
out of the gate quickly, and we need to execute assignments on a
consistant basis. Basically what I think that translates to is
we need to win every rep."
Receiver Hakim is
Jets' primary kick returner
PARK, New Jersey (8-26-2014) --
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan told ESPN.com on Tuesday that
former Palomar wideout and current Jets wide receiver/kick
returner/gunner Saalim Hakim has a "leg up" on other candidates
vying for a spot on the 53-man roster.
This, Ryan said, is because of his
ability to play special teams. And Hakim's ability to play
special teams has a great deal to do with his blazing speed. The
24-year-old former Comet, who enters the final preseason game as
the Jets' primary kick returner, was timed by NFL scouts at 4.23
in the 40 at his pro day in 2012.
Hakim was activated from the Jets'
practice squad late last season and played in their final three
games. He showed signs of just how fast he really is on a pair
of end-around plays, one which went for a 9-yard gain that he
nearly broke for a touchdown.
He also played two games for the New
Orleans Saints late in the 2012 regular season.
Hakim, younger brother of 13-year
former NFL receiver/kick returner Az-Zahir Hakim, came to
Palomar at his brother's suggestion in 2008 from Palo Verde High
School in Las Vegas, where he was primarily a soccer player. He
caught three passes for the Comets as a freshman and, after a
year of coaching, had 28 receptions as a sophomore in 2009.
"The only route I knew how to run was a
go-route," Hakim told ESPN.com. "But nex thing you know, I
started learning other routes too. I was learning a lot."
Hakim moved on to Division II Tarleton
State in Texas, where he had 18 catches in 2010. Hakim then
spent the 2011 season with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the
United Football League. One year later, he returned to Tarleton
State to participate in pro day and, after running the 4.23 in
the 40, Hakim says 18 NFL teams called him.
"My cellphone was blowing up," he told
ESPN.com. He first signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas
Cowboys, dislocated a finger in a blocking drill. He next had
short stints with the St. Louis Rams and the Saints, then joind
the Jets' practice squad in October 2013. The rest, leading up
to the Jets' final preseason game prior to the 2014
regular-season opener, is history.
(Hakim lists his college as "Palomar"
rather than Tarleton State)
2014 Pre-Season ...
PC, Arizona St. alum Schwab
returns to NFL
(8-02-2014) -- Former
Palomar and Arizona State offensive tackle Brice Schwab has
returned to the NFL. Schwab signed with the Houston Texans last
week and has already made an impact in drills at the Texans
Training Facility in Houston.
The 6-foot-7, 302-pound
Schwab was with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and the New England
Patriots during the 2013 pre-season.
Schwab was ranked as the
No. 9 No. 9 community college recruit in the nation and the No.
2 offensive lineman by Rivals.com coming out of Palomar
following the 2009 season when the Comets went 10-3, reached the
Southern California championship game and were ranked No. 8
nationally by the JC Grid-Wire of Kirkland, WA.
verballed to USC, de-committed when coach Pete Carroll left the
Trojans for the Seattle Seahawks and chose Arizona State over
Oklahoma and Florida State, both of which also recruited him
heavily. He played in nine games for the Sun Devils in 2010,
red-shirted in 2011, then started all 13 games at right tackle
as a senior in 2012 for a team that averaged 205.5 yards
rushing, Arizona State's best total in 25 seasons.
Houston opens the
preseason Saturday night at Arizona.
The other former Comet
currently on an NFL roster is wide receiver Saalim Hakim, who
has been clocked a 4.28 in the 40 and is beginning his second
season with the New York Jets.
returns a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in Palomar's 38-16
victory over Orange Coast on Sept. 28, 2013. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Simmons signs with
SAN MARCOS (7-01-2014) -
Palomar kick returner and running back Earvin Simmons, a
sophomnore from Murrieta Valley High School and a
first-team All-Southern Conference selection last fall as a
sophomore, will play at MidAmerican Nazarene University in
Former Palomar, Kansas State University
and NFL running back Joe Hall will be Simmons' position coach.
Simmons returned 22 kickoffs for 709
yards for the Comets in 2013, an average of 32.2 yards per
Palomar's earlier signees
were kicker Jonathan Leiva (UNLV), quarterback Ryan
Lamb (Central Michigan), defensive end Brian
Gundling (Texas State), middle linebacker Sylvewter
Hagen (Missouri Southern State), running back Aaron
Mossbarger (MidAmerican Nazarene), tight end Brett
Hayes (Southwest Oklahoma State) and corner Daichi
Kozu (Baker University of Kansas).
Safety Stephen Parks, making a tackle against Riverside City
College in a 2013 game, will sign with Southern Utah. --
Photo by Hugh Cox
PC's leading tackler Parks to sign with So. Utah
MARCOS (5-27-2014) --
Palomar's leading tackler last season, will sign
with NCAA Division I Football Championship
Subdivision Southern Utah University.
Parks, a 6-foot-0, 200-pound safety out of
Escondido High School, had 147 tackles, 3
interceptions, 10 pass break-ups and 2 forced
fumbles as a starting safety for the Comets
during the last two seasons.
During the 2013 season, Parks led the Comets
with 82 tackles (55 solo) and also had 4.5
tackles for losses, 1 interception, 5 pass
break-ups and a forced fumble.
