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Football

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, 2009

2009 Schedule | 2009 Stats | 2009 Roster  | 2010 Coaching Staff | Palomar Football History | Palomar Individual Records (Updated as of beginning of 2010 Season) | Comets Currently in NFL and 4-year College Football

ABOVE: Returning quarterback starter Nate Ong sets up to pass in a drill at Saturday's first practice in full gear. Quarterbacks coach Cody Trefethen looks on. BELOW LEFT: Freshman receiver Nigel Westbrooks from Mission Hills High School catches a pass in front of corner Winston Pinto. -- Photos by Deb Hellman. BELOW RIGHT: Corner Devin Willis, who intercepted a pass in the end zone on the final play of 11-on-11 to end the practice.

Ong is 10-for-15 to end first practice in full gear

SAN MARCOS (8-14-10) -- Palomar went through its first day of Fall football drills in full gear on Saturday and, not unexpectedly, returning quarterback starter Nate Ong stepped it up.

Ong was 10-for-15 passing with one interception as coach Joe Early sent the Comets through two live 11-on-11 sessions late in the practice.

The interception -- by sophomore corner Devin Willis in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal situation -- kept the offense from scoring after Ong engineered a 66-yard drive down to the 5-yard line.

Outside linebacker Ezra Latu broke up a pass in the end zone on the previous play.

Safety Devin Taverna,  the freshman out of state champion Oceanside High School who was the star of the Alex Spanos All-Star Classic last month -- had an interception in the first 11-on-11 live session as the Comets looked at all three of their quarterbacks.

"It looked like the first day for a lot of the practice. We're young, but it's a good group," Early said. "We open our season in 21 days (Saturday, Sept. 4, vs. Southwestern at Wilson Stadium in Escondido at 6 p.m.) and we're a lot of work ahead of us.

"(The newly-reconstructed Southern Conference) is as tough as is gets -- everyone in the conference has won at least one national championship and most of us have won multiple ones. But we're used to that.. We've always played in a tough conference."

Palomar will get Sunday off and will return to full-contact drills on Monday morning.


Middlemas 21st Comet to transfer to 4-year level

RICHMOND, Kentucky (8-15-10) -- Outside linebacker John Middlemas has become the 21st 2009 Palomar football player to move on to the four-year college level, accepting a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University.

Middlemas is in camp with the Colonels as they prepare to open the season with back-to-back road games at Missouri State (on Sept. 2) and Louisville (on September 11).

A 6-foot-4, 215-pound outside linebacker from Elsinore High School, Middlemas was the Comets' fifth-leading tackler last season for a team that was ranked eighth nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Kirkland, Washington.

For the season, he had 54 tackles (27 solo), eight tackles for losses, three sacks, two pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.

Middlemas was selected as Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week after he sacked Victor Valley quarterback Robert Love in the Comets' 24-7 victory over the Rams on Sept. 12.

PHOTO: Outside linebacker John Middlemas, about ready to recover a fumble during last Fall's 41-6 victory over Orange Coast. Middlemas has  transferred to Eastern Kentucky University. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

 

COMET FOOTBALL COMMITS/TRANSFERS

Player Pos. 4-Year College
Brice Schwab OT Arizona State  University (de-commit from USC)
Martavious Lee WR University of Utah (de-commit from LSU)
Chris Boudreaux FS University of Nevada
Dean Faddis SS University of Nevada
Anthony Young CB Iowa State University
Matt Christian QB New Mexico State University
Sam Tupua C University of Idaho
Jared Bamber TE Middle Tennessee State University
Tom Berry C / OG University of California (Berkeley)
Paul Moore WR Florida Atlantic University
Orenzo Davis RB Montana State University
Tyler Lavea RB Murray State University
Matt Segi MLB Portland State University
John Middlemas OLB Eastern Kentucky University
Alika Valese DE Portland State University
Saalim Hakim WR Tarleton State University
Corinthian Gray CB Northwood University
Abu Jalil OG New Mexico Highlands University
Arthur Williams TE Georgia State University
Tyler Seau ILB Delta State University
Jamar Fleming DT Morgan State University

Gray commits, is 20th Comet to move to 4-year

MIDLAND, Michigan (7-30-10) -- Palomar cornerback Corinthian Gray fell barely short of qualifying to play on the NCAA Division I level at Eastern Michigan, but has landed on his feet in Division II.

Gray, who broke up nine passes last Fall for a Palomar team that went 10-3, reached the Southern California championship game and was ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle, became the 20th 2009 Comet to commit to the four-year college level this week.

Gray will play at Northwood State University in Midland, Michigan, which was 7-3 last season and plays in one of the nation's premier D-II conferences, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Last year's GLIAC champion, Grand Valley State, advanced to the D-II national championship game. The Northwood Timberwolves will play at Grand Valley State this Fall on Nov. 6.

 


Lorenzen, Saints to open camp next Friday

METAIRIE, Louisiana (7-22-10) -- 2006 Palomar J.C. Grid-Wire first-team All-American quarterback Tyler Lorenzen and the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints will begin pre-season training camp next Friday, July 30.

Lorenzen, who went from Palomar, where he was California Offensive Player of the Year, to a two-year career as the starting QB at Connecticut, will be trying to make the Saints' regular-season roster at tight end.

The 6-foot-5, 234-pound Lorenzen spent the 2009 season learning the new position on the Saints practice squad after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He received a Super Bowl ring in the process.

The Saints will kick off their pre-season schedule Thursday night, Aug. 12, at the New England Patriots.


Saalim Hakim, catching touchdown pass in victory over Saddleback, will play for NCAA Division II national power Tarleton State. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Hakim 19th 2009 Comet to move to next level

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (7-18-10) -- Wide receiver Saalim Hakim has become the 19th 2009 Palomar football player to move on to the four-year college level, choosing Tarleton State University.

Hakim, younger brother of nine-year NFL receiver Az Haakim, is moving on to one of the most successful programs in NCAA Division II.

The Texans are coming off a 12-3 season which saw  them advance to the second round of the Division II national playoffs.

Hakim, who has been clocked in 4.33 for 40 yards, played two seasons for the Comets and, in 2009, caught 28 passes for 379 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. Palomar went 10-3, reached the Southern California community college championship game and was ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle.

 


Taverna leads North to 27-3 win with 2 TDs

SAN DIEGO (7-9-10) --  Oceanside High School product and Palomar-bound safety Devin Taverna led the North team to a 27-3 victory over the South in the 20th Annual Alex Spanos All-Star Classic on Friday night at San Diego Mesa College's Merrill Douglas Stadium.

Taverna scored the game's second touchdown on a 27-yard pass play from Oceanside teammate Quentis Clark and the final TD on a 41-yard interception return on the final  play of the game.

Taverna also tallied two TD's as the Pirates beat Helix 26-10 for their sixth straight CIF-San Diego Section Division II title last December at Qualcomm Stadium. He broke open a tie game with two second-quarter touchdowns, on  a fumble recovery in the end zone and a 46-yard interception return.

The following week, the Pirates ran their unbeaten streak to 39 games, beating San Jose Bellarmine Prep 24-19 for the state Division I championship at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Oceanside is coached by one-time Palomar assistant coach John Carroll.


JCGridiron ranks PC 14th in U.S. in pre-season

LAKE FOREST (7/8-10) -- JCGridiron.com of Lake Forest, CA has Palomar in the No. 14 spot in the nation in its 2010 community college pre-season football rankings.

JCGridiron.com ranks Arizona Western No.1, followed by No. 2 Blinn (Texas), No. 3 El Camino, No. 4 East Mississippi, No. 5 City College of San Francisco, No. 6 Ft. Scott  (Kansas), No. 7 Mt. SAC, No. 8 Navarro (Texas), No. 9 Fullerton and No. 10 Gulf Coast (Mississippi)

The Comets are coming off a season when they went 10-3, reached the Southern California championship game and were ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle. JCGridiron.com ranked Palomar No. 12 in the nation in its final 2009 rankings.


Four new assistant coaches join Early's staff

SAN MARCOS (7-3-10) -- Head coach Joe Early has completed Palomar's 12-man football coaching staff with the addition of four new assistants who have joined the Comets to begin the 2010 season.

The new additions are former Palomar players Lafo Malauulu (receivers coach) and Ron Rockett (safeties coach), Scott White (linebackers) and Vernon Smith (cornerbacks):

LAFO MALAUULU, Receivers -- A 1984 J.C. Grid-Wire first-team All-American Malauulu is the Palomar record-holder for career receptions.

Malauulu set the Palomar career receptions record, which still stands, with 152 catches during the 1983 and 1984 seasons. He shares Palomar single-game records for touchdowns (5) and points (30), marks recorded when he led the Comets to a 55-19 victory over San Diego Mesa on Thanksgiving Day, 1984.

Malauulu went on to star for San Jose State and played in the Canadian Football League for the British Columbia Lions.

One of the best prep receivers in San Diego County history under the legendary Herb Meyer at El Camino High, Malauulu was selected by the North County Times prior to the 2007 season as the 37th best player of the first 109 years of North County high school football. The newspaper's readers chose Malauulu as the 34th best North County player of the first 109 years.

The Times also named Malauulu to a second-team receiver spot on its all-time North County high school team.

Malauulu previously was receivers coach for the 1989 Palomar team that went 7-4 and defeated Ventura 21-20 in the Hall of Fame Bowl at San Diego's Balboa Stadium.

RON ROCKETT, Safeties -- Rockett, a starting safety for both the Comets and the University of Wyoming, played for Joe Early at Palomar. He helped lead the Comets to an 18-4 record during the 2002 (10-1) and 2003 (8-3) seasons -- and a final No. 4 national ranking by the J.C. Grid-Wire as a freshman.

Rockett, a product of Mission Bay High School prior to two seasons as a starter for the Comets, was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection for Wyoming as a senior in 2005, when he led the Cowboys in tackles.

As a junior, Rockett helped Wyoming beat UCLA 24-21 in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl.

At Mission Bay, he was a first-team All-CIF San Diego Section selection and helped the Buccaneers to back-to-back San Diego Section Division III championships during the 2000 and 2001 under coach Dennis Pugh. He was a Mission Bay teammate of two other first-year Palomar assistants, White and Smith.

Rockett played in NFL Europe for the Frankfurt Galaxy. He was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week after he recorded eight solo tackles, an interception and two pass break-ups in the Galaxy's 30-14 victory over the Amsterdam Admirals on April 24, 2007.

SCOTT WHITE, Linebackers -- White, a multiple-season starter at outside linebacker for the University of Washington, comes to Palomar from Central Washington University where he has been an assistant coach.

White was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after recording 10 tackles (3 for losses) and 2 sacks in Washington's 21-10 over Arizona on Oct. 4, 2006, when the Huskies held the Wildcats to minus-7 yards rushing.

White was the CIF-San Diego Section Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 at Mission Bay High School. He was a prep teammate of Ron Rockett and Vernon Smith, also first-year Palomar assistant coaches, for the Buccaneers under coach Dennis Pugh.

He helped lead Mission Bay to back-to-back CIF-San Diego Section Division II championships in 2000 and 2001. 

VERNON SMITH, Cornerbacks -- Former University of Montana All-Big Sky corner White also comes to the Comets from Central Washington University.

He's been an assistant coach at Central Washington along with White.

At Montana, Smith helped the Grizzlies to a 14-0 record and the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) national championship as a sophomore in 2001.

In 2002, Smith intercepted six passes, returning one for a touchdown, as a junior for the Grizzlies.

Smith played at Mission Bay High School, where he was a teammate of Rockett and White under coach Dennis Pugh.

Smith will coach Palomar's secondary along with Rockett, coaching the corners while Rockett handles the safeties.


Segi latest player to 4-year, picks Portland State

PORTLAND, Oregon (6-24-10) -- Middle linebacker Matt Segi has become the 18th member of Palomar's 2009 football team to move on to the four-year college level. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Oceanside High School product has accepted a scholarship to Portland State University.

Segi (photo by Rick Rowell) recorded 46 tackles (20 unassisted), seven tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 broken-up pass, 4 quarterback hurries and 1 fumble recovery last Fall as the Comets went 10-3, reached the Southern California championship game and were ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle.

Segi was an All-Southern Conference second-team selection.

NCAA Division I Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) Portland State will play two Pac-10 teams this coming Fall, visiting Arizona State on Sept. 4 and Oregon on Sept. 18.

In the Arizona State game, Segi and defensive end Alika Valese, who accepted a scholarship to Portland State last month, will go against 6-foot-8, 320-pound junior offensive tackle and ex-Palomar teammate Brice Schwab, ranked as the No. 1 player in ASU's 2010 recruiting class by the Arizona Republic newspaper of Phoenix.


Paul Moore, who will play at Florida Atlantic, makes a spectacular catch in Comets' 27-21 victory over Saddleback last Oct. 10. The Owls will play Michigan State, Texas, Troy m and Middle Tennessee State in 2010. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Receiver Moore commits to Florida Atlantic

BOCA RATON, Florida (6-21-10) -- Palomar receiver Paul Moore, who earlier de-committed to Arkansas State, has committed to Florida Atlantic University of the Sun Belt Conference.

The Owls, who finished third in the Sun Belt last behind Troy and Middle Tennessee State, will face a rugged 2010 schedule that will see them hosting Michigan State on Oct. 11 and traveling to Texas on Nov. 20.

The 5-foot-10,  170-pound Moore, who has run 4.4 in the 40, caught 72 passes for 488 yards and six touchdowns for the Comets the last two seasons.

He missed part of last season with injuries for a team that went 10-3, reached the Southern California community college championship game and was ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle.

"It will be a blessing to come home to South Florida and play n front of my family," Moore told the Florida Atlantic web site.

A product of Miami Central High School, Paul Moore III is the son of former Florida State fullback Paul Moore, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals out of college.


Orenzo Davis breaks an attempted tackle by Long Beach City College's George Rogers on his way to a 47-yard touchdown run in 44-23 victory over the Vikings last Oct. 24. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Montana State lands Palomar RB Orenzo Davis

BOZEMAN, Montana (6-9-10) -- Palomar running back Orenzo Davis, who accumulated 2,876 all-purpose yards and scored 19 touchdowns in two seasons for the Comets, accepted a full scholarship to Montana State University on Wednesday.

Davis, a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder from Columbine High School in Littleton, Coloorado, rushed for 1,540  yards and 18 touchdowns during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

He caught 40 passes for 186 yards and also had 1,150 yards on kickoff returns.

During the 2009 season, Davis rushed for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 21 passes for 152 yards and also had 768 yards in kickoff returns, including a 94-yard touchdown return that keyed the Comets' three-overtime victory over Fullerton in the Southern California semifinals.

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Abu becomes sixth 2009 lineman to move on

LAS VEGAS, New Mexico (6-4-10) -- Abu Jalil, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound sophomore offensive lineman from Cathedral Catholic High School, became the latest 2009 Palomar player to accept a full-ride scholarship on Friday.

Jalil will play for NCAA Division II New Mexico Highlands University, a member of the Lone Star Conference.

Jalil is ticketed to play right tackle for the Cowboys. He was a guard for Palomar last Fall as the Comets went 10-3, reached the Southern California championship game and was ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle.

He played on the defensive line for Palomar as a freshman in 2008.

FAST FACTS: Abu Jalil becomes the sixth offensive lineman and fourth interior offensive lineman from Palomar's 2009 team -- and the first non-starter of the group -- to move on to the four-year level. Tackle Brice Schwab, who de-committed from USC, is now at Arizona State. Sam Tupua is now at Idaho, where he is ticketed to replace the San Francisco 49ers' first-round draft choice, Mike Iapati, at center. Guard Tom Berry is at Cal. Tight ends Jared Bamber and Arthur Williams are at Middle Tennessee State and Georgia State, respectively..

Defensive end Alika Valese hauls down an Orange Coast ball-carrier  during Comets' 41-9 victory over the Pirates last Nov. 7.-- Photo by Rick Rowell

Valese lands scholarship to Portland State

PORTLAND, Oregon (5-22-10) -- Defensive end Alika Valese has become the latest player from Palomar's 2009 football team to accept a scholarship to a four-year school, choosing Portland State University.

The 6-foot-1, 260-pound sophomore overcame injuries last Fall to record 33 tackles, four tackles for losses, one sack, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble for a team that went 10-3. The Comets advanced to the Southern California community college championship game and were ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle..

NCAA Division I Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) Portland State will play two Pac-10 teams this coming Fall, visiting Arizona State on Sept. 4 and Oregon on Sept. 18.

In the Portland State-Arizona State game, Valese will go against 6-foot-8, 320-pound junior offensive tackle and ex-Palomar teammate Brice Schwab, ranked as the No. 1 player in ASU's 2010 recruiting class by the Arizona Republic newspaper of Phoenix.


LB coach Sovacool leaves for LCC head job

CARLSBAD (4-23-10) -- Sean Sovacool (left), a former J.C. Grid-Wire Academic All-American and honorable mention All-American linebacker at Palomar who has been the Comets' linebackers coach since 2005, was officially named as the new head football coach at La Costa Canyon High School on Friday morning.

Sovacool was a starting linebacker on the four-year college level for Northern Arizona University. He received his B.S. degree from NAU and his M.A. degree in Education from Cal State Bakersfield. Sovacool also organized and headed Palomar's athletic study hall program, considered a model academic program nationally.

"Palomar has been unbelievably good to me," Sovacool told the North County Times. "... And I had the opportunity to work with (head coach) Joe Early, a man I consider a great coach."

Sovacool becomes the list of former Palomar players who are current head football coach in the North County Conference to four. He joins Rob Gilster (Valley Center), Scott Ashby (Torrey Pines) and Chris Hauser (Mission Hills). Earlier in the month, ex-Comet Paul McGowen was named head coach at Temecula Valley High.


Utah signs Palomar receiver Martavious Lee

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (4-1-10) -- Palomar receiver Martavious Lee, who originally gave a verbal commitment to LSU before rescinding it, has signed with the University of Utah and will join the Utes for Fall practice.

"We expect him to be an immediate contributor," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham told the Desert News. "That's why we recruited him."

Lee caught 99 passes for 1,644 yards and 20 touchdowns for Palomar in two seasons (60 for 919 yards and seven TD's last Fall as the Comets went 10-3, reached the Southern California championship game and were ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle).

Lee's signing comes 18 days after Comet center / guard Tom Berry committed to Cal.

PHOTO: Martavious Lee puts a move on an Orange Coast defender in Comets' 41-9 victory over the Pirates last Nov. 7. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

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PC's Seau also lands full ride -- to Delta State

CLEVELAND, Mississippi (4-1-10) -- Palomar inside linebacker Tyler Seau has signed with Delta State, a former NCAA Division II national champion.

Seau recorded 48 tackles for the Comets last Fall, 22 of them solo.

The Mission Hills High School alum, son of former USC and Chargers star Junior Seau, had 6.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.

He played in 11 games, missing two games because of an injury.


Berry commits to Cal, gets another honor

SAN MARCOS (3-24-10) -- Tom Berry, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound two-year football starter for Palomar on the offensive line, has committed to Cal.

Berry started the first half of the Comets' 2009 season at center and the second half of the season at right guard as the Comets went 10-3, reached the Southern California community college championship game and were ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle..

Berry was an All-Southern Conference selection, was named to the California Community College All-Region 3 first-team, received the Comets' Academic Award with a 4.0 grade-point average and will major in Business at Berkeley.

He recently was named a recipient of the prestigious Scholar-Leader-Athlete award by the Walter J. Zable / San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

Berry is a Murrieta Valley High School  graduate and the son of Tom and Cindy Berry.

Palomar has had two previous notable former football players start for the Golden Bears, the late Rey Nicholas and Keith Miller.

Miller played inside linebacker for Cal in 1998 and 1999, was the North team's Defensive Player of the Game in the 2000 Senior Bowl and played in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks.

Nicholas was a receiver and safety for the Bears in 1986 and 1987. He was a rookie safety on injured reserve with the then-Los Angeles Rams during the 1988 season when he was shot to death on Nov. 18 outside his girlfriend's Rancho Penasquitos condominium when he refused to surrender his vehicle to a car-jacker.


Comets to kick off season Sept. 4 at home

SAN MARCOS (3-13-10) -- For the second season in a row Palomar will kick off its football season against Southwestern this upcoming Fall.

The Comets and Jaguars will square off Saturday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. at Wilson Stadium in Escondido.

It will be one of five home regular-season games for the Comets, who went 10-3 last season, reached the Southern California community college championship game and were ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle.

Coach Joe Early's team also will play Cerritos (Sept. 11), Santa Ana (Sept. 25), Fullerton (Oct. 23) and Grossmont (Sept. 13) at home, all at Wilson Stadium. The Grossmont game, which is slated for 1 p.m., will be Palomar's only afternoon home game and one of only two afternoon games on the season.

The only other afternoon game will be played Oct. 16 at defending state and national champion Mt. SAC in a rematch of last season's Southern California championship game.

The other road games are scheduled at San Diego Mesa on Sept. 18, El Camino (Oct. 2), Pasadena City College (Oct. 30) and Saddleback (Nov. 6).

The Southern Conference, rated the nation's toughest community college football conference, will be made up of the Comets, Mt SAC, Fullerton, Pasadena, Saddleback and Grossmont in 2010.

PHOTO: Returning quarterback strter Nate Ong, shown breaking off a long run in last Fall's 41-9 victory at Orange Coast. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

Palomar 2010 Football Schedule
Day, Date Opponent Site Time
Sat. Sept. 4 Southwestern Wilson Stadium 6 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 11 Cerritos Wilson Stadium 6 p.m.
Sat, Sept. 18 at San Diego Mesa San Diego 6 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 25 Santa Ana Wilson Stadium 6 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 2 at El Camino Torrance 6 p.m.
Sat, Oct 16 at Mt. SAC--x Walnut 1 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 23 Fullerton--x Wilson Stadium 6 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 30 at Pasadena CC--x Pasadena 6 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 6 at Saddleback--x Mission Viejo 6 p.m.
Sat. Nov 13 Grossmont--x Wilson Stadium 1 p.m.

x -- Southern Conference game


Lavea signs with Murray State, heads to Ky.

MURRAY, Kentucky (2-4-10) -- Palomar running back Tyler Lavea signed with Murray State University on Wednesday, giving the Racers' recruiting class a huge boost. Murray State, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, averaged only 67.9 yards per game rushing during the 2009 season.

Lavea, whose 2009 season was severely curtailed by an injury, still rushed for 1,090 yards on 202 carries and caught 26 passes for 202 yards during his two seasons at Palomar. He was an All-CIF-San Diego Section selection at Oceanside High School, served a Mormon mission to Peru and is a two-time All-PCAC Academic selection.


Mt. SAC, PCC will join Comets in conference

SCFALONG BEACH (1-30-10) -- The Southern California Football Association approved a plan on Friday that will bring 2009 state and J.C. Grid-Wire national champion Mt. SAC and six-time national champion Pasadena City College into the National Division Southern Conference beginning with the 2010 season. Long Beach City College and Orange Coast will drop out of the conference, considered the country's toughest.

The Southern Conference will now be made up of Palomar, Grossmont, Fullerton, Saddleback, Mt. SAC and Pasadena.

The Northern Conference will be made up of Bakersfield, Hancock, Cerritos,  El Camino, Ventura and College of the Canyons. The two conference champions will advance to the Southern California playoffs along with the two remaining highest finishers in the COA/CCCAA poll.

There also will be two lower-echelon divisions whose champions will play bowl games, and there will be three additional Southern California bowls to which teams from any of the three divisions may be invited to play in.


Palomar offensive tackle Brice Schwab (77) is headed to Arizona State. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

Arizona State lands Comets' Brice Schwab

TEMPE, Arizona (1-21-10) -- Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson landed Palomar blue chip offensive tackle Brice Schwab, one of the nation's hottest community college football recruits, on Wednesday afternoon.

The 6-foot-8, 320-pound Schwab, who de-committed from USC when coach Pete Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks, visited ASU last weekend and committed to the Sun Devils on Wednesday.

Schwab told JCFootball.com and SuperPrep.com that Oklahoma and Florida State "were in the mix until the end" and as a West Sunbury, PA, native he was enthralled by the possibility of playing for Pittsburgh or Penn State.

"I was really thinking about taking a trip to Oklahoma," Schwab said. "I liked OU a lot but it all came down to time."

Schwab told the Arizona Republic he would begin classes at ASU on Monday.

According to numerous web sources, Schwab also was offered by Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Oregon State, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Washington and UCLA in the recruiting frenzy that occurred after he de-committe from USC.

Oklahoma offensive line coach James Patton made a hurried, last-minute home visit to Schwab on Tuesday. UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel was on Palomar's campus on Tuesday, scurrying around in the rain trying to run down Schwab.

6-FOOT-8 TACKLE STANDS TALL IN ASU RECRUITING CLASS (Arizona Republic)


All-Southern Conference and All-Region III safety Dean Faddis (27) signed with Nevada following a recruiting trip over the weekend. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

Faddis signs with Nevada, joins Boudreaux

RENO, Nevada (1-11-10) -- Dean Faddis became the second Palomar safety to sign with the University of Nevada during the community college early signing period on Monday.

Faddis departs Palomar after his freshman season and will join Comet teammate Chris Boudreaux with the Wolf Pack. Both will begin Spring Semester classes classes next Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Faddis, a first-team All-Southern Conference and All-Region III selection,  was the Comets' starting strong safety and Boudreaux the starting free safety during the 2009 season as Palomar went 8-3, advanced to the Southern California championship game and was ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire.

Boudreaux and Faddis were 1-2 in tackles for the 2009 Comets. Faddis, a Ramona High School product, finished the season with 66 tackles (34 solo), four tackles for losses, one sack, one interception, 13 pass break-ups and one fumble recovery.

Andy Buh, a J.C. Grid-Wire All-American linebacker at Palomar and former Nevada player, was named the Wolf Pack's defensive coordinator last week.

Faddis took his recruiting trip to Reno over the weekend.


Buh departs Stanford, is new D.C. at Nevada

Andy BuhArrow Up! Andy Buh is liking his RENO, Nevada (1-6-10) -- Andy Buh, a J.C. Grid-Wire All-American linebacker at Palomar in 1992, is leaving Stanford, where he has been co-defensive coordinator, to become the new defensive coordinator at the University of Nevada, his alma mater.

Buh played linebacker for the Wolf Pack in 1993 and 1994.

Buh was linebackers coach (three seasons) and co-defensive coordinator (two seasons) at Stanford.

He previously coached at Nevada, Cal, San Diego State and Fresno State. He helped lead Palomar to a co-national title as a freshman in 1991.

(Stanford University photos)


Matt Christian, Palomar's 2009 Offensive Player of the Year, has signed with New Mexico State. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Christian confirms he's signed with Aggies

SAN MARCOS (12-30-09) -- Palomar quarterback Matt Christian has confirmed reports by ESPN.com and Rivals.com that he has signed with New Mexico State of the Western Athletic Conference.

He'll begin classes Jan. 14, the first day of the Spring semester and will battle for the starting quarterback job during spring drills.

Christian, who missed much of the 2009 season with a broken hand and then a broken collarbone, was still voted the Comets' Offensive Player of the Year by his teammates.

The sophomore from Carlsbad High School, who spent a red-shirt season at Fresno State before playing two years for Palomar, will get an opportunity to face the Bulldogs the next two seasons.

"I know Matt is excited about having an opportunity to play against Fresno State," Palomar quarterbacks coach Cody Trefethen said. Christian also visited Middle Tennessee State.


Tigers get kicks from Harry (43.2 avg.) in loss

Jake Harry IVHOUSTON, Texas (12-31-09, 1-2-10) -- Missouri lost 35-13 to Navy in the Texas Bowl on Thursday, but punter and Palomar alum Jake Harry certainly didn't disappoint for the Tigers. Harry averaged 43.2 yards for four punts with a long of 51 and two efforts inside the 20-yard line.Harry averaged 42.7 yards for 57 punts for Mizzou during the regular season with a long of 69 and 21 punts inside the 20. Opponents made 14 fair catches.

Among other ex-Comets in bowl games, Mike Bethea had six tackles for Nevada in a 45-10 loss to SMU in the Hawaii-Sheridan Bowl. Maurice Patterson is a wide receiver for the Wolf Pack. Kevin Small was the starting tight end and corner Chris Williams also was on the roster for Idaho, which downed Bowling Green 43-42 in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise, Idaho. Briton Forester is a punter and Caleb Evans a defensive end for Arkansas, which defeated East Carolina on Saturday in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.


Bamber, Lee, Berry, Faddis are all honored

SAN MATEO (12-22-09) -- Palomar tight end Jared Bamber (left) has been selected to the All-State first team and Bamber, receiver Martavious Lee, guard Tom Berry and safety Dean Faddis all were voted to the All-Region III first team.

Balloting was conducted by the California Community College Football Coaches Association the weekend of the CCCAA State Championship Game at College of San Mateo.

Bamber has signed with Middle Tennessee State. Lee, Palomar's team MVP who de-committed from LSU, and Berry (right), the Comets' Academic award winner with a 4.0 grade-point average in Business, are both uncommitted. Faddis is a freshman who will be returning next season.


Tupua signs with Idaho; Moore to Arkansas St.

Sam TupuaSAN MARCOS (12-17-09) -- Two more Palomar football players have signed with Division I schools, center Sam Tupua (left) with the University of Idaho and wide receiver Paul Moore (right) with Arkansas State University.

One former Comet, starting tight end and ex-Palomar football and basketball player Kevin Small, will play his final game for Idaho when the Vandals face Bowling Green on ESPN on Dec.  30 at 1:30 p.m. PST in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Tupua then arrives in Moscow, Idaho in January after he signed with Idaho on Thursday.

Tupua told JCFootball.com that he waited a day from  Wednesday's first day of the month-long early JC signing period so his parents could be on hand to watch him sign. He also was offered by Southern Mississippi and turned down a trip to the University of Utah.

Moore, who missed half the 2009 season with injuries but caught 72 passes for 788 yards and six touchdowns and also ran for a TD in two seasons -- joins an Arkansas State program that  faced Nebraska and Iowa this past season. The Red Wolves play in the Sun Belt Conference.

The early signing period is for community college players eligible to transfer at mid-year. Receiver Martavious Lee, who verbally committed to LSU back on May 12, will remain at Palomar through the spring semester to receive his A.A. degree and will be eligible to sign with another program during the regular period that begins on Feb. 3.

(Sam Tupua Photo by Hugh Cox)


Lee, Christian, Young, Lavea others honored

SAN MARCOS (12-17-09) -- Receiver Martavious Lee (right) has been honored as Palomar's Most Valuable Player for the 2009 season.

Quarterback Matt Christian was named Offensive Player of the Year. Corner Anthony Young was Defensive Player of the Year. Gator Pugh was Special Teams Player of the Year.

Running back Tyler Lavea received the Kevin Kelly Award, while guard Tom Berry (4.0 grade-point average, Business major).

Awards were voted on by the team, with the exception of the Kevin Kelly Award, which was selected by the coaches, the and Academic Award, which was determined by grade-point average.

Coach Joe Early's Comets went 10-3, advanced to the Southern California Championship game where they fell to eventual National Champion Mt. SAC. Palomar was ranked No. 8 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire.in its final rankings, the seventh time, the Comets have been ranked in the Top Ten in the final national rankings.

Martavious Lee Photo by Hugh Cox

Complete list of award winners:

  • Most Valuable Player -- Wide Receiver Martavious Lee

  • Kevin Kelly Award -- Running Back Tyler Lavea

  • Offensive Player of the Year -- Quarterback Matt Christian

  • Defensive Player of the Year -- Cornerback Anthony Young

  • Special Teams Player of the Year -- Gator Pugh

  • Academic Award -- Guard Tom Berry

  • Lineman of the Year -- Center Sam Tupua

  • Most Improved -- Quarterback Nate Ong

  • Most Inspirational, Defensive Captain-- Middle Linebacker Matt Segi

  • Offensive Captain -- Tight End Jared Bamber

  • Special Teams "Hammer" Awards -- Talaave Meyers and James McNally


Tight ends Bamber, Williams latest to sign

SAN MARCOS (12-16-09) -- Tight ends Jared Bamber (left) and Arthur Williams (right) have become the latest Palomar players players to commit to four-year colleges. Both sifgned on Wednesday, the first day of the month-long JC early signing period for players who can transfer at mid-year .Seven Comets have committed so far.

Bamber selected at Middle Tennessee State, which defeated Maryland on the way to a 10-3 regular-season record faces Southern Mississippi in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 20.

 Williams picked College Bowl Subdivision Georgia State, which will play its first football season ever under legendary Green Bay Packer Bill Curry in 2010. The Panthers will play home games at the Georgia Dome, concluding their schedule at Alabama on Nov. 20.     


J.C. Grid-Wire ranks Comets No. 8 in nation

SEATTLE, Wash. (12-11-09) -- The J.C. Grid-Wire ranked Palomar No. 8 to end the 2009 football season on Sunday, the seventh time the Comets have finished in the nation's Top Ten..

Palomar also was ranked in the final Top Ten in 1991 (No. 1 by the Grid-Wire), 1992 (No. 6 by the Grid-Wire, 1993 (No. 1 by the Grid-Wire and USA Today), 1998 (No. 1 by USA Today and No.  2 by the Grid-Wire), 2001 (No. 10 by the Grid-Wire) and 2002 (No. 4 by the Grid-Wire in Joe Early's first season as head coach).

The Gird-Wire's final 2009 Top Ten: No. 1 Mt. SAC (which beat the Comets in the Southern California title game, then defeated College of San Mateo 7-6 Saturday for the CCCAA state championship), No. 2 Blinn (Texas), No.3 Fort Scott (Kansas), No. 4 San Mateo, No. 5 East Mississippi, No. 6 Navarro (Texas), No. 7 City College of San Francisco, No. 8 Palomar, No. 9 Fullerton and No.10 Arizona Western.

(JCGridiron.com of Lake Forest, CA, ranked Mt. SAC No.  1 and Palomar 12th to conclude the season on Sunday)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE LEFT: Palomar free safety Chris Boudreaux (30) committed to the University of Nevada on Sunday following a recruiting trip.  ABOVE RIGHT: Cornerback Anthony Young, who committed to Iowa State. Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Defensive tackle Jamar Fleming, who committed to Morgan State.

Boudreaux to Nevada; Young to Iowa State

RENO, Nevada / AMES, Iowa / BALTIMORE, Maryland (12-13-09) -- Palomar free safety Chris Boudreaux and cornerback Anthony Young both made Division I verbal commitments on Sunday at the conclusion of recruiting trips. Defensive tackle Jamar Fleming made a Bowl Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) commitment.

Boudreaux committed to the University of Nevada, the runner-up to Boise State in the Western Athletic Conference, while Young committed to Iowa State University of the Big 12 Conference. Fleming committed to Morgan State of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Boudreaux recorded 132 tackles for the Comets over the last two seasons (82 solo), with seven tackles for losses for 59 yards, three sacks, two interceptions, 21 broken-up passes, two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a Palomar record four blocked kicks. He set a Palomar record with two blocked kicks against Southwestern in 2008.

During the 2009 season, he led the Comets with 73 tackles (42 solo) and also contributed four tackles for losses for 35 yards, a sack, one interception, 14 pass break-ups a quarterback hurry and two blocked kicks.

He's considered one of the biggest hitters in Palomar history, on a short list that also includes corner Chris Cash (1998-99), who went on to make the All-Pac-10 team for USC and played in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons; safety Thom Kaumeyer (1985-86), who was an All-Pac-10 selection at Oregon and played for the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants; and safety / corner Bill Jaroncyk (a two-way starter in 1964-65), who helped lead USC to the 1967 national championship and signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Young is rated as one of the Comets' all-time best cover corners and this past season tied the Palomar record for interceptions in a quarter and also a game, in both cases three which led the Comets to a 27-21 victory at Saddleback.

In his two-year Palomar career, Young had 139 tackles (95 solo), one sack, seven interceptions, 34 pass break-ups, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, a blocked kick and a safety. During the 2009 season, Young recorded 47 tackles (41 solo), six interceptions, 18 broken-up passes, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

Fleming had 72 tackles for the Comets over the last two seasons (36 solo). He contributed 41 tackles during the 2009 season.

Morgan State is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Bears play a schedule that this past season was made up of Akron, Winston-Salem State, Towson, Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, Howard University, Delaware State, Florida A&M, Norfolk State, South Carolina State and Hampton.

The early signing period for JC players who can transfer at mid-year runs from this Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Jan. 15.


CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Middle linebacker Mike Bethea (36), Nevada's second-leading 2009 tackler, brings down Notre Dame's Armando Allen. Bethea and the Wolf Pack will play SMU in the Sheridan Hawaii Bowl; Idaho tight end Kevin Small; Missouri punter Jake Harry; Tabor College quarterback Joey Erickson; Idaho State cornerback Michael Wright

D-I alums in bowls; NAIA: Erickson goes wild

SAN MARCOS (12-8-09) -- Of 36 former Palomar players on 2009 four-year college rosters, three of the ex-Comets in Division I are headed to bowl games.

Meanwhile, on the NAIA level, quarterback Joey Erickson closed out his junior season for Tabor College of Hillsboro, KS with a storybook performance. Erickson rolled up 470 yards in total offense, passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 173 yards and a TD in a 48-34 loss to St. Mary's of Kansas.

Former Comets headed to D-I bowl games:

  • Nevada middle linebacker Mike Bethea and his Wolf Pack teammates, who went 8-4 and lost to Boise State 44-33 in the WAC championship game, will play SMU in the Sheriton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu on Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. PST on ESPN. Bethea began the year with nine tackles, 1.5 for losses, against Notre Dame and finished the regular season as the Wolf Pack's second-leading leading tackler with 64. He had 5.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and six pass break-ups.

  • Missouri punter Jake Harry averaged 47.2 yards with a long punt of 69 yards and 21 kicks inside the 20-yard line for the Tigers (8-4), who will play Navy on Dec. 31 at 12:30 p.m. PST in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans. That game also will be on ESPN.

  • Kevin Small has started all season long at tight end for Idaho (7-5), which plays Bowling Green on ESPN on Decd.  30 at 1:30 p.m. PST in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, ID.

Another former Comet in D-I, Joe Carrithers, led Eastern Michigan with 51 points, making 10-of-17 field goals and 21-of-22 extra points. Linebacker Nate Paopao played in 10 games for the Eagles.

One of Palomar's best D-I alums, ,running back Leilyon Meyers, sat out the 2009 season at UTEP and is projected as a starter for the Miners in 2010.

On the Bowl Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) level, Idaho State cornerback Michael Wright had 55 tackles, an interception and 36 yards return, eight pass break-ups, a blocked kick, three tackles for losses -- as well as a forced fumble vs. Oklahoma.

Stephan Towns was the leading receiver for Stony Brook University, which tied for the Big South Confere4nce champiionship, with 37 catches for 398 yards.

Hunter Wanket was having his second straight outstanding season at quarterback for Central Connecticut until a season-ending injury in mid-October. Wanket passed for 233 yards and three touchdowns to bring the Blue Devils back from a 21-10 deficit to a 31-24 win over Duquesne in Pittsburgh just before being sidelined for the year. Central Connecticut went 9-3 and wonthe Northeast Conference title.


ABOVE: Palomar free safety Chris Boudreaux (30) intercepts pass intended for Mt. SAC's Jesse Canada (4) on Saturday. Omar Smith is No. 24. BELOW LEFT: Boudreaux returns the pick 16 yards. BELOW LEFT MIDDLE: Paul Moore (1) makes spectacular first-down catch. --  Action photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Middle linebacker Tyler Seau (seven tackles, 1.5 for losses)

Comets' 10-3 season ends with 5 turnovers

WALNUT (12-5-09) -- Nationally eighth-ranked Palomar's 10-win season ended in a flurry of turnovers by the Comets Saturday in the Southern California championship game.

Palomar turned the ball over six crucial times in a 27-2 loss to nationally second-ranked Mt. SAC at the Mounties' Hilmer Lodge Stadium.

On an afternoon and early evening when the defense stepped up continually after being put in unfathomable situations until the wheels finally came off, free safety Chris Boudreaux, cornerback Anthony Young, corner/safety Tevin McCaskill and middle linebacker Tyler Seau combined for 31 tackles between them.

Five of the turnovers came on interceptions but the remaining turnover, on a fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, took the Comets out of the game.

The Mounties (12-1) scored in four plays on Jeremy Brown's 29-yard field goal and the Comets, who trailed 14-2 at halftime and had the ball to begin the second half, never recovered.

While Mt. SAC moves on to next Saturday's CCCAA State Championship Game against College of San Mateo in San Mateo, the Comets' season ends with a 10-3 record and runner-up finish in Southern California.

Boudreaux, Palomar's leading tackler over a two-year period, went out in style in his final game as a Comet. He recorded nine tackles (five solo), intercepted a pass and returned it 16 yards and broke up a pass with a violent hit.

Young had eight tackles (four solo). McCasklill had seven tackles, six solo and two for losses. And Seau had seven tackles, 1.5 for losses.

Palomar's defense also supplied the Comets' only two points, when Gator Pugh blocked a Mt. SAC punt  out of the end zone for a safety with 9:59 remaining in the second quarter.

Orenzo Davis contributed 126 yards on 52 yards rushing (on 12 carries), 22 yards receiving (on three catches from quarterback Nate Ong) and 52 yards in kickoff returns (on two returns) . Martavious Lee had five receptions for 41 yards, Andre Upgrow 40 yards on  five receptions and Saalim Hakim 23 yards on four catches.

Davis became the fourth Comet in history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season (with 1,014), running behind an offensive line of Sam Tupua, Brice Schwab, Tom Berry, Steven Steiner, Mike Dobbins and tight end Jared Bamber. Davis also also finished with 1,934 all-purpose yards.

Palomar was so beaten up after the previous week's three-overtime victory over Fullerton that the Comets did not even practice last Monday. Instead, the coaches sent the Comets to the swimming pool for a conditioning session.

It was problematical whether Palomar's long afternoon and early evening was more a result of a three-week span on the road in which the sixth-seeded Comets had to get through third-seeded Cerritos and second-seeded Fullerton in a pair of two brutally physical games, then had to face top seed Mt. SAC -- or was due more to the strength of the Mounties' team.

"But give Mt. SAC the credit," Palomar coach Joe Early said. "They have a great team."

"Palomar had a great season," said Mt. SAC offensive coordinator Tom Craft, the Comets' former long-time head coach and the ex-head coach at San Diego State.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


Anthony Young trips up Fullerton's Kenny Turner on this play in Comets' 38-36 win over the Hornets in triple overtime last week. No. 9 at right is Tevin McCaskill.. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets visit Mt. SAC for Southern Cal title

WALNUT (12-3-09) -- Nationally eighth-ranked Palomar will match its 10-2 record against second-ranked Mt. SAC's 11-1 mark on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Mt. San Antonio's Hilmer Lodge Stadium.

There will be a great deal on the line.

The winner will take home the Southern California community college title and will advance to the CCCAA California State Championship Game a week from Saturday, on Dec. 12, at noon at College of San Mateo.

"We could have another one that goes down to the wire," said coach Joe Early, whose Palomar team defeated Cerritos 31-17 in the Southern Cal quarterfinals two weeks ago in a match-up in which Tevin McCaskill's 90-yard interception return in the final minute turned a seven-point game into a 14-point game, then beat Fullerton 38-36 in three overtimes on Saturday.

"We've had two close games against the No.3 seed and the No.2 seed," Early added. "(Mt. SAC is) the No.1 seed so obviously we're going in as the underdog."

The Comets, the sixth seed in Southern California, is used to that after back-to-back upset wins th first two-rounds of the playoffs, both of which were also played on the road.

"They're very physical," Early said, "and they have an advantage in that they've been in this situation the last two years (winning both times in the Southern Cal finals). We have to stay focused and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves."

Palomar's advantage: the Comets have played a tougher schedule, both in the regular season and the postseason.

The game will be broadcast live on KKSM-1320 AM, on Cox Digital Cable Channel 958 and on the World-Wide Web at http://www.palomar.edu/kksm/live.asp

PALOMAR PROBABLE STARTERS

OFFENSE

Quarterback

10 -- Nate Ong, 6-3, 205. 4.7, Fr, San Pasqual HS

Other notable quarterback: 12 --  Aaron Aegerter

Running Back

8 -- Orenzo Davis, 5-9, 190, 4.4, So, Columbine HS (Littleton, CO) / 26 -- Tyler Lavea, 5-8, 190, 4.5, So, Oceanside HS

Other notable running backs include: 28 -- Tyresse Jones, 6 -- Noel Phillips

Wide Receivers

7 -- Martavious Lee, 6-2, 190, 4.4, So, Coral Gables HS (Coral Gables, FL)

2 -- Saalim Hakim, 6-1,187, 4.31, So, Palo Verde HS (Las Vegas, NV) / 1 -- Paul Moore, 5-10, 170, 4.4, So, Miami Central HS (Miami, FL)

Other notable wide receivers include: 89 -- Andre Upgrow, 81 -- Geoff Akbom, 85 -- Danny Scherer

Slot Receiver

3 -- Javon Reynolds, 6-0, 185, 4.4, Fr, Denver South HS (Denver, CO) / 19 -- Pat Cashman, 5-11, 165, 4.6, Fr., Mountain View HS (Bend, OR)

Other notable slot receiver: 13 -- Alex Tweedey

Tight End

87 -- Jared Bamber, 6-4,  246, So, 4.7, Temecula Chaparral HS / 84 -- Arthur Williams, 6-4, 273, 4.74, Miami Coral City HS (Miami, FL)

Other notable tight ends include: 86 -- Blake Masoner, 88 -- Robert Luth

Left Tackle

75 -- Steven Steiner, 6-7, 325, Fr,  Vista Murrieta HS

Left Guard

68 -- Michael Dobbins, 6-4, 260, Fr, Mission Hills HS / 70 -- Abul Jalil, 6-3, 300, So, Cathedral Catholic HS

Center

65 -- Sam Tupua, 6-3, 320, So, Banning HS (Wilmington)

Right Guard

50 -- Tom Berry, 6-5, 290, So, Murrieta Valley HS (Murrieta)

Right Tackle

77 -- Brice Schwab, 6-8, 320, So, Moniteau HS (West Sunbury, PA) / Committed to USC

DEFENSE

Ends

94 -- Jose Chairez, 6-1, 245, Fr, Colony HS (Ontario)

71-- Marco Gonzalez, 5-9, 215, Fr, Valley Center HS

Tackles

98 -- Alika Valese, 6-1, 260, So, University Lab  HS (Honolulu, HI)

99 -- Marcus Williamson, 6-1, 278, So, Oceanside HS

Other notable defensive linemen include: 92 -- Jamar Fleming, 55 -- Richard Mataafa, 90 -- Demetrius Grice

Outside Linebackers

31 -- Samuel Spence, 5-11, 210, Fr, Miami Northwestern HS (Miami, FL)

51 -- John Middlemas, 6-5, 215, So, Elsinore HS / 58 -- DeMarcus Williams, 6-1, 220, Fr, Palm Beach Gardens HS (West Palm Beach, FL)

Other notable outside linebackers includes: 42 -- Gator Pugh, 57 -- Joey Searson

Middle Linebacker

44 -- Matt Segi, 5-11, 220, So, Oceanside HS / University of San Diego / 52 -- Tyler Seau, 5-10, 220, So, Mission Hills HS

Other notable middle linebackers include: 45 -- Ben Fanene; 54 -- Clinton Parker, 43 -- Casey Malauulu

Cornerbacks

21 -- Anthony Young, 5-9, 177, 4.48, So, Colony HS (Ontario)

9 -- Tevin McCaskill, 6-1, 180, 4.3, Fr, Miami Northwestern HS (Miami, FL)

Other notable cornerback: 25 -- Corinthian Gray, 36 -- Devin Willis, 24 -- Omar Smith

Free Safety

30 -- Chris Boudreaux, 6-0, 194, 4.42, So, Centennial HS (Las Vegas,NV

Strong Safety

27 -- Dean Faddis, 6-1, 190, 4.45, Fr, Ramona HS

Other notable safety:23 -- Cordell Rodgers

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

41 -- Kevin Ditch, 6-0, 190, So, Murrieta Valley HS / Eastern Michigan University

Punter

40 -- Shaheen Pourfallah, 5-11, 200, So, Scripps Ranch  HS / San Jose State

Long Snapper

42 -- Gator Pugh, 6-1, 190, So, Rancho Buena Vista HS

Holder

40 -- Shaheen Pourfallah, 5-11, 200, So, Scripps Ranch  HS / San Jose State

Kickoff Returners

8 -- Orenzo Davis, 5-9, 190, So, 4.4, Columbine HS (Littleton, CO)

22 -- Xavier McGinnis, 5-9, 170, Fr, Oviedo HS (Ociedo, FL)

Punt Returner

19 -- Pat Cashman, 5-11, 165, 4.6, Fr., Mountain View HS (Bend, OR) / 3 -- Javon Reynolds, 6-0, 185, 4.4, Fr, Denver South HS (Denver, CO)


Comets move to No. 8 in nation by JCGridiron

LAKE FOREST, CA  (11-30-09) --  Palomar (10-2), which plays at Mt. SAC on Saturday at 3 p.m. for the Southern California Community College Championship, has moved up to No. 8 in the nation in the JCGridiron.com rankings. The Mounties (11-1) are ranked No. 2 in the nation.

JCGridiron.com's Top Ten are No. 1 Fort Scott (Kansas), No. 2 Mt. SAC, No. 3 East Mississippi, No. 4 Blinn (Texas), No.  5 and Northern California champion College of San Mateo, No. 6 Navarro (Texas), No. 7 City College of San Francisco, the No. 8 Comets, No. 9 Grand Rapids (Michigan) and No. 10 Fullerton. There are no rankings from the J.C. Grid-Wire of Seattle this week.


ABOVE: Orenzo Davis is off and running on  94-yard kickoff return, the third-longest in Palomar history, in fourth quarter of Comets' 38-36 triple-overtime victory over Fullerton in the Southern California semis on Saturday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Quarterback Nate Ong, who passed for 259 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. BELOW RIGHT: Dean Faddis, who also had a key fumble recovery at the Palomar 1-yard line makes the game-winning tackle to stop the Hornets' final  two-point conversion try in the third OT. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Davis (3 TDs, 2-pt. PAT), Comets reach finals

FULLERTON (11-28-09) -- Orenzo Davis (left)capped a big afternoon by scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion in the third overtime on Saturday to lift Palomar into next week's Southern California Community College  Championship football game.

The Comets, ranked 12th in the nation, defeated nationally fourth-ranked Fullerton 38-36 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium.and will play Mt. SAC, a 39-17 winner over Bakersfield, for the Southern California title next Saturday at Mt. SAC. Palomar advanced to 10-2 and Fullerton ended its season 10-2.

Davis also scored touchdowns on a 94-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter and a 25-yard run on Palomar's first play in  the second  overtime. He finished the game with 20 points and 231 yards -- 97 rushing on 18 carries, 26 receiving on four catches and 108 yards on two kickoff returns. Afterward, he credited his blockers.

The 94-yard kickoff return by Davis was the third longest in Palomar history. Nakoa McElrath, who later played at Washington State and signed with the Seattle Seahawks, had a 100-yard kickoff return against Fullerton in 1997. Chris Cash (USC, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons) returned a kickoff 99 yards against Pasadena City College in 1999.

Davis' return and Nate Ong's two-point conversion pass to Andre Upgrow into the right corner gave Palomar a 24-17 lead with 9:23 left in regulation.and, when linebacker Matt Segi intercepted a pass with 1:43 to play and the Hornets out of timeouts, it appeared the Comets had the game in hand.

Ong took a knee on the ensuing play but, on the next play, a Fullerton player jammed the snap count, the center snapped the ball early and the ball tumbled to the turf, where the Hornets recovered.

Fullerton wound up tying the game with 56 seconds to play, sending it to the first overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, and a 6-6 second OT when Davis scored on the 25-yard run, , Davis' 1-yard TD and two-point conversion put Palomar up 38-30 in the third OT.

Also in the third overtime, the Hornets scored to pull to within 38-36. But Palomar  safety Dean Faddis stopped Hornet quarterback Darius Banks short of the goal-line on the two-point conversion  try and the Comets had won the game.

Ong completed 22 of 41 passes for 259 yards and touchdown passes of 11 yards to a diving Paul Moore and 26 yards to Saalim Hakim -- and also threw the two-point conversion pass to Upgrow.

Martavious Lee (four catches for 80 yards), Hakim (five catches for 74 yards), Davis, Moore (two catches for 45 yards) and Javon Reynolds (two catches for 5 yards) had multiple receptions for Palomar.

