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National Champions 1991, 1993, 1998

CALIFORNIA STATE 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

2008 Schedule | 2008 Stats | 2008 Roster  | 2008 Coaching Staff  Individual Records | History | Comets Currently in NFL, 4-year colleges

Three Comets on National Academic Honor Roll

KIRKLAND, Wash. (1-27-09) -- Three Palomar sophomore football players -- an offensive tackle, a defensive end and a safety -- have been named to the J.C. Grid-Wire's National Community College Academic Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll honors the nation's premier scholar athletes in community college football.

Palomar's three Grid-Wire National Community College Academic Honor Roll players:

  • Offensive Tackle Justin Klingerman (3.83 GPA, Business major, signed in December with Old Dominion, 6-4, 310)

  • Defensive End Braxton Brennan (3.17 GPA, Criminal Justice major, 6-3,  240)

  • Safety Brett Wininger (3.25 GPA, Landscape Architecture major, 6-0, 190)

Above Photo: Braxton Brennan  is shown in Nationally 17th-ranked Comets' 41-14 victory over Orange Coast on Nov. 8.-- (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Lorenzen goes out in style as UConn wins

TORONTO, Canada (1-3-09) -- Tyler Lorenzen, the first-team J.C. Grid-Wire All-American quarterback, California Offensive Player of the Year and national total offense leader in 2006 at Palomar, finished his college career in style Saturday.

Lorenzen ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as his Connecticut team came back from a 20-10 second-quarter deficit to down Buffalo 38-20 in the International Bowl at Toronto's Rogers Centre.

With UConn trailing the Bulls by 10 points after a serious of turnovers, Lorenzen rallied the Huskies by contributing three straight touchdowns, on a 13-yard run, a 4-yard pass to tight end Steve Brouse and a 15-yard run.

That put Connecticut in front 31-20 and enabled the Huskies to finish the season 8-5. In two seasons, Lorenzen quarterbacked the Huskies to a 16-6 record and a Big East Conference co-championship in 2007.

With Lorenzen at QB, UConn was 7-2 this season. The Huskies went 1-3 when he was sidelined with a broken foot.

He re-fractured the foot during the bowl game.

Other Palomar football alumni highlights (all teams Division I-A or I-AA unless otherwise noted):

Jake Harry (Missouri) -- The senior ex-Comet deposited a 41-yard punt at the Northwestern 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, helping set up the tying touchdown in a game the Tigers won 30-23 in overtime in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, TX on Dec. 30. Harry averaged 44.2 yards for four punts in the game, putting all four punts inside the Wildcats' 20-yard line, including two others down to the 10. During the regular season, Harry averaged 40.0 yards per punt.

Mike Bethea (Nevada) -- The junior linebacker, returning to action for the Wolf Pack after missing five games with a broken foot, forced a Maryland punt with a solo tackle in the first quarter in a game the Terrapins finally lost 55-42 in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 30 in Boise, ID. Before he broke his foot, Bethea had 4.5 tackles for losses, a 7-yard sack and two broken-up passes during the regular season.

Derrick McMahen (Wyoming) -- The senior safety had 17 tackles (10 solo) and an interception for Cowboys in 2008.

Willie Watters (San Diego State) -- Saw action as a walk-on after being moved  from linebacker to defensive end. Was Scout Team Player of the Week the week of the Idaho game and eventually wound up making the travel team.

Kyle Hill (Sacramento State) -- Accumulated 1,124 all-purpose yards for the Hornets (24 receptions for 403 yards and two touchdowns, 10 punt returns for 67 yards and 30 kickoff returns for 658 yards).

Joe Carithers (Eastern Michigan) -- Was 38-for-38 on PATs and 10-14 on field goals with a long of 43 yards vs. Army, finishing as the Eagles' second-leading scorer with 68 points.

Hunter Wanket (Central Connecticut) -- Contributed 1,192 yards in total offense and 10 touchdowns. Rushed for 359 yards and four touchdowns, including a 72-yarder, and was 70-for-121 passing for 833 yards and six TDs.

Michael Wright (Idaho State) -- Third-leading tackler for the Bengals with 59 (31 solo) Had two tackles for losses, two broken-up passes and two fumble recoveries.

Kevin Small (Idaho) -- Played tight end for the Vandals. Caught two passes for 20 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown.

Vic Aquilina (Western Carolina) -- Started all 11 games at center as a junior.

Stephan Towns (Stoney Brook University) -- Played in six games.

Gerardo Powell (Hampton University) -- Played in five games and had a half-sack.

Division II and NAIA ...

Jack Dill  (Concord University) -- Started all 11 games at offensive right tackle.

Tyler Fenton (Truman State) -- Had 25 receptions for 274 yards and two touchdowns. In two seasons, caught 39 balls for 448 yards and six TDs.

Carter Hallock (Arkansas Tech) -- Played in seven games after switching from quarterback to the defensive backfield.

Lawrence Hunt (Missouri Valley State) -- Finished with 20 tackles (10 solo), three tackles for losses and two sacks.

Tyler Hiatt (Adams State) -- Had nine tackles, two tackles for losses, a sack and an interception.l

Adrian Allen  (Culver-Stockton) -- Rushed for 384 yards and two touchdowns on 1`27 carries. Also caught 18 passes for 100 yards.


Mace makes delayed NFL debut for Buffalo Bills

BUFFALO, New York (12-31-08) -- Corey Mace, a 6-foot-3, 294-pound defensive end out of Palomar and the University of Wyoming, finally made his NFL debut as an active regular-season player after being activated from the practice squad on Dec. 6.

Mace, a Canadian citizen, played for the Bills on Dec. 7 in the first regular-season NFL game ever played in Canada, against the Miami Dolphins in Toronto. He recorded his first regular-season NFL tackle on Dec. 21 as the Bills defeated the Broncos 30-23 in Denver.

Mace originally was activated by the Bills in December 2007 after spending the season on the practice squad but did not play.

Comets' Klingerman signs with Old Dominion

NORFOLK, Virginia (12-19-08) -- Palomar's Justin Klingerman, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound sophomore who started at offensive left tackle during the 2008 season, signed with Old Dominion, the university announced on Thursday.

Klingerman becomes one of two Palomar players to sign with a four-year college during the NCAA Division I mid-year junior college football signing period that began on Wednesday. Sophomore receiver Maurice Patterson signed with Nevada. If Patterson does not receive his Associate of Arts degree until the spring semester, he will have to re-sign during the regular signing period which runs from Feb. 4 through April 1.

The mid-year signing period runs through Jan. 15 and is only for players who are eligible to transfer in January.

The Monarchs will begin their first-ever football season when they field a Division I-AA team this upcoming Fall.

Klingerman, a Valley Center High School alumnus who also plays guard, was an all Southern Conference honorable mention selection. He also won Palomar's football academic award, carrying a 3.83 grade-point average with a Business major.

Comets finish 2008 ranked No. 17 in nation

KIRKLAND, Washington (12-15-08) -- The J.C. Grid-Wire ranks Palomar No. 17 in its final 2008 national rankings.

Coach Joe Early's Comets finished 8-3 and defeated Cerritos 38-33 in the Golden Empire Bowl.

The Grid-Wire named Butte, which won the California state title and was the nation's only unbeaten team at 12-0, as its National Champion, followed in the Top Ten by No. 2 Butler (Kansas), the NJCAA (non-California) champ, No. 3 Mt. SAC, No. 4 Canyons, No. 5 Snow (Utah), No. 6 El Camino, No. 7 Mississippi Gulf Coast, No. 8 Fullerton, No. 9 Navarro (Texas) and No. 10 Santa Rosa.

In Santa Ana, JCGridiron.com ranked the Comets No. 19 in its final national rankings. JCGridiron.com's Top Ten was No. 1 Butte, No. 2 Butler (Kansas), No. 3 Mt. SAC, No. 4 Canyons, No. 5 Snow (Utah), No. 6 El Camino, No. 7 Fullerton, No. 8 Navarro (Texas), No. 9 Mississippi Gulf Coast and No. 10 William Rainey Harper (Illinois).


PHOTO: Freshman quarterback Matt Christian was Palomar's Most Valuable Player and the MVP of the Golden Empire Bowl. -- (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Quarterback Matt Christian (left) was voted as Palomar's 2008 MVP by his teammates. Guard Sam Tupua (65) was the Outstanding Lineman, chosen from among players on both the offensive and defensive lines. -- (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Freshman QB Matt Christian honored as MVP

SAN MARCOS (12-9-08) -- Freshman quarterback Matt Christian, a Carlsbad High School product who red-shirted at Fresno State in 2007, was voted as Palomar's 2008 Most Valuable Player by his Comet football teammates.

Christian won the starting job during the season and wound up leading the Comets to an 8-3 record, was MVP of Palomar's 38-33 victory over Cerritos in the Inland Empire Bowl and was a huge reason the Comets are ranked No. 20 nationally by JCGridiron.com.

Christian also was the Comets' offensive captain.

The 2008 team was honored at this year's football banquet on Sunday evening, Dec. 7, at the Palomar Dome. The complete list of award winners:

Most Valuable Player -- Matt Christian (Freshman, Carlsbad High)

Co-Offensive Players of the Year -- Tyler Lavea (Freshman, Oceanside High) and Martavious Lee (Freshman, Coral Gables High, Coral Gables, FL)

Defensive Player of the Year -- Nate Paopao (Sophomore, El Camino High)

Best Lineman (from both offense and defense) -- Sam Tupua (Freshman, Banning High School, Wilmington)

Special Teams Player of the Year -- Gator Pugh (Freshman, Rancho Buena Vista High)

Kevin Kelly Award -- Mike Tuimavave (Sophomore, Rancho Buena Vista High)

Captains -- Matt Christian (Freshman, Carlsbad High), offense; David Motu (sophomore, Oceanside High), defense

Most Improved -- Chris Calvert (Sophomore, Rancho Buena Vista High)

Academic Award -- Justin Klingerman (Sophomore, Valley Center High School), 3.83 grade-point average, Business major

Most Inspirational -- Taylor Centell (Freshman, Temecula Valley High)

Other Special Teams Awards -- John Middlemas  (Freshman, Elsinore High), Hammer Award; Sophomore Cody McDole (Sophomore, Carlsbad High), Iron Man Award

Kodak (Scout Team) Award -- Nate Ong (Redshirt, San Pasqual High)

Above and Beyond Award -- Keith Duhart (Sophomore, Mainland High, Daytona Beach, FL) and Kevin Duhart (Sophomore, Mainland High, Daytona Beach, FL)

Coaches Awards -- Joey Erickson (Sophomore, Mission Hills High); Andrew Sugg (Sophomore, Chaparral High, Temecula); Brett Wininger (Sophomore, sophomore, Vista Murrieta High); Braxton Brennan (Sophomore, Elsinore High); Jonathan Mitchell (Sophomore, Escondido High); Cody McDole (Sophomore, Fallbrook High); Maurice Patterson (Sophomore, Oceanside High)

Award Winners

Matt Christian

Tyler Lavea

Martavious Lee

Nate Paopao

Sam Tupua

Gator Pugh

David Motu

Mike Tuimavave

Justin Klingerman

Chris Calvert

Taylor Centell

Keith Duhart

Kevin Duhart

John Middlemas

Cody McDole

Nate Ong

Joey Erickson

Andrew Sugg

Brett Wininger

Braxton Brennan

Jonathan Mitchell

Maurice Patterson

(Photos by Rick Rowell)

To purchase photos, click here ...

ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)


ABOVE: Freshman receiver Martavious Lee, who had eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, picks up 9 yards on pass from quarterback Matt Christian on next-to-last play of the first quarter. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Freshman quarterback Matt Christian, the Player of the game, looks deep. BELOW RIGHT: Palomar coach Joe Early. LOWER LEFT:  Parachutist from U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team -- the Black Dragons -- sky dives into Memorial Stadium at halftime. -- Last Three Photos by Hugh Gerhardt

Christian player of game; PC makes statement

BAKERSFIELD (11-22-08) -- Palomar, insulted after being unceremoniously left out of the eight-team Southern California football playoffs after being ranked No. 7, made a statement Saturday.

With quarterback Matt Christian, who had been unable to practice, leading the way the Comets put an exclamation point at the end of an 8-3 season with a 38-33 victory over nationally 18th-ranked Cerritos in the Golden Empire Bowl at Bakersfield Memorial Stadium.

Christian was part of a sizeable Palomar cast that bonded together and made a huge statement they belonged in a bigger venue than this bowl game by knocking off the Falcons, who two weeks earlier upset then nationally No. 1-ranked Mt. SAC.

"Both teams should have been in the playoffs," Palomar coach Joe Early said while accepting the bowl championship trophy after the game, a sentiment echoed when Cerritos coach Frank Mazzotta took the microphone moments later.

Added Christian: "(Being left out of the playoffs) was definitely a motivating factor.  We very much wanted to send a message."

Christian, who couldn't practice for two weeks due to an injury to his left shoulder, made his return to the field a memorable one. He completed 20 of 29 pass attempts with one interception for 253 yards and touchdown plays of 29 yards to Martavious Lee early in the second quarter, 33 yards to Keith Duhart just before halftime and 35 yards to Lee to ice the victory in the fourth quarter.

Christian and the Comets converted 11 of 16 first downs and one of one fourth down. This, after Christian was unable to practice the entire week before he led Palomar to a 41-14 victory over Orange Coast due to a concussion, hurt his shoulder late in the that game and was unable to practice through the Comets bye week and bowl game week.

Christian was selected as Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week. The PCC is Palomar's home conference but the Comets' football team plays in the SCFA National Division Southern Conference.

Palomar's other points on Saturday came on runs of 35 yards and 1 yard by Orenzo Davis, a 19-yard field goal by Collin Yost and five Yost PAT kicks.

Davis rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries and returned three kickoffs for 96 yards, including a 46-yarder which set up his own 1-yard TD run. Tyler Lavea added 67 yards rushing, also on 13 carries. Lee had eight receptions for 92 yards, Duhart five receptions for 72 yards and Maurice Patterson and Paul Moore had three catches each.

"The offensive line came to play," Christian said. "They came to play running the ball and I didn't get hit."

Cornerback and Defensive Player of the Game Anthony Young (11 tackles, six solo, a fumble recovery and three broken-up passes) and linebacker Nate Paopao (11 tackles, six solo and a broken-up pass) led a big performance by the Comets' defense.

Corner Chris Calvert and middle linebacker David Motu contributed eight tackles each. Jordan Peiler had six tackles including a sack. Chris Boudreaux returned to action with a bang at free safety after missing 2 1/2 games with an injury with four booming hits, making three big solo tackles to prevent big gainers by Cerritos, then forcing a fumble which Young recovered to halt a Cerritos drive.

The Comets fell behind 10-3 after one quarter, then outscored the Falcons 35-17 leading up to a late Cerritos touchdown that finally closed the gap to five points. The defense held the Falcons after their last touchdown with 3:23 to play and the Comets took over and ran out the clock.

Cerritos (ranked sixth in Southern California, 12th in the state and 18th in the nation) and Palomar (ranked seventh in SoCal, 11th in the state and 24th in the nation) were left out of the playoffs in favor of San Diego Mesa and Antelope Valley -- ranked No. 13 and No. 14 in SoCal, respectively.

Mesa lost to Fullerton 26-0 in the first round on Saturday. Antelope Valley lost to College of the Canyons 41-17.


ABOVE: Palomar running back Orenzo Davis rambles in 41-14 victory over Orange Coast.  --  (Photo by Rick Rowell). BELOW RIGHT: Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium

Comets ready for bowl match-up versus Cerritos

Memorial Stadium in BakersfieldSAN MARCOS (11-20-08) -- What would have been a most interesting match-up in the Southern California community college football playoffs won't be contested in the playoffs at all.

Instead, Palomar's game with Cerritos, with the two teams matching 7-3 records and high rankings, will be contested in the Golden Empire Bowl on Saturday at Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium, the largest on-campus community college facility in the United States. Kickoff at the 19,447-seat stadium will be at 3 p.m.

"These are two teams that should be in the Southern Cal playoffs," said Palomar coach Joe Early, whose Comets (ranked No. 7 in the Southern California Coaches Poll) and Cerritos  (ranked No. 6) both were left out of the eight-team playoff format in favor of teams that are ranked 13th and 14th, respectively.

"I'm sure both of us will be trying to relieve frustration at not being in the playoffs," Early added.

Early said the Falcons "are playing as well as anyone in Southern California," coming off an upset victory over then nationally No. 1-ranked Mt. SAC and a 31-28 loss to El Camino last week when Cerritos couldn't get into the end zone from the 2-yard line in the closing seconds as the Falcons unsuccessfully went for the win instead of the tie and an overtime.

Cerritos is ranked No. 18 in the nation (J.C. Grid-Wire), No. 19 in the nation (JCFootball.com), No. 12 in the state and No. 6 in Southern California. Palomar is ranked No. 24 in the nation (JCFootball.com), No. 11 in the state and No. 7 in SoCal.

There will be a Navy Jet fly-by prior to the game and a U.S. Army Paratrooper sky-diver exhibition at halftime.

Ticket booths open at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

To reach Bakersfield College, take I-5 North, keep left after 169.4 miles to take CA-99 North (Exit 221) toward Bakersfield / Fresno. After 25.3 miles, take California Avenue (Exit 25) toward Civic Center. Turn right on California Avenue, then left onto Union Avenue / California99 North. Union Avenue becomes Panorama Drive. Bakersfield College is located at 1801 Panorama Drive in Bakersfield.




5 -- Matt Christian, 6-3, 220, 4.7, Fr, Carlsbad HS / Fresno State


16 -- Joey Erickson, 6-3, 205, 4.8, So, Mission Hills HS


9 -- Steven Carroll, 6-4, 210, 4.8, Fr, Oceanside HS

Running Back

26 -- Tyler Lavea, 5-9, 195, Fr, Oceanside HS

Wide Receivers

6 -- Maurice Patterson, 6-3, 200, 4.38, So, Oceanside HS

7 -- Martavious Lee, 6-2, 180, 4.4, Fr, Coral Gables HS (FL)

Tight End

87 -- Jared Bamber, 6-4, 246, 4.7, Fr, Temecula Chaparral HS


84 -- Arthur Williams Jr., 6-4, 270, 4.79, Miami Carol City HS (Miami Gardens, FL)

- or -

Slot Receiver

1 -- Paul Moore, 5-10, 170, 4.4, Fr, Miami Central HS (FL)


17 -- Jeff Small, 6-3, 180, Fr, Oceanside HS

Left Tackle

78 -- Justin Klingerman, 6-4, 310, So., Valley Center HS

Left Guard

60 -- Tom Berry, 6-4, 280, Fr, Murrieta Valley HS


67 -- Mike Tuimavave, 6-0, 315, So, Rancho Buena Vista HS

Right Guard

65 -- Samuelu Tupua, 6-3, 315, Fr, Banning HS (Wilmington)

Right Tackle

77 -- Brice Schwab, 6-8, 320, Fr, Moniteau HS (West Sunbury, PA)

PAT, Field Goals, Kickoffs

14 -- Collin Yost, 6-4, 190, Fr, Linfield Christian HS (Temecula)


41 -- Briton Forester, 5-10, 185, So, La Costa Canyon HS /  University of Hawaii

Long Snapper

43 -- Gator Pugh, 6-1, 190, Fr, Rancho Buena Vista HS


13 -- Brett Wininger, 6-0, 190, 4.6, So, Vista Murrieta HS

10 -- Loa Madon, 6-0, 195, 4.6, So, Vista HS



96 -- Braxton Brennan, 6-3, 240, So, Elsinore HS


55 -- Robert Schenck, 6-3, 239, 4.63, Fr., Mission Hills HS / Fresno State

95 -- Andrew Sugg, 6-5,  242, So, Temecula Chaparral HS

Also: 93 -- Michael Reid, 6-2, 228, Fr, Rancho Buena Vista HS


50 -- Jordan Peiler, 5-11,  260, So, Vista HS


92 -- Jamar Fleming, 6-3, 285, Fr, Union (SC) HS

91 -- Jonathan Mitchell, 6-2, 300, So, Escondido HS

Also: 99 -- Ron Lewis 6-3, 270, Fr, Elsinore HS

Middle Linebacker

54 -- David Motu, 6-0, 230, So, Oceanside HS

Outside Linebackers

11 -- Nate Paopao, 6-1, 220, So, El Camino HS

44 -- Shane Melbo, 6-1, 225, So, San Pasqual HS

Also: 43 -- Gator Pugh, 6-1, 190, Fr, Rancho Buena Vista HS


21 -- Anthony Young, 5-9, 175, 4.51, Fr, Colony (Ontario) HS

24 -- Chris Calvert, 6-0, 170, So, Rancho Buena Vista HS

Strong Safety

2 -- Arthur Render, 5-11, 180, 4.45, So, Miami Northwestern HS (Miami, FL) / Pasadena City College


10 -- Loa Madon, 6-0, 195, 4.6, So, Vista HS

Free Safety

30 -- Chris Boudreaux, 6-0,  185, 4.4, Fr., Centennial HS (Las Vegas, NV)


13 -- Brett Wininger, 6-0, 190, 4.6, So, Vista Murrieta HS

Kickoff Returns

26 -- Tyler Lavea, 5-9,  185, Fr, Oceanside HS

8 -- Orenzo Davis, 5-8, 180, 4.4, Fr, Columbine HS (Littleton, CO)

Punt Returns

1 -- Paul Moore, 5-10, 170, 4.4, Fr, Miami Central HS (FL)

Photos available for six regular-season games

Photos from six of Palomar's regular-season games are now available on-line for purchase on professional photographer / official Palomar football photographer Rick Rowell's web site.

The available games are:

  • vs. Southwestern College from Sept.  6 at Wilson Stadium
  • vs. San Diego Mesa College from Sept. 20 at Cathedral Catholic High School
  • vs. Grossmont College from Oct. 4 at Mashin-Roth Field, Grossmont College
  • vs. Saddleback College from Oct. 11 at Wilson Stadium
  • vs. Fullerton College from from Nov. 1 at Fullerton Union High School District Stadium
  • vs. Orange Coast College from Nov. 8 at Wilson Stadium

To purchase photos, click here: ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Lorenzen returns from injury, leads UConn 39-14

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (11-15-08) -- Tyler Lorenzen (left), Palomar's 2006 J.C. Grid-Wire first-team All-American quarterback, returned to action on Saturday after missing four games with a broken foot.

The defending Big East Conference co-champions lost three of the four games he missed. But, with Lorenzen back in UConn's lineup, the Huskies routed Syracuse 39-14 at the Carrier Dome.

"The heart and soul of our team is back," UConn coach Randy Edsall told the Connecticut Post. "Just his presence means so much to us."

The Huskies are 7-3 this season, 6-0 with Lorenzen, 1-3 without him. UConn is 15-4 the last two seasons with the 2006 national community college total offense leader in the lineup.

They kept their hopes for a repeat Big East title alive

“We just get it done,” Lorenzen told the Associated Press. “I think everyone just really believes in each other.”

The Huskies just "get it done" better with Lorenzen in the lineup. A whole lot better.

ABOVE: Outside linebacker Nate Paopao (11) is one of five Comets on the All-Southern Conference first team. BELOW LEFT: First-team outside Center Mike Tuimavave --  (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Five Comets voted to all-conference first team

LONG BEACH (11-18-08) -- Five Palomar football players landed spots on the All-SCFA National Division Southern Conference first team selected on Tuesday by conference coaches.

Comets voted to the first team were center Mike Tuimavave, guard Sam Tapua and tackle Brice Schwab on offense, and middle linebacker David Motu and outside linebacker Nate Paopao on defense.

Palomar players selected to the second team were wide receiver Martavious Lee, running back Tyler Lavea and quarterback Matt Christian on offense, cornerback Anthony Young on defense and kick returner Orenzo Davis on special teams.

Honorable mention: guard Tom Berry, tackle Justin Klingerman, receiver Paul Moore. Defense, end Braxton Brennan, tackle Jordan Peiler, tackle Jonathan Mitchell, end Andrew Sugg, linebacker Shane Melbo, cornerback Chris Calvert, safety Brett Wininger, safety Loa Madon. Special Teams, punter Briton Forester.

SCFA National Division Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week Tyler Lavea heads for the end zone on 66-yard touchdown run against Orange Coast. --  (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Lavea conference Offensive Player of the Week

LONG BEACH 11-11-08) -- Palomar running back Tyler Lavea has been selected as SCFA National Division Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Saturday's 41-14 victory over Orange Coast.

Lavea, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound freshman from Oceanside High School who served on a Mormon mission to Peru, rushed for 133 yards and touchdowns of 24 and 66 yards against the Pirates. He also had two pass receptions for 24 yards.

Lavea and the Comets (7-3) have a bye in the 11th week of the regular season on Saturday and will find out their Southern California playoffs / bowl future on Sunday.









ABOVE LEFT: Palomarr middle linebacker David Motu hauls down Orange Coast wide receiver Chris Reihanifarn. -- Photo by Rick Rowell. ABOVE RIGHT: Martavious Lee scores his second touchdown -- and the Comets' second TD -- after catching a Matt Christian pass. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Kevin Duhart intercepts a fourth-quarter pass. No. 21 is Anthony Young. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

Comets roll up 544 yards, led by Levea, Christian

ESCONDIDO (11-8-08) -- Palomar shredded the SCFA National Division Southern Conference's best defense for 544 yards on Saturday as the Comets closed out the regular season at 7-3 with a 41-14 rout of Orange Coast at Wilson Stadium.

Tyler Lavea rushed for 133 yards and touchdowns of 24 and 66 yards.

"I just followed my fullback (6-4, 230-pound Taylor Centell) through the hole," Lavea said.

Guard Sam Tupua and 6-4, 270-pound tight end Arthur Williams Jr. delivered the blocks that opened that hole and sprung Lavea.

Matt Christian was 13-for-26 passing with one interception for 288 yards and a pair of TD passes to Martavious Lee for 44 and  20  yards.

Lee had four receptions for 159 yards and the two touchdowns.

"I'd rather be playing well at the end than at the beginning," said coach Joe Early, whose Comets wind up 3-3 in the National Conference, have a bye next week and will find out their post-season situation on Nov.16.

Palomar, trailing 14-0 in the first 7 minutes, 56 seconds, scored the game's final 41 points. Christian passed to Lee for the first two touchdowns for the Comets, Lavea ran for the next two and Orenzo Davis and Deswin Dennis scored the final two touchdowns on runs of 1 yard and 12 yards, respectively.

Collin Yost kicked five PATs.

David Motu, Chris Calvert and Anthony Young contributed eight tackles each for the Comets.

Calvert had seven solo tackles,  a half-tackle for a loss and forced a fumble. Motu had six solos, half a sack and a tackle for aloss. Young had five solos and broke up a pass.

Jordan Peiler had seven tackles (six solo and had a quarterback hurry. Nate Paopao and Andrew Sugg each had six tackles. Arthur Render and  Kevin Duhart had interceptions. Shane Melbo recovered the fumble that Calvert caused.

Briton Forester contributed five punts for a 42.-8-yard average, all of them inside the Orange Coast 20-yard line.


ABOVE: Quarterback Matt Christian is off and running on a keeper. No.  87 is tight end Jared Bamber.. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Orenzo Davis, who rushed for 92 yards on 15 carries. BELOW RIGHT: Ben Fanene, who contributed seven tackles.

Comets fall after late call on onside kick recovery

FULLERTON (11-1-08) -- A near-miracle finish by Palomar came up short against Fullerton College on Saturday night after a controversial call on a late onside kick by Collin Yost  that the Comets recovered.

Following a  lengthy delay, the officials ruled Palomar didn't have enough players on the short side on the onside kick, the Comets were penalized 5 yards and had to re-kick.

On the second attempt, the Hornets recovered and tacked on seven additional points to make the final score look more one-sided than the game really was 36-23.

Palomar had pulled to within 29-23 on a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Christian to Martavious Lee with 3:54 to play in the game. The onside kick and ensuing controversy followed.

Christian, who didn't practice all week due to a concussion sustained the previous week against Long Beach City College, was 17-for-32 passing for 178 yards and three touchdowns as the Comets fell to 6-3 on the season, 2-3 in the SCFA National Division Southern Conference.

Fullerton advances to 7-1 and 3-0.

Lee had six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns, the first one coming on an 11-yard pass from Christian. Paul Moore had four catches for 41 yards and a 19-yard TD catch. Keith Duhart had three catches for 61 yards, including a 56-yarder.

Orenzo Davis rushed for 92 yards on 15 carries..

Palomar also scored on a 22-yard field goal by Yost and two Yost PAT kicks.

Nate Paopao (seven tackles, inclujding four solo, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass break-up) led the Comets defensively. John Middlemas had seven tackles (five solo), including a tackle for a loss. Ben Fanene had seven tackles (four solo).

Braxton Brennan blocked a field goal try.

Palomar will close the regular season against Orange Coast next Saturday afternoon at Escondido's Wilson Stadium.


ABOVE: Orenzo Davis breaks off a 40-yard run which set up his own 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. --  (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt). BELOW LEFT: Arthur Render, who had eight tackles and two huge hits to break up passes. BELOW RIGHT: Tyler Lavea, who scored the go-ahead touchdown with a big second effort.

Comets drive 99 yds., 2 ft., 11 in., sink Vikings

ESCONDIDO (10-25-08) -- Palomar stopped Long Beach City College on a fourth-down play at the goal line, then drove 99 yards, 2 feet, 11 inches for what turned out to be the winning touchdown in a 20-7 football victory on Saturday.