Southern Utah, a member of the Big Sky
Conference located in Cedar City Utah, went 8-4
during the 2013 regular season before losing to
Sam Houston State in the FCS national playoffs.
The Thunderbirds will open the 2014 season at
Nevada on Aug. 30 and also will play
Southeastern Louisiana, South Dakota State,
Fresno State, Weber State, Cal Poly, Eastern
Washington, Idaho State, North Dakota,
Sacramento State, Montana and Northern Arizona.
Palomar running back Aaron Mossbarger,
who has accepted a full scholarship to MidAmerica Nazarene,
dives into the endzone to score a touchdown vs. state runner-up
Fullerton College last October. Former Palomar, Kansas State and
NFL running back Joe Hall is the Pioneers' running backs coach.
-- Photo by Hugh Cox
Mossbarger to play for Joe Hall
MARCOS (5-13-2014) --
Aaron Mossbarger, an Escondido High School product who played
running back for Palomar for the past two football seasons, has
signed as a scholarship player with MidAmerica Nazarene
University, an NAIA member school in Olathe, Kansas.
Former Palomar, Kansas State and NFL
running back Joe Hall is the Pioneers' running back coach.
Mossbarger played in seven games for
the Comets last fall and in 15 games over the last two seasons
while missing some action with injuries. He won Palomar's 2012
Iron Man special teams award and was a part-time starter at
running back for the 2013 team. .
Comets who signed earlier have been
kicker Jonathan Leiva with UNLV, quarterback Ryan Lamb (Central
Michigan), defensive end Brian Guendling (Texas State), middle
linebacker Sylveswter Hagen (Missouri Southern State), tight end
Brett Hayes (Southwestern Oklahoma State) and middle linebacker
Offisa Kose from the Comets' 2012 team, who sat out last
season (Western New Mexico).
A wave of other Comets are expected to
move on to the four-year level as the spring semester ends,
including tight ends Sam Browning and Ryan Ena, and safety
PC adds ex-Notre Dame, Stanford
MARCOS (3-03-2014) --
Head coach Joe Early has upgraded Palomar's football coaching
staff by bringing in Bill Diedrick as the Comets' quarterbacks
coach. Dietrick's hiring is effective immediately, which follows
approval of the Palomar College board.
Diedrick has a top-flight Division I
background. He was offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach at
Washington State (1989-1990), the University of Washington
(1994-1997), Stanford (1998-2001) and Notre Dame (2002-2004).
His Stanford offense averaged 30.4
points and 422.4 yards per game in his four seasons there,
including 37.1 points and 451.5 yards in 2001 when the Cardinal
ranked in the Top 10 nationally in both categories. Stanford
broke a 50-year-old school record in 1999 with 409 total points,
and broke a second school record with 5,138 yards of total
Dietrick developed such quarterbacks as
Brady Quinn, Marques Tuiasosopo, Drew Bledsoe and John Friesz.
He's coached 12 quarterbacks who moved on to the NFL.
"When Bill became available, it was an
opportunity we just couldn't pass up," Early said. "His resume
stands on its own. I'm really looking forward to leaning on his
experience, and the same goes for my brother (offensive
coordinator Dan Early). This is without even mentioning what
having Bill on board brings to the table in terms of developing
our players, especially at the quarterback position, and in
recruiting and in moving our players on."
Dietrick was a four-sport letter winner
at Eastern Washington University, where he was an NAIA
All-American quarterback and team MVP, and began his coaching
career as a graduate assistant, coaching quarterbacks and
receivers at the University of Hawaii.
THE BILL DIETRICK FILE ...
2002-2004 -- UNIVERSITY OF
NOTRE DAME, Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks
1998-2001 -- STANFORD
UNIVERSITY, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks
(1998 -- Led Pac-10 in passing offense; 1999 -- Led Pac-10 in
passing offense, total offense and scoring, Pac-10 Champions;
Most prolific offense in Stanford history; 2001 -- Led Pac-10 in
rushing offense, total offense and scoring
1994-97 -- UNIVERSITY OF
WASHINGTON, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks (UW
all-time career passing and total offense leader
1989-1990 -- WASHINGTON
STATE UNIVERSITY, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks
(passing offense ranked No. 1 in Pac-10; scoring offense ranked
second in Pac-10 and 15th nationally)
2008-2009 -- Indiana State
University, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks and Wide
2007-2008 -- Toronto Argonauts,
CFL, Assistant Coach-Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers
(2007 Eastern Division Champions)
2005-2006 -- Calgary
Stampeders, CFL, Assistant Coach, Quarterbacks and Wide
1991-1992 -- Edmonton Eskimos,
CFL, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers and
Running Backs (More than 8,000 yards total offense and
671 points scored, Western Division Champions, 1991)
1986-1988 -- University of
Idaho, Offensive Coordinator-Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers
(nationally Top 3-ranked nationally in passing offense three
straight years; All-American quarterback)
1984-1885 -- Montana State
University, Assistant Head Coach, Offensive
Coordinator-Quarterbacks (1984 NCAA I-AA National
1982-1983 -- Whitworth College,
Assistant Head Coach (led nation in passing offense and
second in total offense)
1971-1981 -- High
School Coach in Spokane, WA
1970-1971 -- University of
Hawaii, Graduate Assistant Coach-Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers