Schedule | 2001 | 2002 |
2002 Stats |
2003 Stats | Roster | Coaching Staff
| Team History
USA No. 4 Canyons ousts
College of the
Canyons, ranked No. 4 in the Nation by the J.C.
Grid-Wire, beat Palomar for the second time this
season Saturday night, winning 24-14 at Valencia,
Calif., to end the Comets' football season.
The Western State
Bowl victory, which doubled as a first-round
Southern California Community College playoff
game, enabled the defending Southern California
Champions to advance to 11-0, while the Comets
finished 8-3. Palomar entered the game ranked No.
15 in the Nation.
Palomar in a 14-0 hole early after a pair of
strange plays. COC quarterback Jason Beck caught
a touchdown pass, followed by another TD on a
short run after a disputed call when it was ruled
Ryan Hotchkiss' knee had touched the ground
following a bad snap. Hotchkiss boomed an
apparent long punt from deep in Palomar territory
on the play, but instead of having the ball on
its own side of the 50, Canyons instead had a
first-and-goal at the Palomar 10. The Cougars
scored two plays later.
outscored the Cougars the rest of the game 14-10,
but the damage had been done.
Canyons had to
overcome a huge game from Palomar freshman
receiver Caleb Spencer, who caught eight passes
from freshman quarterback Tony Paoli for 179
yards and touchdowns of 43 and 28 yards. Paolli
finished 15-for-36 passing for 273 yards and
added 40 net yards rushing on 14 carries. Paoli
actually rushed for 68 yards, but his net total
resulted from being sacked four times for
Josh Gomez had an intercption for the Comets, and
freshman returner Speedy Anthony returned two
kickoffs for 66 yards and two punts for an
additional 15 yards. Freshman defensive lineman
Andy Huang recorded 1 1/2 sacks.
defeat was Palomar's worst loss in its last 22
games and its second most one-sided loss in its
last 39 games.
GRID-WIRE NATIONAL TOP 25 1.
Butler County (Kansas), 11-0; 2. City College of
San Francisco, 10-0; 3. Grossmont, 10-0; 4.
College of the Canyons, 10-0; 5. Santa Rosa,
10-0; 6. Mt. SAC, 9-1; 7. Dixie State (Utah),
10-1; 8. Pearl River (Mississippi), 10-1; 9.
Sierra, 10-0; 10. Reedley, 9-1; 11. Snow (Utah),
8-1; 12. San Joaquin Delta, 9-1; 13. College of
San Mateo, 9-1; 14. Coffeyville (Kansas) 9-2; 15.
PALOMAR (8-2); 16. Northeastern Oklahoma, 9-2; 17.
Fresno City College, 8-2; 18. Butte, 8-2; 19.
Fullerton, 8-2; 20. Tyler (Texas), 9-2; 21.
Saddleback, 8-2; 22.William Rainey Harper
(Illinois) 10-1); 23. Glendale (Arizona) 8-2; 24.
Citrus, 9-1; 25. Tie between Hinds (Mississippi),
9-2; Georgia Military, 8-2; and Allan Hancock,
CLICK HERE to view the
VistaPress.net report on the game
CLICK HERE to view a North
County Times feature on Palomar quarterback Tony
Paoli entering the game
Hargis, Early get top
Josh Hargis, who leads the Nation with 11
interceptions in 10 games, was selected as
Mission Conference American Division Defensive
Player of the Year and the Comets' Joe Early was
named conference Co-Coach of the Year in voting
by confernece coaches. Early shared the coaching
honor with Mt. SAC's Bill Fisk.
Joining Hargis on
the All-American Division first team: Receiver
Adam Burke and tackle Chris Pino on offense;
Safety Ron Rockett, linebacker Jeff Norton, end
Nick Badin and tackle Andy Huang on defense; and
kicker Ryan Lux and punter Ryan Hotchkiss on
Named to the
second team: Tackle Taylor Schmidt, running back
Lawrence Letuli, receiver Travis Plash,
quarterback Tony Paoli and receiver Caleb Spencer
on offense; corner Brandon Bell, safety Josh
Gomez, linebacker Craig Keenan, end Soli Lefiti
and tackle Andrew Tauanu'u on defense; and kick
and punt returner Brandon Anthony on special
Hargis, Lux and Hotchkiss were recommended as
Comets win title;
Canyons rematch next
Thanks among other
things to Josh Gomez' two interceptions and
fumble return for a 55-yard touchdown, Palomar
College downed host Cerritos 27-17 in the teams'
regular-season finale Saturday.
The victory gives
the Comets (8-2 and losers only to two National
Top Ten teams, both in overtime) a share of the
Mission Conference American Division championship
with Mt. SAC, the No. 1 seed in the Southern
California playoffs, both with 4-1 division
First up for the
Comets in the playoffs: a Saturday, Nov. 22
rematch with 10-0 College of the Canyons, the
defending Southern California champion which beat
Palomar in overtime back on Sept. 13.
The Comets will
return to the scene of the crime for that one
Cougar Stadium on the Canyons campus.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
return gave Palomar an early lead against
Cerritos, and the Comets made it 14-0 later in
the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass
from Tony Paoli to Travis Plash.
The Falcons (6-4,
3-2) dominated the second and third quarters to
take a 17-14 lead, but the Comets battled back to
score twice in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard
pass from Paoli to Caleb Spencer and a 12-yard
run by Lawrence Letuli.
Spencer had four
catches for 105 yards on the evening, and also
lined up at quarterback to gain 5 yards on a run.
Along with his two
picks and TD fumble return, Gomez recorded 10
tackles (eight solo). Linebacker Jeff Norton led
the Comets with 17 tackles (nine solo) and a
caused fumble. Defensive end Nick Badin
contributed eight tackles (six solo), two sacks,
a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection.
CLICK HERE to view the game
story from the VistaPress.net web site
CLICK HERE to view final
Palomar regular-season stats
CLICK HERE to view complete
Redskins re-signed former Palomar College
offensive tackle Pita Elisara on Friday, Nov. 7.
Elisara played in
four preseason games with the Redskins, was
released before the regular season but now
returns to the team. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound
Elisara played on the four-year college level in
the Big Ten for the University of Indiana.
ex-Comets, Kevin Swayne is in his third season as
a wide receiver for the New York Jets. Swayne,
who played on the four-year college level at
Wayne State (Neb.), is listed as second on the
depth chart at one of the receiver spots.
(Palomar / USC) is still on injured reserve for
the Detroit Lions. Cash led all NFL cornerbacks
in tackles last season as a rookie but sustained
a serious knee injury early this season.
Mitch White (Palomar / Oregon State), center Matt
O'Neal (Palomar / Oklahoma), running back Joe
Hall (Palomar / Kansas State) and safety Robbie
Robinson (Palomar / Colorado) also were on NFL
preseason rosters this season. White and O'Neal
have been on and off various teams' practice
rosters during the regular season.