Trailing 7-3, the nationally 28th-ranked Comets (6-2, 2-2 SCFA National Division Southern Conference), stopped the Vikings on a fourth-and-goal play from inside the 1-yard line midway through the third quarter.

Quarterback Matt Christian then drove them the length of the field in 17 plays and Tyler Lavea (76  yards rushing on 15 carries) scored the go-ahead touchdown with a second-effort burst into the end zone from the 3-yard line. That, plus Collin Yost's first of two PATs, put Palomar on top for the first time 10-7 with 1:59 left in the third quarter. Martavious Lee (eight receptions for 96 yards) made two key catches of Christian passes on the drive, including a 10-yarder that advanced the ball from the 1-yard line to the 11 for a first down on a daring call by offensive coordinator Dan Early that even surprised head coach Joe Early and helped changed the dynamics of the game.. The Comets stopped the Vikings on three-and-out after the ensuing kickoff, then drove got the ball right back down the field and Orenzo Davis (70 yards on seven carries) broke off a 40-yard run down to the 1 to set up his own 1-yard touchdown with made it 17-7 three minutes into the final quarter.

Yost, the kickoff man, then tackled Long Beach's Stephen Burton at midfield at the end of a 50-yard return to save a touchdown.

The Comets got the ball right back again on the first of two late Brett Wininger interceptions and made the final score 20-7 13 plays later on Yost's second field goal of the afternoon from 27 yards out.

Wininger's interception at the goal line and 31-yard return as the clock wound down put the icing on the cake for the Comets.

Long Beach had taken a 7-0 lead just one-minute, 18 seconds into the game on a blown pass coverage which resulted in a 65-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Josh Powell to Burton. Yost got the Comets on the scoreboard with a 37-yard field goal midway through the second quarter that cut the Vikings' lead to 7-3 at the half.

Christian was 15-for-24 passing for 164 yards with a series of drops.

Defensively, Tyler Seau stepped in at middle linebacker for David Motu, who missed the game with an injury, and came up big with 11 tackles, seven of them solo.

Wininger also stepped up in the absence of injured free safety Chris Boudreaux, who was  in the game for only two plays, with his two interceptions and six tackles (four solo).

Arthur Render had eight tackles (six solo), made three huge hits and broke up two passes. Gator Pugh had seven tackles (five solo) and 1.5 tackles for losses. Nate Paopao had six tackles (five solo) including a tackle for a loss. Jordan Peiler and Michael Reid had big hits on sacks of Powell.

Anthony Young blocked a field goal attempt.

Briton Forester had three punts for a 40.7-yard average, one which pinned the Vikings at their 17-yard line.


ABOVE: Orenzo Davis follows tight end Jared Bamber's block. -- (Photo by Hugh Cox). BELOW LEFT: Quarterback Matt Christian, who was 13-for-16 passing for 205 yards and three touchdowns while seeing limited duty in the second half.

Christian breaks out in rout over Santa Ana

SANTA ANA (10-18-08) -- Matt Christian made his debut as Palomar's starting quarterback a memorable one Saturday night as the Comets blew out Santa Ana 38-14 at Santa Ana Stadium.

The Fresno State transfer and his teammates put together a near-perfect first two quarters in rolling up 331 yards in total offense in 30 minutes to forge a 35-0 halftime lead.

Christian passed for 186 yards of his 205 yards and all three of his touchdowns in the first half and, on the defensive side of the ball, Chris Calvert led an equally dominant first-half effort by the Comets with a pair of big interceptions.

Palomar (5-2) forced Santa Ana (4-3) into a three-and-out to begin the National Division Southern Conference match-up and, after Christian's 15-yard completion to Martavious Lee for a first down, Tyler Lavea raced 49 yards up the middle for a touchdown on the Comets' second play from scrimmage. Briton Forester made his first of five PAT kicks and Palomar led 7-0 with just 1:13 into the game.

And the rout was on.

Christian threw deep to Lee for a 46-yard touchdown that made it 14-0 after one quarter and, in the second quarter, Christian and Lee hooked up on a 30-yard TD play, Orenzo Davis scored on a 4-yard run and Christian threw a 14-yard strike to Paul Moore for his third touchdown.

Not even two potential disasters involving the two players who are tied for Palomar's season in in tackles could mar the Comets' near-perfect opening half:

Middle linebacker David Motu's shoulder popped out in the first quarter and free safety Chris Boudreaux sustained an ankle sprain when he was cut by a Santa Ana player after a play 2-minutes, 30-seconds into the second quarter.

Motu returned to the game and finished with six tackles. Boudreaux spent the rest of the evening on crutches, after a fast start which saw him record three solo stops on four first-quarter tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass break-up.

Various injuries the rest of the way made Palomar trainer Dennis Greenhill the busiest man at the stadium, and the topper for the Comets came when Christian left the game on the third series of the second half with leg cramps.

But by then the damage had been done. After two Santa Ana touchdowns, one which was set up by a fumbled kickoff at the 10-yard line, the Comets tacked on the game's final three points on Forester's 27-yard field goal with 2:51 left in the game.

Christian finished 13-for-16 passing for 205 yards and the three touchdowns. Lee had four receptions for 111 yards, Moore four for 72 yards. Lavea rushed for 77 yards on just eight carries.

Defensively, Arthur Render (six tackles, five solo) delivered the most violent hit of the night on Santa Ana's quarterback and Gator Pugh had nearly as violent a hit on a sack that helped set the tone for the defense early. Loa Madon had six tackles and an interception which set up Forester's late field goal. Calvert had five tackles and a pass break-up on which he nearly had a third interception. Braxton Brennan and Robert Schenck also had five tackles each.

Forester also delivered a 36-yard punt that pinned the Dons at their 2-yard line, setting up the scenario that continued with Madon's interception and was capped by the field goal.

The Comets kept their Southern California playoff hopes alive by winning for the first time in three conference games. They return home to face Long Beach City College next Saturday at Wilson Stadium in Escondido.


Comets resurface as No. 28 in national rankings

SANTA ANA (10-20-08) --  Palomar resurfaced in the JCGridrion.com football rankings as the No. 28 team in the nation on Monday.

College of the Canyons is ranked No. 1 by JCGridiron.com, followed in the top 10 by No. 2 Mt. SAC, No. 3 Snow (Utah), No. 4 Navarro (Texas), No. 5 Sierra, No. 6 Fort Scott (Kansas), N. 7 Butler (Kansas), No. 8 El Camino, No. 9 Foothill and No. 10 Blinn I(Texas). The Comets are one spot behind Mississippi Gulf Coast and one notch ahead of Phoenix College in the rankings.

ABOVE: . --  David Motu sacks Saddleback quarterback Brian Shrock. Chris Boudreaux (30) closes in to help. BELOW RIGHT: Jordan Peiler (50) and two teammates close in for gang tackle.. --  (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Comets start slow, finish fast, fall short 24-21

ESCONDIDO (10-11-08) -- Palomar fell behind Saddleback 24-7 after three quarters, came back strong but couldn't capitalize on a late possession and dropped a 24-21 decision to the Gauchos on Saturday.

The Comets closed the gap to the final three points on a 1-yard run by Marquis Leauma with 14:02 left in the game -- set up by a 42-yard Matt Christian-to-Maurice Patterson pass play --- and a 5-yard pass from Christian to Martavious Lee with 3:58 to play in the SCFA National Division Southern Conference game at Escondido High School's Wilson Stadium.