Faddis recovered a fumble, which was forced by Omar Smith, at the Palomar 1 to prevent a Fullerton touchdown. John Middlemas, Marcus Williamson and Chris Boudreaux also had big games statistically for the Comets defensively, and Boudreaux made a crucial 16-yard tackle for a loss to thwart a fake field goal by the Hornets.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

Southern Cal title game kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.

WALNUT (11-30-09) -- Saturday's Southern California Community College Football championship Game between Palomar (10-2) and Mt. SAC  (11-1) will be played at 3 p.m.

The game will be played at Mt. SAC's Hilmer Lodge Stadium.

The winner will visit College of San Mateo on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the CCCAA California State Championship Game.


ABOVE: Cordell Rodgers (23) breaks up pass intended for Cerritos' Lucas Mealy (81) in the end zone on the Falcons' final possession. BELOW LEFT; On the next play, Tevin McCaskill intercepts a pass intended for No. 82, Marquis Williams. McCaskill returned it 98 yards for a touchdown with 35 seconds left to clinch the Comets' 31-17 upset win. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets pull playoff shocker with 5 turnovers

NORWALK (11-21-09) -- On a night quarterback Nate Ong passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns to spot Palomar to a big first-half lead, it was the defense that laid the hammer on Cerritos.

With a huge effort by the defensive unit, the visiting Comets shocked the Falcons, who were one point away from  being unbeaten entering the game, 31-17 to open the Southern California playoffs on Saturday night.

The Comets (9-2) broke a 7-7 tie midway through the first quarter when Jose Chairez caused a fumble that linebacker Sam  Spence returned 30 yards for a touchdown.

Palomar followed that with four interceptions, two by Anthony Young. The 5-foot-8 Young also made a spectacular play as he went over Cerritos' 6-foot-6 Lucas Mealy and the ball deflected off him to Dean Faddis, whose interception in the back of the end zone prevented a Falcons touchdown.

Then, in the closing seconds and Cerritos trailing 24-17 and  threatening deep in Palomar territory after a fumble recovery, Tevan McCaskill intercepted a pass intended for Marquis Williams and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown with 35 seconds remaining.

Instead of the Falcons (9-2)  tying the game at 24-24 and sending it to overtime, the Comets won the game 31-17 and moves on to a game at Fullerton, a 49-19 winner over Los Angeles Harbor, in the Southern Cal semifinals next Saturday at Cal State Fullerton ast 1 p.m..

Palomar's other points came on a 36-yard pass play from Ong to Saalim Hakim, a 26-yard pass play from Ong to Javon Reynolds, Kevin Ditch's 30-yard field goal and four Ditch PAT kicks..

Defensive end Alika Valese (nine tackles, two for losses, one sack), linebacker Tyler Seau (eight tackles, one-half sack, one-half tackle for loss), defensive tackle Jamar Fleming (eight tackles, one forced fumble) andd Faddis (seven tackles and the interception) led the Comets' tackle chart.

Young, McCaskill, Spence and Marco Gonzalez had five tackles each.

Ong finished the evening 16-for-32 passing for 262 yards, the two TD's and no interceptions. He had five passes dropped. Reynolds (four catches for 97 yards) and Martavious Lee (four catches for 85 yards) led Palomar's receivers.

Orenzo Davis returned two kickoffs for 113 yards, including a 61-yarder, Tyresse Jones rushed for 50 yards on eight carries and Pat Cashman contributed a 28-yard punt return.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


ABOVE: Palomar freshman Dean Faddis was a unanimous all-conference pick. BELOW LEFT: Orenzo Davis also was a unanimous first-team selection, at running back. -- Photos by Rick Rowell

Conference coaches vote 11 Comets 1st team

LONG BEACH (11-17-09) -- Palomar landed 11 players on the All-Southern Conference first team, eight of them on offense, in balloting by conference coaches on Tuesday.

Comets named to the offensive first team were center Sam Tupua, guard Tom Berry, tackle Brice Schwab, tight end Jared Bamber, wide receiver Martavious Lee, running back Orenzo Davis, quarterback Matt Christian and kicker Kevin Ditch. Tupua, Berry, Lee and Ditch were unanimous selections. 

Palomar players named to the defensive first team were tackle Alika Viaese, safety Dean Faddis and punt returner Mikey Head. Viaese and Faddis were selected unanimously.

Four Comets were selected to the defensive second team -- middle linebacker Matt Segi, cornerback Anthony Young, safety Chris Boudreaux and punter Shaheen Pourfallah.

Honorable mention selections were middle linebacker Tyler Seau, outside linebacker Samuel Spence, Corner/safety Tevin McCaskill, tight end Arthur Williams, offensive tackle Steven Steiner and receiver Paul Moore.

Fullerton running back Kenny Turner was selected as Offensive Player of the Year. Long Beach City College defensive back Genesis Fonoimoana was voted Defensive Player of the Year honors. Fullerton's Tim Byrnes was honored as Coach of the Year.


Comets at Cerritos in 1st round Saturday at 7

SACRAMENTO (11-15-09) -- Palomar (8-2) will visit Cerritos (9-1) in a first-round game in the Southern California football playoffs this upcoming Saturday. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. The game will double as  the National Bowl.

The Comets are seeded No. 6 in the playoffs. The Falcons are seeded third.

The Palomar-Cerritos winner will play the winner of a game between No.2 seed Fullerton (9-1) and No. 7 seed Los Angeles Harbor in the SoCal semifinals on Nov. 28. The Southern Cal finals will be played Dec. 5, with the state championship game at the home of the Northern California champ on Dec. 12.

The other first-round match-ups find Los Angeles Pierce (7-3) at top-seeded Mt. SAC (9-1) and No.5 seed Allan Hancock (9-1) at No. 4 seed Bakersfield (9-1). Both those games also will be played Saturday.

The Comets advanced to the playoffs when Saddleback defeated Grossmont 44-27 on Saturday.

Palomar and Cerritos  met in the Golden Empire Bowl last season at Bakersfield with the Comets winning 38-33.

Pictured at above left: Palomar's Pat Cashman returns a punt to the Orange Coast 30-yard line in the Comets' 41-6 victory on Nov. 7. -- Photo by Hugh Cox


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE LEFT: Back-up quarterback Aaron Aegerter hands off to Xavier McGinniss on Palomar's late fourth-quarter drive to the Orange Coast 18. (Aegerter finished the game by taking a knee.) ABOVE RIGHT: McGinnis is trailed by receiver Danny Scherer (85) and Aegerter on the same play.. --  Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Quarterback Nate Ong (four touchdown passes, one TD run) sets up to throw. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

With Christian in surgery, Ong hammers OCC

COSTA MESA (11-7-09) -- Matt Christian, Palomar's regular starting quarterback, was coming out of surgery on Saturday when his replacement, Nate Ong, took out Christian's misfortunes on Orange Coast.

Ong, starting against the Pirates on the same day Christian underwent an operation for a broken collarbone sustained in a game last week, passed for four touchdowns and ran for another against the Pirates.

His performance, and a dominating, opportunistic effort by Palomar's defense, led the way as the nationally 17th-ranked Comets rocked the Pirates 41-9 at LeBard Stadium and clinched a tie for second place in the Southern Conference.

The Comets, who finished the regular season 8-2 and six points away from being 10-0, are 4-2 in the conference and will sit back and await the result of next week's Grossmont-Saddleback game. Palomar has a bye the final Saturday of the regular season.

Two teams from the conference will advance to the playoffs, one of them champion Fullerton. If Saddleback defeats Grossmont, Palomar will tie the Gauchos for second and will move on to the playoffs by virtue of the Comets’ win when the teams met earlier this season. If the Griffins beat Saddleback, they’ll tie the Comets for second and advance to the playoffs by virtue of a 29-26 victory over Palomar..

Santa Ana gave the Comets a boost when the Dons upset Grossmont 13-10 on Saturday on a last-second field goal.

Back on the field at Orange Coast, Ong was 21-for-34 passing for 247 yards and four touchdowns, two of them going for 21 and 15 yards to Saalim Hakim, the brother of former San Diego State and NFL receiver Az-Zahir Haakim. Haakim and Martavious Lee each had five receptions. Ong also rushed for 35 yards on five carries including a 10-yard touchdown.

Ong overcame three first-half interceptions when the Comets followed the picks with field goal blocks by Jeff Voa and James McNally and Cordell Rodgers intercepted an Orange Coast pass when he jumped up and reached over the intended receiver to take the ball away from him. That set up a TD.

The Comets outgained Orange Coast (5-4,1-4) in total yards 446-196 and limited the Pirates to 39 yards rushing. Palomar’s other touchdowns came on Orenzo Davis’ 6-yard run to open the scoring with 10:53 left in the first quarter and Ong’s 9-yard scoring passes to Alex Davis and Javon Reynolds. Kevin Ditch kicked five of six extra points.

Matt Segi and Dean Faddis combined for 15 tackles. Reynolds and Pat Cashman joined Hakim and Lee with multiple receptions. With Xavier McGinnis running the ball for 51 yards on nine caries on the drive, Aaron Aegerter came on at quarterback and nearly drove the Comets to another touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Aegerter wound up taking a knee as time expired after the Comets got down to the OCC 18-yard line.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

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Ong is conference Offensive Player of the Week

LONG BEACH (11-9-09) -- Palomar football player Nate Ong (left) has been honored as been named the Southern California Football Association's Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Women's Athlete of the Week.

This came after he stepped in for the injured Matt Christian and turned in a huge performance Saturday as the Comets went on the road and routed Orange Coast 41-6.

Ong, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound freshman quarterback from San Pasqual High, was 23-34 passing for 247 yards and four touchdowns and also carried five times for 35 yards rushing and another TD.


ABOVE: Javon Reynolds makes a diving catch of Matt Christian's 13-yard touchdown pass that pulled Palomar to within three points, at 20-17, with 31 seconds left in the third quarter. . -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Christian, who passed for 247 yards but suffered a probable broken collarbone. BELOW RIGHT: Marcus Williamson, who returned an interception 58 yards to the Hornet's 34 only to lose most of the yardage due to a penalty.

Penalty, injury, drops, mistakes, Hornets fatal

ESCONDIDO (10-31-09) -- Palomar shot itself in the foot repeatedly on Saturday night and quarterback Matt Christian exited the game with an apparent broken left collarbone after bringing the Comets from behind in the second half.

Fullerton, meanwhile, took care of business when it had to as the Hornets held off the the Comets 20-17 in a crucial Southern Conference football game at Wilson Stadium.

Palomar's performance included a missed chip-shot field goal, a bad  snap on another field goal try that resulted in a pass thrown by the holder and an interception, two dropped passes in the end zone and the Comets' bugaboo all season, untimely penalties.

The deadliest penalty came midway through the fourth quarter, with Palomar trailing by the final 20-17 margin after Christian (16-for-29 passing for 247 yards) had brought the Comets back from a 20-3 deficit to within three points.

Defensive tackle Marcus Williamson (above right), showing stunning speed and agility at 6-foot-1 and 278 pounds, intercepted a Darian Banks pass at the Palomar 8 and returned it 58 yards to the Fullerton 34-yard line.

But a blocking-below-the waist penalty away from the play, 17 yards from where Williamson made the interception, brought the ball back to the 10-yard line. That put the Comets in the shadow of their goal post and Christian, passing the ball from deep in his own territory with no room to maneuver, was hit as he released the ball, suffering the apparent fractured collarbone.

"Blocking below the waist, at that spot in that situation, wasn't very smart," Palomar coach Joe Early said. "It the whole thing, the block and the call, doesn't happen, we have  a good chance to go down and score or at least kick a field goal to send the game to overtime. And Matt Christian never gets hurt. We had all the momentum and that took it away from us."

The Comets, trailing by three points, scored on Ditch's 23-yard field goal 10 seconds into the second quarter to tie the game at 3-3. Christian was was 5-for-5 passing on the drive, including back-to-back 20-yard completions to Paul Moore (five receptions for 74 yards before leving with an ankle injury in the second quarter).

Trailing 20-3, Palomar scored twice in the third period, on Orenzo Davis'  1-yard run that was set up by a 69-yard Christian-to-Martavious Lee pass play -- and on Christian's 3-yard touchdown pass to Javon Reynolds. That TD was set up  by Omar Smith's pass interception and a 25-yard Christian-to-Mikey Head completion down to the 13.

Ditch kicked the PAT after each of the two TDs.

Lee had seven receptions for 107 yards for Palomar. Davis returned four kickoffs for 105 yards.

Smith and Jamar Fleming led the Comets in tackles with seven each. Chris Boudreaux, Sam Spence and Wade Tolbert each had six tackles.

Fullerton advanced to 8-1 on the season, 4-0 in the Southern Conference and took a huge step toward the Southern Conference championship. Palomar is 7-2, 3-2 and still has an outside chance to tie for the conference championship with a great deal of help.

Two conference teams will advance to the Southern California community college playoffs. Palomar can finish in a three-way tie for second place if the Comets defeat Orange Coast in their final regular-season game next Saturday afternoon and Saddleback defeats Grossmont a week from next Saturday, when the Comets have a bye.

Right now,  with its two losses, Palomar is just six points away from  being unbeaten.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


Davis is National Conference Player of Week

LONG BEACH (10-27-09) -- Palomar's Orenzo Davis (left) has been named Southern California Football Alliance National Division Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Davis, a 5-foot-8, 190-pound sophomore running back from Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, carried the ball 21 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-23 win over Long Beach City College on Saturday night at Veterans Memorial  Stadium in Long Beach..

Davis added had one reception for 21 yards and three kickoff returns for 67 yards.


ABOVE: Orenzo Davis breaks an attempted tackle by Long Beach City College's George Rogers on his way to a 47-yard touchdown run which gave Palomar its first lead of the night. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Samuel Spence, the Comets' leading tackler on the night. BELOW RIGHT: Chris Boudreaux, Palomar's season-leading tackler and second-leading tackler in the game who blocked a kick for the fourth time in two seasons (on Long Beach's first PAT try).

Davis (4 TDs), Christian, Lee star in 44-23 win

LONG BEACH (10-24-09) -- Palomar, the nation's 11th-ranked community college football team, advanced to 7-1 on Saturday evening by beating Long Beach City College 44-23 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Comets did it by rolling up 521 yards in total offense, led by big performances from running back Orenzo Davis, quarterback Matt Christian and wide receiver Martavious Lee.

Davis rushed 21 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns (on runs of 2, 47, 20 and 10 yards). With Tyler Lavea among four key Palomar starters watching in street clothes with injuries, Davis' 21 carries were a season high.

Davis also contributed a 21-yard pass reception and three kickoff returns for 67 yards as Palomar ran its Southern Conference record to 3-1.

Christian was 23-for-32 passing for 265 yards with no interceptions and two touchdown strikes to Lee, for 31 and 30 yards. He also had key runs of 17, 9, 8 and 7 yards when the Comets came back to take the lead in the first half.

Lee had seven receptions for 130 yards with the two TD catches.

This all happened on a night that the extremely athletic and talented Vikings, who have suddenly come to life after a 1-5 start, jumped on top early 6-0 and led 13-9 when Davis scored his second touchdown to give the Comets their first lead at 16-13. That came on his 47-yard run with 7:11 left in the first half.

The defense contributed its share of big plays and big hits during the course of the evening, beginning with free safety Chris Boudreaux' block of David Covey's PAT attempt after Long Beach's first touchdown just 1:19 into the game. It was Boudreaux' fourth blocked kick in two seasons at Palomar.

Outside linebacker Samuel Spence led the Comets with eight tackles and had 1.5 tackles for losses, a pass break-up, a half-sack and a quarterback hurry.

Boudreaux had seven tackles and added the blocked PAT and a pass break-up. He leads Palomar on the season in tackles (50), solo tackles (32), broken-up passes (nine) and blocked kicks (two). Randolph Birch intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the second quarter, while Casey Malauulu recovered a fumble. 

Strong safety Dean Faddis, ends Jose Chairez and Wade Tolbert, middle linebacker Tyler Seau and outside linebacker Tanner Hix also were among Palomar's defensive statistical leaders.

Kicker Kevin Ditch added  a 33-yard field goal and five extra points., and Shaheen Pourfallah got off a 52-yard punt down to the Long Beach 6-yard line.

The Comets put the game away by outscoring the Vikings 21-7 in the fourth quarter on Davis' 20-yard touchdown run, Christian's 30-yard TD pass Lee and Davis' 10-yard touchdown run with 3:03 to play.

The 44 points and 521 yards came with a gigantic boost from the Comets offensive line, which Saturday night was led by center Sam Tapua and also included tackles Steven Steiner and Brice Schwab, guards Mike Dobbins and Tom Berry and tight ends Jared Bamber and Arthur Williams.

Along with Lee, Geoff Akpom, Noel Phillips, Javon Reynolds, Andre Upgrow and Alex Tweedy also had multiple receptions.

The victory set up a huge meeting with Fullerton, which is unbeaten in the Southern Conference, on Halloween night next Saturday at Wilson Stadium in Escondido. The Hornets handed Grossmont its first loss of the season last week and beat Saddleback 22-13 on Saturday night in Mission Viejo.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


ABOVE: Tevan McCaskill (9) recovers a Santa Ana fumble in the third quarter at the Dons' 28-yard line, setting up Tyresse Jones' 6-yard touchdown run for the Comets. BELOW LEFT: Quarterback Matt Christian, who had 301 yards in total offense before coming out after three quarters. -- Photos by Hugh Gerhardt

Comets jump out to 31-3 lead and get 6th win

ESCONDIDO (10-17-09) -- Quarterback Matt Christian rolled  up 301 yards in total offense in his second game back from an injury before leaving the game after three quarters on Saturday

He played an integral role as  Palomar advanced to 6-1 on the season, beating visiting Santa Ana 41-27 at Wilson Stadium.

This came after the Comets led  31-3 in the second quarter.

Christian connected on 17-of-30 pass attempts for 225 yards and two touchdowns and added  76 yards rushing on nine first-half carries. He eventually gave way to back-up QB Nate Ong.

The nationally No. 11-ranked Comets got three big fumble recoveries that led to scores on their way to their second Southern Conference victory in three games:

Orenzo Davis recovered a fumbled punt at the Santa Ana 31-yard line early in the first quarter, setting  up Christian's 17-yard touchdown pass to Paul Moore that put the Comets in front 7-0 just one minute, 58 seconds into the game.

Tyler Seau's recovery at the Santa Ana 35 preceded Christian's 40-yard TD pass to Martavious Lee in the second quarter.

And Tevan McCaskill's recovery at the Dons' 28 set up Tyresse Jones'  6-yard TD run, his second of the game, late in the third period.

Davis, the Comets' leader  in rushing and all-purpose yardage on the season, also tackled Santa Ana's returner at the 1-yard line after a 54-yard Shaheen Pourfallah punt, setting in motion a string of events that, after a Santa Ana punt three plays later, resulted in Noel Phillips' 6-yard touchdown run.

Palomar's other scores came on Jones' 11-yard TD run, Kevin Ditch field goals from 27 and 25 yards out and five Ditch PAT kicks on five attempts. Eastern Michigan University transfer Ditch also had two kickoffs that went through the end zone.

Javon Reynolds caught six passes for 83 yards, Lee four for 76 yards and his TD and Moore three for 38 yards and his TD before leaving the game with a sprained ankle. Alex Tweedy and Mikey Head also had multiple receptions in traffic.

Darique Taylor intercepted a pass. Ben Fanene contributed a 10-yard sack, and had two tackles for losses and. Anthony Young and Richard Mataafa forced fumbles.

Palomar allowed a Santa Ana touchdown with 39 second left in the game which made the game appear closer than it was. the Comets helped the Dons with two roughing-the passer penalties on incomplete attempts on fourth down -and-long situations.

"Matt (Christian)' was biting at the bit when his hand was in a cast, but the injury allowed us to get Nate (Ong) some quality starts. Then, getting Matt back has given us a boost," coach Joe Early said. "He has a good concept of  what is happening on the field.

"We got  on them early today. Things got sloppy at  the end and we had more than 100 yards in penalties again including the two roughing penalties on fourth-and-long which gave them a cheap touchdown at the end. We'll deal with that. But the bottom line is that we won."

Pourfallah -- the latest in a long line of outstanding Palomar punters that over the years has included Ron Coppess (Florida State), Dave Bass (San Jose State), Bill Kushner (Boston College, Buffalo Bills), Matt Kovacevich (Utah), Ryan Hotchkiss (UTEP) and current Division I starters Jake Harry (Missouri) and Briton Forester  (Arkansas) -- had a big day.

Pourfallah, a transfer from San Jose State, averaged 46.0 yards on three  punts, two inside the 20 and one which was caught at the 1-yard line. He had two 50-yard-plus punts with a long of 54 yards.

The 6-1 Comets are three points away from being unbeaten going into their eighth game next Saturday night at Long Beach City College. Santa Ana is 3-4, 0-3 in conference.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEFT:  PCAC Men's Athlete of the Week Anthony Young celebrates of his three interceptions in win over nationally No. 6-ranked Saddleback . RIGHT: Orenzo Davis, Southern Conference All-Purpose Player of the Week, breaks off a 75-yard run to set up Palomar's second touchdown. -- Photos  by Hugh Cox

Young, Davis get conference honors after win

SCFASAN DIEGO / LONG BEACH (10-13-09) -- Palomar cornerback Anthony Young and running back / kick returner Oroenzo Davis have received weekly conference honors for their play vs. Saddleback on Saturday night.

Young, a sophomore from Colony High School in Ontario, California, was selected as Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, which doesn't sponsor football but is Palomar's regular home conference.

Davis, a sophomore from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, was named Southern California Football Association's Conference All-Purpose Player of the Week.

Young intercepted three passes in the fourth quarter -- one to set up a touchdown, one to stop a deep Saddleback drive and the final  one in the end zone to save the game with eight seconds left as the nationally 16th-ranked Comets upset No. 6 Saddleback 27-21 on the road.

Davis rushed for 87 yards on 11 carries, including a 75-yard gain to set up the Comets' second touchdown, caught two passes for 16 yards and tacked on 97 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 49-yarder.


ABOVE: Kevin Ditch kicks his second field goal of the game, a 39 yarder, as time runs out in the firSt half. Note the ball between Palomar blocker Jared Bamber (87) and Saddleback defender Cameron Chadwick (21).. BELOW LEFT: Safety Chris Boudreaux, whose huge hit sparked the Comets.

Young: 3 4th-quarter picks; No. 6 Gauchos fall

MISSION VIEJO (10-10-09) -- Cornerback Anthony Young's third interception of the fourth quarter preserved the win Saturday night as Palomar, ranked 16th nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire, stunned sixth-ranked Saddleback 27-21.

With eight seconds to play, Young, at 5-foot-9, intercepted the ball in the left corner of the end zone in front of  6-foot-8 T.J. Knowles, the intended receiver on a 16-yard pass from quarterback Brad Curtis. The Gauchos had tried to create a height mismatch with Knowles running a fade pattern.

Young's two previous picks in the quarter set up Tyler Lavea's 6-yard touchdown run with 12:48 left in the game that gave Palomar (5-1, 1-1 Southern Conference) a 27-14 lead, and stopped another Saddleback drive at the Comet 12-yard line (photo, above left, by Hugh Cox).

Young's three interceptions for the game tied the Palomar record set by Josh Hargis, who went on to play for Iowa State, in a 44-24 victory over Long Beach Beach City College on Nov.  8, 2003. Young also contributed 11 tackles, nine solo, as the Gauchos fell to 5-1, 1-1.

To top off Young's big night, Cal was at the game to watch him -- and the Golden Bears represent his dream school. Young and Cal would appear to be a logical match. Palomar players have had good success at Cal over the years, most notably Keith Miller, who went on to be named the North's Player of the game in the 2000 Senior Bowl, then play linebacker in the NFL for the Seahawks and Rams.

Among other huge plays for the Comets on Saturday:

  • Free safety Chris Boudreaux delivered the most violent hit of Palomar's season to separate Saddleback receiver Tre Villahamosa from the ball on an attempted catch -- perhaps the biggest spark the Comets had in the game.

  • Defensive end Jeff Voa blocked a Saddleback field goal try and recovered the ball  back on the other side of the 50-yard line, setting up a  up a 40-yard Kevin Ditch field goal.

  • Wide receiver Martavious Lee delivered a big hit of his own to level Saddleback's Richard Crawford after Crawford intercepted a pass.

All this came on a night quarterback Nate Ong gave Palomar a 14-0 first-quarter lead on touchdown pass plays of 56 yards to Saalim Hakim and 8 yards to Lee -- and was 7-for-9 passing for 101 yards. Ong then gave way to original 2009 QB starter Matt Christian, who sparked the Comets' offense the rest of the night.

Christian, who had been sidelined since the second game of the season with a broken hand, was 13-for-26 passing for 152 yards.

Orenzo Davis totaled an even 200 offensive yards -- 85 yards rushing on 11 carries (including a 75-yarder to set up a touchdown), 16 yards on two receptions and 97 yards for three kickoff returns.

Wide receiver Paul Moore also had a productive night with seven catches for 87 yards -- including a series of grabs in heavy traffic,  diving for the ball and on third-down plays.

Hakim had two receptions for 56 yards and Lee three catches for 33 yards.

Ditch also contributed a 30-yard field goal with no time remaining in the second quarter. And strong safety Dean Faddis (eight tackles, four solo, one sack, one tackle for loss), tackle Wade Tolbert (seven tackles, five solo, one sack, three tackles for losses), Tanner Hicks, DeMario Williams, Cordell Rodgers and Matt Segi also came up big defensively.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


Quarterback Nate Ong looks downfield on the last play of the game vs. Grossmont on Saturday. Ong's long pass was incomplete just out of bounds in the right corner near the goal line. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Video review gives QB Ong first 300-yd. game

SAN MARCOS (10-7-09) -- A video review of Palomar's 29-26 s to Grossmont on Saturday gives redshirt freshman quarterback Nate Ong his first 300-yard passing game.

An Ong-to-Paul Moore completion was recorded for the wrong distance. Ong's adjusted statistics are 25-for-37 with one interception for 306 yards and two touchdowns.

Moore's corrected statistics gives him eight receptions in the game for 98 yards.

Before Saturday, the last Palomar quarterback to throw for at least  300 yards was Hunter Wanket, now the starting QB at Central Connecticut State, who had 326 yards passing in a 34-14 win over San Bernardino Valley on Sept. 1, 2007.

PALOMAR'S 300-YARD PASSERS

COMET QUARTERBACKS WITH AT LEAST ONE 300-YARD PASSING GAME

Player Season(s) After Palomar
Steve Krainock 1978-79 U. of Richmond, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers
Duffy Daugherty 1988 U. of New Mexico
Scott Barrick 1989 Stephen F. Austin
Brett Salisbury 1990 U. of Oregon, Wayne St., Helsinki & Prague (European Federation of American Football)
Andy Loveland 1991 Oklahoma State
Tom Luginbill 1992-93 Georgia Tech, New Jersey (Arena League)
Gregg Wilbur 1994 Florida A&M
Chris Keldorff 1994-95 U. of North Carolina
Tony Alvarez 1997-98 U. of Utah, Utah Rattlers (National Indoor Football League)
Greg Cicero 1999 Baylor
Andy Goodenough 2000-01 Arizona State
Tyler Lorenzen 2006 U. of Connecticut, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints
Hunter Wanket 2006-07 Central Connecticut State
Nate Ong 2009 To be determined
Note: California Community College Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Luginbill holds the Palomar single-game passing yardage record of 557 yards vs. Southwestern in 1993 (Palomar 58, Southwestern 38)

ABOVE: Nate Ong and Martavious Lee hook up on a 29-yard pass play for Palomar's final touchdown with 2:27 left in the game. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Middle linebacker Matt Segi hauls down Grossmont ball-carrier. -- Photo by Rick Rowell

Comets' 4th-quarter comeback short 29-26

ESCONDIDO (10-3-09) -- Palomar's Southern Conference football opener against Grossmont on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Stadium by the numbers:

  • The Comets outscored Grossmont 26-3 in the first, third and fourth quarters.

  • But the Griffins outscored the Comets 26-0 in the second quarter.

You do the math. Grossmont won 29-26 to advance to 5-0. Palomar fell to 4-1.

"It was deja vu all over again in that first half," said Palomar coach Joe Early, borrowing a famous Yogi Berra comment relating to Major League baseball to describe the way the Comets came out against the Griffins for the second year in a row. Grossmont, which hadn't beaten Palomar since 1987 prior to last season, now has won the last two games of the series.

"We couldn't move the ball (zero rushing first downs and two passing first downs in the first half, after which the Griffins led 29-10), Early added. "We couldn't tackle. But I was proud of the way we pulled together and came back in the second half. We had our opportunities to win, but we let them fall through our hands.

"On the plus side, I can't see anyone in this conference going undefeated. There are just too many good teams."

Opportunities weren't the only thing that fell through the Comets' hands. So did the football. Palomar fumbled five times, losing two of them. Even more important, the Comets dropped two wide-open touchdown passes.

The Comets led 10-3 after one quarter on a 9-yard Orenzo Davis touchdown run and Kevin Ditch's 38-yard field goal, but fell behind 29-10 at halftime.

Palomar then outscored Grossmont 9-0 in the third quarter on a 5-yard Nate Ong-to-Martavious Lee TD pass and a safety when when the Griffins' punter ran the ball out of the end zone on a fourth-and-21 play from the Grossmont 1-yard line.

The Comets closed to within three points with 2:27 left in  the game, at 29-26, on Ong's 29-yard TD pass to Lee and Ditch's third PAT kick of the afternoon. That capped a 90-yard, three-play drive on which Ong also connected with Paul Moore for 17 yards and Noel Phillips for a 44-yarder.

Ong, a redshirt freshman who inherited the starting quarterback job in the third game after Matt Christian fractured his throwing hand, came of age in the second half and finished the afternoon 24-for-37 passing for 306 yards and two touchdowns.

Moore had eight receptions for 98 yards and Lee six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Davis returned four kickoffs for 111 yards.

Ditch was 3-for-3 on PATs.

Safety Dean Faddis led the Comets defensively with 11 tackles (10 solo), a tackle for a loss and a pass break-up. Jose Chairez had eight tackles (four solo) and two tackles for losses. Chris Boudreaux had seven tackles (five solo), broke up a pass and blocked a PAT attempt.

Matt Segi had two sacks, four tackles for losses and recovered a fumble. John Middlemas and Gator Pugh also had fumble recoveries.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


Ex-Comet Watters: go-ahead TD for Aztecs

Willie WattersSAN DIEGO (10-3-09) -- When linebacker Willie Watters turned down non-Division I scholarship offers after his sophomore season at Palomar to walk on at San Diego State, his goal was to play D-I football and contribute.

As a fifth-year senior who has been moved from linebacker to defensive end and now to fullback, Watters got his wish on Saturday night.

He caught a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Lindley for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:01 left in the game as the Aztecs defeated New Mexico State 34-17 before an announced crowd of 21,184 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Watters played two seasons for the Comets after arriving from Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado.


Saints add Lorenzen to their practice squad

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (9-30-09) -- Former Palomar quarterback Tyler Lorenzen, the J.C. Grid-Wire's 2006 All-American first-team quarterback and that season's California Community College Offensive Player of the Year, has been signed to the New Orleans' Saints' practice roster.

Lorenzen, who moved to tight end when he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars during the summer after two seasons as the starting QB at the University of Connecticut, was signed by the Saints as a tight end.

He was released just before the start of the regular season by the Jaguars.


Rushing, defense key PC's 4th win in 4 games

PALM DESERT (9-27-09) -- Nationally fifth-ranked Palomar utilized a punishing ground game and a dominant defensive effort to remain unbeaten after four games on Saturday evening.

Orenzo Davis rushed for 127 yards on 14 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown with 6:42 left in the game to clinch the victory, as the Comets went on the road and defeated College of the Desert 17-7 in a non-conference game.

Noel Phillips added 64 yards rushing on four carries, including a 15-yarder that set up Paul Moore's 8-yard touchdown run out of the "Wildcat" The TD gave Palomar a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. Tyler Lavea rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries.

Safeties Tevan McCaskill and Chris Boudreaux combined for 17 tackles.

McCaskill recorded nine tackles (six solo), intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and broke up two passes. Boudreaux had eight tackles (six solo), two tackles for losses, broke up two passes and had two of the biggest hits of the game.

Kevin Ditch staked Palomar to a 3-0 first-quarter lead with a 36-yard field goal. He also was 2-for-2 on PATs.

Palomar missed two scoring opportunities in the third quarter, after COD had cut the Comets' lead to 10-7..

The first came on an interception at the goal line after the Comets, getting two first-down runs by Lavea and a pair of Nate Ong completions to Moore and tight end Jared Bamber, had advanced the ball down to the Roadrunners' 6.

The second followed a 52-yard run by Davis as the Comets took the ball to the COD 12. From there, a  a field goal attempt went awry as holder Alex Tweedy had trouble getting the ball down after the snap, picked it up and unsuccessfully tried to run it in.

Ong passed to Moore for 27 yards and a first down and to Bamber for 13 yards and a first down, and Davis broke off a 12-yard first-down run and an 8-yard run to set up Davis' fourth-quarter TD. The touchdown capped a 71-yard,  seven-play drive.

Devin Willis intercepted a pass in the end zone for Palomar on the final play of the game and ran it out to the 29-yard line. DeMarco Williams recorded a sack.Gator Pugh and, Matt Segi each had half a sack.

Shaheen Pourfallah helped give the Comets good field position by averaging 42.4 yards for five punts with a long of 47 yards.

Davis also contributed a 46-yard kickoff return and caught two passes for 13 yards, giving him 186 all-purpose yards..

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


ABOVE: Defensive end Alika Valese (98) and middle linebacker Tyler Seau (52) double-team Mesa quarterback Tynan Murray. BELOW LEFT: Nate Ong, who was 12-for-18 with a touchdown in his first start at quarterback for the Comets. -- Photos by Rick Rowell. Below right: Raquan Wooden, who had a 50-yard interception return to end  the first half.

Lavea finishes off Mesa; No. 3 Comets are 3-0 

ESCONDIDO (9-19-09) -- Tyler Lavea, on one of his best nights, took matters into his own hands as the clock wound down in the final seconds Saturday evening, keeping nationally third-ranked Palomar unbeaten along the way. 

The sophomore running back caught a swing pass from quarterback Nate Ong on the left side, cut it back to the right and threaded his way through San Diego Mesa's defense to the South end zone at Wilson Stadium on a 25-yard touchdown play with 46 seconds remaining.

His effort dropped the hammer to finish off the upset-minded Olympians (0-3). The Comets held on to win 27-17 and advanced to 3-0.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a better play than that with everything on the line," said Palomar coach Joe Early. "That was just typical Tyler Lavea.

"Facing fourth-and-long, facing giving the ball back with ... timel eft, that was  huge," Early told the North County Times. "Tyler certainly showed his value to this team. He's like the Energizer Bunny. Whether it's practice or a game, he just keeps going and going."

Mesa, down 20-6 in the third quarter, refused to go away as the Olympians, who haven't beaten the Comets since 1967, battled back to pull to within three points, at 20-17, on a touchdown and two-point conversion pass with 3:27 to play.

Raquan Wooden intercepted a pass at the Palomar 4-yard line and returned it 50 yards on the final play of the first half as the Comets went into the locker room with a 17-6 lead.

Lavea had scored the game's first touchdown on a 5-yard run, also had a 35-yard TD run called back and finished the evening with 101  yards rushing on 20 carries and three receptions for 29 yards. He tacked on a 32-yard kickoff return for good measure.

Freshman defensive end Josh Marquardt had a breakout game for Palomar with 13 tackles (nine solo), a sack and a tackle for a loss. Outside linebacker Gator Pugh (eight tackles, seven solo, one quarterback hurry), free safety Chris Boudreaux (eight tackles, five solo, one sack, one tackle for loss, one pass break-up) and defensive tackle Jamar Fleming (seven tackles) also made life uncomfortable for the visitors all evening long.

Orenzo Davis rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, Noel Phillips added 50 yards on eight attempts and Javon Reynolds caught four passes for 58 yards for the Comets.

Kevin Ditch added field goals of 27 and 25 yards and was 3-for-3 on extra points, bringing his season total to 13-for-13.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

LAVEA HELPS COMETS HOLD ON (North County Times 9-20-09)


ABOVE: Cornerback Anthony Young (21) trips up Victor Valley's  Darnell Norman while safety Dean Faddis is a split second from finishing Norman off. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Outside linebaker John Middlemas, who sacked the Rams' Robert Love three times.

Comets get defensive in win over Victor Valley

ESCONDIDO (9-12-09) -- Palomar's defensive unit unloaded on Victor Valley on Saturday evening, leading the way as the Comets won a non-conference football match-up 24-7 at Wilson Stadium.

Cornerback Anthony Young delivered the game-breaker, intercepting Victor Valley's Robert Love and returning the ball 44 yards for a touchdown with 13:33 left in the fourth quarter..

Young's play extended a 10-7 Palomar lead to 17-7 and effectively finished off the Rams' upset chances as the Comets advanced to 2-0. Palomar has outscored its two opponents 79-7.

Outside linebacker John Middlemas, the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, leveled Love, Victor Valley's elusive quarterback, three-times on sacks, which put another three  exclamation points on a Palomar defensive effort that limited the visitors to 14 yards rushing.

The nationally third-ranked Comets broke what up to that point had been a scoreless deadlock with 3:37 left in  the first quarter on a wild play that saw the football squirt loose from receiver Mikey Head at the end of a 43-yard pass-and-run play from quarterback Matt Christian. Receiver Javon Reynolds grabbed onto the ball and ran it the final 10 yards for a touchdown. Kevin Ditch converted to put Palomar up 7-0.

The Rams pulled even at 7-7 on a 1-yard run keeper by Love and J Nimitz' PAT with 9:32 to play in the first half. That's the way it remained until late in the third quarter, as the Comets frittered away a handful of scoring opportunities.

At that juncture  Nate Ong, in the game at quarterback after Christian re-injured his hand, hit on five straight completions to Reynolds (for 4 yards), Martavious Lee (for 16 yards), Reynolds (for 5 yards), Lee (for 21 yards) and Pat Cashman (for 7 yards) as he drove the Comets from their own 40-yard line to the Victor Valley 17.

On fourth down, Ditch kicked his third field goal of the young season, a 34-yarder, to give the Comets a 10-7 edge with 4:54 remaining in the period.

In the fourth quarter, Tyressee Jones scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 71-yard drive on which Jones and Ong ran for back-to-back 23-yard first downs, Ditch's PAT made it 24-7 with 6:12 left in the game.

Late in the final quarter, the Comets barely missed scoring again after when Tyler Lavea busted off an apparent 65-yard run down to the Victor Valley 1-yard line. A holding call back at the 9 brought back the last part of the play. Lavea then carried 19 yards back down to the 4, but two plays later offensive coordinator Dan Early had Ong take a knee to end the game.

Safety Kevin McCaskill contributed seven tackles (six solo) and had two tackles for losses. Safety Chris Boudreax had five solo tackles and broke up two passes. Along with his interception and touchdown return, Young had four tackles (three solo and one for a loss) and three pass break-ups. Defensive end Josh Marquardt contributed two sacks. Middle linebacker Tyler Seau also had a sack.

Christian was 8-for-15 passing for 168 yards, and Ong was 7-for-9 for 79 yards, while tacking on 47 rushing yards on five carries. Lee had three catches for 82 yards. Lavea (82 yards on eight carries) and Jones (81 yards on 13 tries) led Palomar's ground game. Martavious Lee had three receptions for 82 yards and Head three for 64 yards.

Victor Valley, which opened the season by stunning Riverside Community College one week earlier, fell to 1-1.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS


Rivals.com tabs 3 Comets among top 50 in USA

BRENTWOOD, Tennessee (9-9-09) -- Rivals.com has selected three Palomar football players among the nation's top 50 community college football prospects.

On Wednesday, the web site tabbed USC-bound offensive right tackle Brice Schwab  (6-foot-8, 320 pounds, photo by Rick Rowell) ) as the nation's No. 2 "JUCO" prospect at any position.

Rivals.com selected wide receiver Martavious Lee (right), who has committed to LSU, as the nation's No.  21 prospect and cornerback Anthony Young at No. 45.


ABOVE: Eastern Michigan University transfer Kevin Ditch kicks Palomar's first field goal of the season, a 48-yarder in the second quarter. He also made a 40-yarder. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Tight end Blake Masoner. SECOND FROM LEFT: Free safety Chris Boudreaux.   THIRD FROM LEFT: Punt returner Mikey Head. RIGHT: Corner Anthony Young.

Comets dominate every phase in a 55-0 rout

CHULA VISTA (9-5-09) -- It was supposed to be a close game. It wasn't.

Nationally fourth-ranked Palomar rolled to a 55-0 non-conference victory over defending Mountain conference co-champion Southwestern in its 2009 football opener Saturday evening at Devore Stadium.

It was a beat-down. The Comets, utilizing all 91 healthy players, dominated the Jaguars in every phase of the game -- from start to finish -- as they recorded their most one-sided win since they began the 2007 season by routing West Los Angeles 59-0.

Starting quarterback Matt Christian and back-up Nate Ong shredded the Southwestern secondary by completing 19 of  27 pass attempts, without an interception, for 270 yards and four touchdowns.

No. 3 QB Aaron Aegerter got into the act at the end by breaking off an 18-yard run on the first play of his Palomar career and driving the Comets down to the Southwestern 9-yard line late in the fourth quarter -- before a fumble prevented the Comets from putting the Jaguars in the 60-point club.

Orenzo Davis led a  punishing effort by the Comets' running backs, rushing for 123 yards and a touchdown behind an offensive line anchored by tackle Brice Schwab, guard Sam Tupua and center Tom Berry.

Corner Anthony Young (five tackles, fumble recovery, broken up pass in the end zone), free safety Chris Boudreaux (five tackles, four solo, pass break-up, quarterback hurry) and corner Omar Smith (five tackles, fumble recovery, three pass break-ups) led  the way as the defense completely shut down the Jaguars' offense in pitching the shutout. Jeff Voa blocked a Southwestern field goal try.

On special teams, kicker Kevin Ditch (2-for-2 on field goals of 48 and 40 yards, 7-for-7 on PATs, 60.7-yard average for 10 kickoffs) and Mikey Head (five punt returns for 130 yards led an equally impressive performance on special teams. Head set up Davis' TD run with a 48-yard return  down to the Southwestern 11.

The Comets rolled up 562 yards in total offense to Southwestern's 222 yards, out-rushing the Jaguars 292 yards to 30 and out-passing them 270-192.

Christian (10-for-16, 141 yards, two touchdowns) put Palomar  on top 7-0 with 3:15 left in the first quarter when he connected with wide receiver Geoff Akpom on a 30-yard pass, catch and run play for the Comets' first TD of  the season.

In the second quarter, the Comets scored on Tyler Lavea's 2-yard touchdown run, Ditch's 38-yard field goal,  Davis' 12-yard run and a 22-yard pass play into the right corner from Christian to Saalim Hakim. That made it 31-0 at halftime.

Ditch's 40-yard field goal and a 36-yard pass from Ong to Martavious Lee on Ong's first attempt made it 41-0 after three quarters. Ong, a red-shirt freshman, debuted with a 9-for-11, 129-yard, two-touchdown performance.

The Comets last  two scores came in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard run by Tyresse Jones and an 8-yard pass play from Ong to 6-foot-4, 240-pound freshman tight end Blake Masoner.

During the evening, eight Comets carried the football, and 11 caught passes, led by Lee (four receptions  for 72 yards and a touchdown), Hakim (three for 22 yards and a TD) and Lavea (three for 27 yards

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

Davis shares conference Athlete of Week honors

SAN DIEGO (8-8-09) -- Palomar running back Orenzo Davis shares the first weekly Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week honors for all sports.

Davis, a -foot-9, 190-pound sophomore from Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries Saturday night in the Comets' 55-0 season-opening road victory over Southwestern.

The other conference co-Athlete of the Week was San Diego Mesa water polo player Kelly Sullivan.

Although Palomar plays football in the Southern Conference, the Pacific Coast Conference is the Comets' regular home conference.

5 more Palomar players tabbed by Grid-Wire

SEATTLE, Washington (8-8-09) -- Five more Palomar players have received honors by the Seattle-based J.C. Grid-Wire.

Quarterback Matt Christian, receiver Martavious Lee, tight end Arthur Williams, center Tom Berry and guard Sam Tapua have received pre-season All-American honorable mention recognition. Previously, offensive tackle Brice Schwab was named to the pre-season first team and tight end Jared Bamber was selected to the second team.


Schwab, Bamber are pre-season All-Americans

SEATTLE, Washington (8-28-09) -- The J.C. Grid-Wire has selected two Palomar players, sophomore offensive tackle Brice Schwab and sophomore tight end Jared Bamber, to its Pre-Season All-American team.

The Grid-Wire named Schwab (6-8, 320 pounds, photo at left by Rick Rowell) to the Pre-Season All-American first-team.

It selected Bamber (6-4, 246, upper right) to the second team.

Schwab has committed early to USC.

Bamber is being recruited, among others, by Cal, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pitt and Middle Tennessee.

Saddleback, Comets are picked 1-2 in conference

COSTA MESA (8-28-09) -- Saddleback and Palomar were  picked to finish 1-2 in the Southern Conference by the media and Sports Information Directorsat Thursday's conference Media Day at Orange Coast College.

The Gauchos received 60 points and three first-place votes. The Comets got 58 points and three first-place votes. Fullerton was selected No. 3 with 56 points and four first-place votes. Grossmont (36 points) was tabbed No. 4, Santa Ana (33 points) No. 5, Orange Coast (24 points) No. 6 and Long Beach City College (13 points) No. 7.

Two J.C. Grid-Wire Pre-Season All-Americans, sophomore offensive tackle Brice Schwab and sophomore tight end Jared Bamber , were introduced by Palomar coach Joe Early.


Lorenzen TD catch gives Jags shot at win

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (8-22-09) -- Rookie tight end and Palomar alum Tyler Lorenzen gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a chance to win their pre-season match-up with the Miami Dolphins on Saturday night in Jacksonville, catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Todd Bouman with 40 seconds to play.

Lorenzen's TD reception pulled Jacksonville to within one point, but the Jags lost the game 24-23 when they failed on a two-point conversion try. Lorenzen was the J.C. Grid-Wire's first-team All-American quarterback for  the Comets in 2006. He's trying to make the Jaguars' roster as a tight end after starting at QB for two seasons for the University of Connecticut.

Mace has 6 tackles for Bills during pre-season

BUFFALO, New York (8-23-09) -- Corey Mace (Palomar / University of Wyoming), in his second season with the Buffalo Bills, has recorded six tackles in the Bills' first three pre-season games.

The 6-foot-3, 294-pound defensive tackle made his NFL debut with the Bills late last season after being elevated from the practice squad.

So far, the Bills have faced the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in the pre-season.


Scholarship
recipients

LEFT: Keith Duhart makes an athletic catch as he reaches over Orange Coast defender in Comets' 41-14 victory last season. RIGHT: Kevin Duhart intercepts a pass in 20-7 win over  Long Beach City College..  -- Photos by Rick Rowell. BELOW LEFT: Keith Duhart. BELOW RIGHT: Kevin Duhart

Duhart twins get NCAA D-II rides to St. Paul's

SAN MARCOS / LAWRENCEVILLE, Virginia (8-6-09) -- Two more Palomar football players have received scholarships to play at the four-year college level.

Twin brothers Keith and Kevin Duhart both will play at NCAA Division II St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, VA, this upcoming Fall.

"They're both great kids and they've had to overcome a lot," Palomar assistant coach Cody Trefethen said. "We're pretty proud of both of them."

Keith Duhart, a 6-foot-2, 197-pound slot receiver / wide  receiver who runs a 4.31 in the 40, re-joined Palomar's 2008 team midway through the season after dealing with clerical issues after originally enrolling in and playing at another community college in 2005. He wound up starting as the Comets won four of their last five games to finish an 8-3 season. Duhart capped the season with five receptions for 72 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Matt Christian, in a 38-33 win over Cerritos in the Golden Empire Bowl at Bakersfield.

Kevin Duhart, a 6-foot-1,  196-pound strong safety who runs a 4.45 in the 40, had 16 tackles, 13 solo, and had an interception and 9-yard return as the Comets defeated Orange Coast 41-14 in the final game of the regular season.

The Duhart twins played at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, FL.  Florida  does not have community college football, which resulted in their coming west.

 "They both have Division I "clock" issues, but have have worked very hard to achieve their academic and athletic goals," Trefethen said.

Keith and Kevin Duhart shared the Comets' "Above and Beyond" award at last Fall's Palomkar football banquet.


Comet receiver Martavious Lee verbals to LSU

SAN MARCOS (5-13-09) -- Palomar wide receiver Martavious Lee became the second Comet to commit early to a marquee Division I program on Thursday when he gave a verbal commitment to LSU following the final day of spring football for the Comets.

A 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Coral Gables (FL) High School, Lee caught 39 passes for 725 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games for Palomar last Fall. He runs 4.4 in the 40. Previously, 6-foot-8, 220-pound offensive tackle Brice Schwab gave a verbal commitment to USC on April 20. Both Schwab and Lee will transfer following their sophomore seasons for the Comets this Fall.


Lorenzen signs with Jaguars as a tight end

NFL LogoJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (4-27-09) -- Former Palomar All-American and University of Connecticut quarterback Tylerr Lorenzen, undrafted at that position over the weekend, has signed an NFL free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a tight end.

Jacksonville already has had a Palomar connection. Former Comet player and later coach and ex-NFL safety Thom Kaumeyer is an assistant defensive backs coach for the Jaguars.


Brice Schwab (77) will become the latest Palomar player to play for USC. (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER  PHOTOS (password: cometball)

Carroll and USC Trojans land Comets' Schwab

LOS ANGELES (4-20-09) -- Palomar College offensive  tackle Brice Schwab has committed to USC, the USCFootball.Com web site reported Monday morning.

Schwab confirmed the report at 11:45 a.m.

Schwab, a  6-foot-8, 320-pounder who was an  All-Southern Conference selection as a freshman, will play his sophomore season for the Comets this upcoming Fall. He'll transfer to USC in January 2010.

A 2008 graduate of Moniteau High School in West Sunbury, PA where he started for three seasons, Schwab originally wanted to play for Penn State.

Schwab, one of coach Pete Carroll's key recruits, will become the latest Comet to move on to USC.

The list also includes safety Bill Jaroncyk, a starter on the Trojans' 1968 National Championship team who signed with the New Orleans Saints; cornerback Chris Cash, an All-Pac-10 selection at USC in 2001, who played for the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons; and safety Greg Farr, who played for the Trojans' 2003 and 2004 National Championship teams.


Ex-Palomar, Georgia Tech QB to be inducted

VISALIA (3-6-09) -- Former Palomar and Georgia Tech quarterback Tom Luginbill, who is now an analyst for ESPN, will be inducted into the California Community College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday (March 7).

Luginbill, California Offensive Player of the Year and the J.C. Grid-Wire's first-team All-American quarterback after the Comets' 11-0 national championship 1993 season, will become the second Palomar player to be inducted into the Hall.

He joins kicker Tom Dempsey, who set the NFL record for longest field goal of 63 yards to give the New Orleans Saints a dramatic, last-second win over the the Detroit Lions in 1970, as a member. Dempsey, who kicked for five NFL teams, was inducted in 2007.

One season before the national championship campaign, Luginbill quarterbacked Palomar to a 10-1 record and final Nod. 6 national ranking as a freshman in 1992. He had a 21-1 record as the Comets' starting QB.

Luginbill set what then was a national community college passing yardage record of 4,044 yards (with 36 touchdowns) in 1993 and a career JC record of 7,380 yards (60 touchdowns) for the Comets.

He played in the Arena Football League and was head coach of the Detroit franchise..

Luginbill will be joined in the Hall on Saturday by onetime Fullerton College player and coach Jim Fassel. Fassel played for Fullerton in 1967-68 and Long Beach State and played in the NFL for the Chargers and Oilers. Fassel was head coach at the University of Utah and for the New York Giants.

Among other inductees Saturday will be running back Mike Anderson (Mt. San Jacinto, 1996-97), Utah, Denver Broncos; running back Gerald Wilhite (American River, 1978-79), San Jose State, Denver Broncos; and running back Bill Ring (College of San Mateo, 1975-76), BYU, San Francisco 49ers.


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