Palomar then forced Saddleback to go three-and-out but was unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs.

"I'm proud the way we battled back, but we have to figure out a way to win," said Palomar coach Joe Early, whose team is 4-2 on the season,  0-2 in the Southern Conference. Saddleback is 4-2, 2-0.

The Comets scored their first touchdown on an 8-yard Christian-to-Stanley Paul pass with 18 seconds left in the half that closed a 17-point Saddleback lead to 17-7.

Free safety Chris Boudreaux (11 tackles, seven solo), middle linebacker David Motu (11 tackles, six solo) and strong safety Loa Madon (10 tackles, six solo, one pass break-up) led a hard-hitting performance by Palomar's defensive unit. Chris Calvert caused a fumble at the Palomar 1 that resulted in a touchback and prevented a Saddleback touchdown.

The Comets were hurt by an untimely fumble and dropped balls, one on a screen pass that appeared was headed for a huge gainer


ABOVE: Palomar's David Motu (54) and Lorenzo Greenwich (hidden below ball-carrier) stop Grossmont's Jamar Reed. No. 44 coming up on the play is Shane Melbo. -- (Photo by Hugh Cox). BELOW RIGHT: Orenzo Davis' 71-yard kickoff return sets up Comets' field goal..  --  (Photo by Rick Rowell)

Griffins end Comets' win streak vs. county teams

EL CAJON (10-4-08) -- Grossmont College ended Palomar's 20-year win streak against San Diego County opponents at 29 games on Saturday afternoon.

The Griffins (3-2) embarrassed the Comets (4-1) in the process, handing them their first loss of the season -- and worst defeat since 2001 -- 49-3 at Mashin-Roth Field on the Grossmont campus,

Grossmont had a plethora of help from Palomar, which turned the ball over seven times (with five of the turnovers leading to Griffin scores). The Comets also had a big time problem with their tackling game -- along with problems with their punting game.

The Griffins made the Comets pay and pay and pay for the misfires, ruining Palomar's inaugural game in the new Southern California Football Association's National Division Southern Conference.

The loss was Palomar's first against a county opponent since the Comets were beaten by Southwestern 32-25 back on Nov. 29, 1988 at the Jaguars' Devore Stadium. And it was the Comets' worst defeat since they fell to City College of San Francisco 61-12 in the 2001 state community college championship game in Visalia.

Even on the disastrous day, the Comets did manage bright spots.

"We'll look at the video, find what bright spots there were and try to build on them," coach Joe Early said. "But the bottom line is that we didn't come to play. Grossmont did.

"Nobody is going to feel sorry for us, nobody cares we are such a freshman team and we've got to put this behind us, get our act together and get ready to play next week (against Saddleback next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Escondido's Wilson Stadium). The schedule does not get any easier.

"Fortunately, this was one game, and a lot of the things we did are correctable. But I want our players to remember this taste in their mouth, beginning Monday at practice and every day after that. I hope they couldn't stand it. I couldn't."

For Palomar, quarterback Steven Carroll faked a handoff and broke off a 39-yard run into Grossmont territory on the first play of the game.

Running back Deswin Dennis ran for 55 yards and four first downs on seven carries as the clock ran down in the fourth quarter.

In between, Orenzo Davis' 71-yard kickoff return set up Briton Forester's 37-yard field goal with 12:06 left in the first half for Palomar's only points of the afternoon.

Chris Boudreaux intercepted a pass late in the second quarter, short-circuiting a Grossmont drive, and had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for losses..

Cornerback Lorenzo Greenwich recorded nine tackles, six solo, and broke up a pass. David Motu and Anthony Young each had eight tackles and a sack. Gator Pugh contributed seven tackles.

Shane Melbo contributed six tackles (four solo), a sack and a blocked extra point. Others with at least five tackles: Boudreaux, Arthur Render and Jonathan Mitchell (Render and Mitchell also with a sack apiece) and Braxton Brennan.


TOP: Tyler Lavea scores on 11-yard pass out of the backfield from quarterback Steven Carroll to tie the game at 28-28 after Palomar trailed in the first overtime Saturday evening.. Leading inerference in front  of Lavea is 6-foot-3, 314-pound freshman guard Samuelu Tupua. -- (Photo by Hugh Cox). BELOW LEFT: Corner Arthur Render, who had big hits and an interception. BELOW RIGHT: Matt Christian, who ran for one touchdown and threw a 1-yard pass to Marquis Powell for what turned out to be the winning TD in the fourth overtime. LOWER LEFT: Braxton Brennan (96) helps stop COD running back Leonard Mason on final tackle short of first down that ended the game. -- (Photo by Hugh Cox)

Comets win battle of unbeatens in fourth O.T.

ESCONDIDO (9-27-08) -- Palomar's football Comets proved their meddle in the toughest of situations Saturday evening. 

Extending themselves to their physical and mental limits, the Comets outlasted College of the Desert 47-41 in four overtimes at Escondido High School's Wilson Stadium in a battle of unbeaten teams.

The Comets, who led 21-0 after three quarters before the Roadrunners answered with 28 straight points to lead in the first overtime, advanced to 4-0 on the year -- while handing the visitors their first regular-season loss since the 2006 season.

Quarterbacks Steven Carroll (13-for-17 passing, 184 yards, four touchdowns) and Matt Christian, who threw the game-winning 1-yard touchdown pass and also ran for a TD, had a hand of six of Palomar's seven touchdowns.

The Comets trailed in two of the overtimes, tied the game 41-41 on Tyler Lavea's 10-yard touchdown run in the third overtime and finally secured the final margin of victory on Christan's 1-yard pass to Marquis Powell in the fourth OT.

Lavea rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries. He caught a 12-yard pass from Carroll to tie the game after COD led 28-21 in the first overtime. And his 10-yard TD run tied the game again after the Roadrunners led 41-35 in the third OT.

"I'm really proud of this group of guys," coach Joe Early said. "They stayed the course, and the kids believed in what we told them. This shows what kind of character this team has."

The Comets finished off the Roadrunners on the last play of the fourth overtime when they gang-tackled COD running back Leonard Mason short of a first down at the 16-yard line on a fourth-and-1 situation.

Palomar stunted right into the play and Mason ran straight into 6-foot-2, 300-pound tackle Jonathan Mitchell.

""That's like running into a brick wall," said Palomar co-defensive coordinator J.G. Aegerter. Jamar Fleming, Jordan Peiler, Braxton Brennan and middle linebacker David Motu were among other key players on the stop.. While Mason was being hit from the front and side, Brennan pounded him from behind.

Cornerback Anthony Young was all over the field for the Comets' defensive unit with 12 tackles (11 solo), two fumble recoveries, an interception and a pass break-up. Motu finished with eight tackles (six solo) an interception and a tackle for a loss. West Virginia-bound corner Arthur Render delivered a series of big-time hits and intercepted a pass in his best game of the young season.

Back on the offensive side of the ball, Martavious Lee (four catches for 98 yards and four touchdowns) and Paul Moore (six receptions for 63 yards and a TD) had big games.

The Comets frittered away the three-touchdown lead after three quarters as COD came back to tie the game 21-21 at the end of regulation play. The teams then traded touchdowns and extra points in the overtimes and, beginning with the third overtime, by book rule had to attempt two-point conversions.

Carroll's 47-yard scoring bomb to Lee gave Palomar a 7-0 lead just 1 minute, 48 seconds into the game. The Comets made it 14-0 later in the first quarter on Carroll's 18-yard pass to Moore and made it 21-0 on Christian's 7-yard run.

Strong safety Loa Maddon forced a fumble and broke up a pass.

End Andrew Sugg had six tackles (four solo), a sack and a tackle for a loss. Peiler also had six tackles.   Brennan, free safety Chris Boudreaux,  linebacker Nate Paopao, linebacker Shane Melbo, and Fleming all had five or more tackles.

Along the way, the Comets overcame two late missed field goals, one a 48-yarder that hit the crossbar and the other a 43-yarder, that would have won the game for them in regulation play.


ABOVE: Nate Paopao haus down Mesa ball-carrier Saturday evening. Robert Schenck (55) is a moment away from laying the wood.  BELOW LEFT: Bruce Brewer (83) gets hug from teammate Paul Moore after touchdown reception from quarterback Matt Christian. --  (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Carroll (3 TDs) helps Comets keep streak intact

CARMEL VALLEY (9-20-08) -- Palomar extended its winning streak against San Diego County football opponents to 29 on Saturday night, downing San Diego Mesa 37-17 at Cathedral Catholic High School.

It was over early, thanks in large part to a breakout performance by red-shirt freshman quarterback Steven Carroll, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. In the process, he staked the Comets (3-0) to a 30-3 halftime lead before leaving the game.

The Olympians dropped  to 0-3.

"We played one good half, but we've got to learn to play two," coach Joe Early said.

Carroll finished the evening 11-for-17 passing for 180 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 28 yards (to Martavious Lee) and 11 yards (to Stanley Paul). Carroll also scored on a 2-yard run.

Matt Christian came on to hook up with a Bruce Brewer on a 20-yard TD play in the third quarter that made it 37-3..

Palomar's other points came on a 2-yard run by Deswin Davis and a safety when Loa Madon and Lorenzo Greenwich tackled Mesa's Sean Banks-Bell in the end zone for a safety.

Palomar out-gained Mesa 190 yards to 117 rushing, led by Noel Phillips with three carries for 83 yards. The Comets out-passed the Olympians 227-126, with Christian coming in in relief of Carroll to hit on four of six attempts. Paul Moore led in receptions with four.

Briton Forester boomed four punts for 181 yards and a 45.2-yard average, pinning the Olympians at their 15-yard line and 3-yard line on two of the punts. He had punts of 59 and 58 yards and also was 5-for-5 on PAT attempts.

Greenwich and David Motu intercepted passes for the Comets. John Middlemas blocked a field goal try. Nate Paopao, Shane Melbo and Michael Reid recorded sacks.

Motu led Palomar with 10 tackles (seven solo). West Virginia-bound Arthur Render had two monster hits of his own in his first extended appearance since becoming  eligible late due to a paperwork delay. Boudreaux also laid the wood on two big plays and Tyler Seau knocked the helmet off a Mesa ball carrier on a violent tackle.

Anthony Young had eight tackles (six solo). Madon had six tackles (five solo). Chris Boudreaux had six tackles and broke up two passes. Paopao and Jamar Fleming each notched five tackles. Greenwich broke up four passes.

Palomar wasted little time jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Carroll hooked  up with Saalim Hakim on a 39-yard pass-and-run play on the first play from scrimmage down to the Mesa 26, and three plays later Carroll passed to Lee for the first touchdown.

Dennis' run made it 14-0 six minutes later. Phillips ran 37 yards for a first down and Dennis ran 9 yards to the 1 to set up the Dennis' TD.


Comets' defense pitches a shutout against Rams

VICTORVILLE (9-13-08) -- Visiting Palomar recorded its first football shutout in three years on Saturday, beating Victor Valley 16-0 in a non-conference game.

Free safety Chris Boudreaux (left), a freshman from Centennial High School in Las Vegas, NV, came up big for the 2-0 Comets for the second game in a row with 10 tackles (six solo), a tackle for a loss, three broken-up passes, a quarterback hurry and an 11-yard sack.

Boudreaux's performance played a big role in keeping O'Ryan Bradley, Victor Valley's double-threat, athletic transfer from UNLV, out of the end zone on an afternoon when Bradley got the Rams inside Palomar's 5-yard line twice.

Strong safety Loa Madon had 10 tackles for the Comets,  seven of them solo.

Fresno State quarterback transfer Matt Christian (right) came on to begin the second half and sparked the Comets as they extended a 3-0 lead at the half to the final 16-point margin. Palomar also had a fourth-quarter touchdown called back.

With Palomar leading 3-0 on Briton Forester's 36-yard field goal with 7:39 left in the first half, Christian drove the Comets 78 yards in nine plays and extended their lead to 10-0 on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Paul Moore.

Moore, a freshman wide receiver from Miami Central High School who had seven receptions for 43 yards, made a diving catch in the left corner of the end zone for the TD.

Christian completed three of four pass attempts on the drive and broke off a 20-yard run down which, along with a facemask penalty on Victor Valley on the play, gave the Comets a first down at the 7-yard line.

Christian also ran 12 yards for a first down on the first play of a 16-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with Palomar's final TD on a 1-yard plunge by Andrew Frasier with 9:23 left in the game. Orenzo Davis carried on three straight plays for 20 yards on that drive.

Noel Phillips (48 yards rushing on five carries), Christian (44 yards on five carries), Tyler Lavea (44 yards on 14 carries), Davis (36 yards on seven carries) and Frasier (35 yards on 10 carries) combined for 243 yards rushing. Alternating their running backs helped the Comets wear down the Rams as the second half.

Cody McDole busted off a 24-yard gain for Palomar on a fake punt..

Middle linebacker David Motu contributed six tackles and Cornerback Lorenzo Greenwich had five tackles (four solo) and also broke up three passes. Cornerback Anthony Young had five tackles and broke up a pair of passes. Middle linebacker Tyler Seau had five tackles and two quarterback hurries.

The shutout was the Comets' first since a 59-0 victory over West Los Angeles on Sept. 2, 2006.

Palomar will visit San Diego Mesa in its third game next Saturday, Sept.20, at Cathedral Catholic High School at 6 p.m.


Former Comet Derrick McMahen (29) was the hero in Wyoming's win over North Dakota State on Saturday. (Photo courtesy KGWN-TV, Laramie, Wyo.)

McMahen's interception wins for Wyoming

Derrick McMahenLARAMIE, Wyo. (9-13-08) -- Free safety and Palomar alumnus Derrick McMahen intercepted a  pass and returned it 16 yards to the North Dakota State 28-yard line with 1:28 left Saturday, setting up the winning field goal that gave Wyoming a 16-13, come-from-behind victory.

McMahen's pick and return came with 1:28 to play Saturday and set up Jake Scott's winning 29-yard field goal.

The Bison had jumped out to a 13-0 lead against the Cowboys (2-1).


Lorenzen hits first 11 passes, goes 13-15 & UConn routs Virginia

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (9-13-08) --  Former Palomar quarterback Tyler Lorenzen hit on 13-of-15 pass attempts on Saturday as Connecticut advanced to 3-0 on the season by routing visiting Virginia 45-10.

Lorenzen, who completed his first 11 attempts, threw for 124 yards and a touchdown as the Huskies primarily kept the ball on the ground.

Lorenzen also rushed for 54 yards on 10 carries. UConn picked up 382 of its 506 yards in the game on the ground.

ABOVE: Chris Boudreaux blocks field goal attempt in last week's victory over Southwestern. He also blocked a PAT and led the Comets with nine tackles..  --  (Photo by Rick Rowell). BELOW RIGHT: Martavious Lee catches 41-yard pass from Steven Carroll for Comets' second touchdown. No. 36 for the Jaguars is Oladayo Olatotun.. --  (Photo by Hugh Cox)

Comets' streak vs. county teams reaches 28

ESCONDIDO (9-6-08) -- With pre-season All-American Leilyon Myers sidelined by an injury, Palomar gave the football to its other running backs on Saturday evening.

Along the way, the Comets rushed for 303 yards behind their young but huge, athletic offensive line and turned back visiting Southwestern 21-19 at Wilson Stadium for their 28th consecutive victory against San Diego County opponents.

Tyler Lavea rushed for 123 yards on 18 carries. Andrew Frasier rushed for 81 yards on 20 carries and added four punt and kickoff returns for 164 yards. Orenzo Davis added 63 yards rushing on six carries.

Frasier had two punt returns for 97 yards and two kickoff returns for 67 yards -- one on which Taylor Centell sprang him with a block that flattened a Jaguar on his back.

Strong safety Chris Boudreaux blocked a Southwestern field goal attempt and a PAT attempt and also led the Comets with nine tackles (siseven solo). Loa Madon also had seven tackles, and Anthony Young came up huge by breaking up four passes and intercepting a two-point conversion try.

The Comets took a 21-0 lead on Davis' 39-yard touchdown run and Steven Carroll's 41-yard pass play to Martavious Lee in the first quarter, Carroll's 10-yard TD pass to Maurice Patterson in the second quarter and three Briton Forster PAT kicks.

Boudreaux' PAT block after Southwestern's second touchdown and Anthony Young's interception of a two-point conversion try after the Jaguars' third TD turned out to be game-breakers as the visitors tallied the game's final 19 points.

Palomar missed an opportunity to blow the game open when it was unable to get into the end zone after reaching the Southwestern 1-yard line twice in the game.


FOOTBALL: 2008 Season Opener vs. Southwestern

ABOVE: Andrew Sugg, shown recovering a fumble in the end zone in 2007 victory over Mt. SAC, will start at defensive end on Saturday when the Comets host Southwestern. Sugg is a sophomore from Temecula Chaparral High School. BELOW LEFT: Maurice Patterson, pictured catching touchdown pass in victory over Long Beach City College, opens at wide receiver. Patterson is a sophomore from Oceanside High. --  (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

27-game win streak vs. SD County foes on line

SAN MARCOS (9-5-08) -- Southwestern, the last San Diego County team to beat Palomar on the football field 20 years ago, will try to ruin the Comets' 2008 opener on Saturday.

The two teams will kick off the season in a 6 p.m. non-conference match-up at Escondido High School's Wilson Stadium. Palomar's has won 27 straight games against county opponents since the Jaguars downed the Comets 32-25 back on Nov. 29, 1988 at Southwestern, before the majority of players on both teams were born.

Palomar, 7-3 last season, comes into the game ranked 17th nationally by JCGridiron.com and No. 25 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire.

"We definitely are not looking past Southwestern. They have the ability to go deep, they have good skill players and they feel they have something to prove," Palomar coach Joe Early said. "But we have something to prove too.

"We have games the next 10 Saturdays without a bye, but that's the hand we've been dealt."

Steven Carroll, a red-shirt freshman from Oceanside High School, has won a three-way battle for Palomar's quarterback job for now and will start against the Jaguars. Offensive coordinator Dan Early and quarterbacks coach Cory Trefethen both stressed that the Comets' other two quarterbacks, Fresno State transfer Matt Christian and returnee Joey Erickson, remain in the mix at the position.

The Comets will be without both their Grid-Wire pre-season All-Americans -- running back Leilyon Myers and defensive end Caleb Evans.

Myers, two injured linemen and Matthew Napier, potentially one of the Comets' best long snappers in history who also is sidelined by injury, are expected back early in the season.

Evans, who had been offered already by Kansas, Tennessee and Kansas State, likely is lost for the season and will take a red-shirt year and return to Palomar for the 2009 season.

FOOTBALL: J.C. Grid-Wire Selections

Myers, Evans are pre-season All-America picks

KIRKLAND, Wash. (9-2-08) -- Palomar running back Leilyon Myers (left, photo by Rick Rowell) and defensive end Caleb Evans have been selected to the J.C. Grid-Wire's Pre-season All-America second team.

Myers, who originally signed with Washington out of high school, has already been offered a scholarship by Colorado State and also is being recruited heavily by Syracuse, Alabama, Auburn and Nevada. Myers led the Comets in rushing last season (869 yards and 13 touchdowns). He also caught eight passes for 126 yards and a TD.

Evans has already been offered by Kansas, Tennessee and Kansas State. Evans led the 2007 Comets in tackles for losses (11 for 42 yards), sacks (6 for 44 yards) and quarterback hurries (8).

Both are coming off pre-season injuries.

The Grid-Wire's two first-team pre-season All-American running backs are Lamn Muldrow of Sierra and Cornelius Shackleford of Kilgore (TX). The first-team defensive lineman are Tevita Finau (Phoenix College), Pernell McPhee (Itawamba, MS), Dean DeLeonel (Orange Coast), Hebron Fangupo (Mt. SAC) and Akiem Hicks (Sacramento City College).

Palomar opens against Southwestern this Saturday, Sept. 6, against Southwestern at Wilson Stadium in Escondido.


Comet safety Render verbals to West Virginia

SAN MARCOS (9-3-08) -- A matter of days before he plays his first football game for Palomar, free safety Arthur Render confirmed Wednesday he has given a verbal commitment to the University of West Virginia.

Render transferred to Palomar from Pasadena City College, where he played during the 2006 season.

A product of national prep power Miami Northwestern High School, Render had a high of 13 tackles in one game two years ago for PCC. He runs 4.45 in the 40 and also plays cornerback.

FOOTBALL / Useful Inf

What four-year colleges Comets play for

after they move on to transfer to the next level

SAN MARCOS (8-13-08) -- If one needs any evidence of the level of competition playing football for Palomar can open the door to, take a look at the Sports Illustrated 2008 pre-season Top Twenty teams.

Historically, Comets have gone on to play for six of the Top 10 teams on the S.I. list and for 12 of the Top 20 teams.

In the last decade, Palomar alums have played for eight of those teams -- USC, Missouri Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas, Arizona State, Oregon State and Pittsburgh.

Many of the former Comets who went on to play for teams in the S.I. Top Twenty utilized them as springboards to the NFL and / or other pro leagues.

But the list of former Palomar players moving on to pro football is hardly listed to those who played for schools in the current S.I. Top Twenty. In fact, perhaps the most legendary ex-Comet, NFL record kicker Tom Dempsey, went straight from Palomar into pro football.

Sports Illustrated's 2008 Pre-Season Top 20. Schools Comets have gone on to play for are listed in bold.

  1. Georgia

  2. Ohio State

  3. USC

  4. Missouri

  5. Florida

  6. Oklahoma

  7. Auburn

  8. Texas Tech

  9. LSU

  10. Wisconsin

  11. Clemson

  12. Tennessee

  13. Texas

  14. West virginia

  15. Kansas

  16. Arizona State

  17. BYU

  18. Oregon State

  19. Pittsburgh

  20. Oregon

These are notable programs where ex-Comets have gone on to play. (Schools where former Comets have played in the last 10 years are listed in bold.)

Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State, Connecticut, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,  Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisiana-Layfayette, Louisville, Maryland, Miami (Ohio), Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada,  New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Carolina, Ohio University, Oklahoma,  Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, San Jose State, Syracuse, Temple, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Utah State, UTEP, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming

2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008



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