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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, 2011

    2012 Schedule, Results    |    2012 Roster    |    2012 Stats       |     2012 Coaches

2012 Season    |  2011 Season    |    2011 Roster     |     2011 Stats       |     2010 Stats

       |     Individual Records, Leaders (As of conclusion of 2012 Season)    |   

 Palomar Football History |  Comets Currently in NFL, 4-year College Football


Off-Season News

Comets pick up 2012 forfeit win over Cerritos

SAN MARCOS (7-27-2013) -- Palomar has picked up an additional 2012 football victory over Cerritos College after the Falcons forfeited all five of their victories during the season for use of an ineligible player.

Cerritos forfeited its 35-20 win over the Comets on Oct. 6 at Wilson Stadium in Escondido.

The Comets go from 4-6 for the season to 5-5. Cerritos drops from 5-5 to 4-6. Ironically, these same two teams played each other in the Southern California Community College semifinals the previous season before both had rare off-years in 2012 at the same time.

Leyva 11th Comet to commit to 4-year college

SAN MARCOS (6-27-2013) -- Kicker Jonathan Leyva (left) has become the second Palomar kicker, and the 11th football player, to commit to a four-year college program, choosing Sacramento State.

Leyva, who came to the Comets from Cathedral High School (Los Angeles), averaged 61.0 yards for 57 kickoffs last Fall. Palomar's PAT and field goal specialist, Jon Halliday, previously accepted a scholarship to the Pac-12's University of Utah.

Palomar's 2013 Signings / Commits To Date ...

K Jon Halliday (Brighton HS, Brighton, UT)  -- University of Utah

OT Nate Devan (Chaparrel HS, Temecula) -- Fresno State

OT Kolby Drew (Rancho Buena Vista HS) -- Fresno State

OG Doug Saeks (Westview HS, Portland, OR) -- UNLV

K Jonathan Leyva (Cathedral HS, Los Angeles) -- Sacramento State

OG A.J. Kaplan (Faith Lutheran HS, Las Vegas, NV) -- Georgia State

CB Josh Jacko (Cathedral Catholic HS) -- USD

DT C.J. Spratt (Tafuna HS, Pago Pago, American Samoa) -- Eastern New mexico

DE Brandon Blinn (Cascade HS, Everett, WA) -- Chaldron State

S Chris Lee (El Camino HS) -- Henderson State

S Eric Paopao (El Camino HS) -- Humboldt State

Tackle Nate Devan (73 at right), who committed to Fresno State on Friday, and guard A.J. Kaplan (77), who committed to Georgia State, block for quarterback Ryan Lamb in Comets' 47-43 victory over Southwestern last Sept. 15. -- File Photo by Hugh Cox

Devan to Fresno St.; Kaplan to Georgia St.

FRESNO / ATLANTA (5-26-2013) -- Three more Palomar football players have committed to four-year college football programs.

Offensive tackle Nate Devan (6-foot-7, 295 pounds, Chaparral High School in Temecula) will transfer to Fresno State.

Guard A.J.  Kaplan (6-foot-6, 300 pounds, Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas) will transfer to the Football Championship Subdivision's (Division I-AA) Georgia State.

Defensive tackle C.J. Spratt (6-foot-2,  271 pounds, Tafuna High School in Pago Pago, American Samoa) will transfer to Division II Eastern New Mexico.

Former Comet Arthur Williams was a tight end at Georgia State, which is in Atlanta, during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The Panthers, who play their home games in the Georgia Dome, have West Virginia (Sept. 14 in Morgantown) and Nationial Champion Alabama (Oct. 5 in Tuscaloosa) on their 2013 schedule.

Kaplan is the second 2012 Palomar offensive lineman to land a scholarship from Fresno State, joining tackle Kolby Drew, a Rancho Buena Vista High product. Drew withdrew from Palomar during the spring semester to deal with family issues so his future for the 2013 season is uncertain.

Schwab, Lee and Willis sign NFL contracts

Mo LeeTAMPA BAY / BALTIMORE / GREEN BAY (4-29-2013) -- Three former Palomar players signed NFL free agent contracts after the recently-concluded draft.

Arizona State offensive tackle Brice Schwab (6-foot-7, 303 pounds) signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Utah cornerback Martavious Lee (left) signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Northern Arizona corner Devin Willis signed with the Green Bay Packers.

Also reported to be on NFL  teams' free agent radar but unsigned as of mid-day Monday: Kent State linebacker C.J. Malauulu.

Kaumeyer, Garrett and Lynds will be inducted

VISALIA (3-10-2013) -- Palomar's Thom Kaumeyer, Jerry Garrett (left) and Tony Lynds will be inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association's Hall of Fame on Saturday in ceremonies at the Visalia Elks Club, the site of the Hall.

They'll join Tom Dempsey and Tom Luginbill as Palomar representatives in the Hall.

Thom Kaumeyer, currently the defensive coordinator at the University of Hawaii, was a first-team J.C. Grid-Wire all-American safety for the Comets during the 1986 season. He went on to make second-team All-Pac-10 for the University of Oregon, was selected in the 1987 draft by the then-Los Angeles Rams and played in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants.

Thom KaumeyerKaumeyer was an assistant coach and then defensive coordinator for the Comets, and spent one season as head coach. He coached on the collegiate level as defensive coordinator at San Diego State and Tulane and was an assistant coach at Kentucky and in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars. He also was a head coach in Japan's professional league.

Jerry Garrett, also a J.C. Grid-Wire first-team All-American, led the 1991 Comets to their first-ever national community college championship. He caught 13 passes from Oklahoma State-bound quarterback Andy Loveland for 204 yards and three touchdowns as the Comets defeated Chabot 37-24 in the Elks Bowl at Merced (there was no playoff structure in 1991) and Palomar, which was 10-1 and won its last 10 games, shared the mythical national title with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

Garrett caught 95 passes as a sophomore (still the Palomar record) for 1,507 yards (still the Palomar record) and 18 touchdowns (still the Palomar record). His 2,145 all-purpose yards that season also remains as the school record. He signed with the University of Houston after his sophomore season, He eventually moved on to the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League but had his career end due to an injury. He's an assistant football coach at Carlsbad High School.

Tony Lynds arrived at Palomar in 1968 and was an assistant football coach in four different decades -- including stints as an assistant for coach Tom Craft's 1991 and 1993 national championship teams.

He also served as Palomar's head wrestling coach, athletic director and chairman of the department of physical education. He was instrumental in hiring Craft as head football coach.

Lynds, who is retired and living in Northern California, played football,  rugby and tennis at Pomona College, where  he was a rugby teammate and roommate of singer Kris Kristofferson.

Lynds has two sons and a daughter who played football, wrestled and swam, respectively for Palomar College.

Guard Saeks signs with UNLV, 4-year list at 7

LAS VEGAS (2-21-2013) -- Palomar guard Doug Saeks has signed a national letter of intent with UNLV.

That brings the list of Comets moving on to four-year colleges for the 2013 football season to seven.

Saeks, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound sophomore, came to Palomar from Westview High School in Portland, OR. and was a two-year starter for the Comets.

Palomar's 2013 Signings ...

K Jon Halliday (Brighton HS, Brighton, UT)  -- University of Utah

OT Kolby Drew (Rancho Buena Vista HS) -- Fresno State

OG Doug Saeks (Westview HS, Portland, OR) -- UNLV

CB Josh Jacko (Cathedral Catholic HS) -- USD

DE Brandon Blinn (Cascade HS, Everett, WA) -- Chaldron State

S Eric Paopao (El Camino HS) -- Humboldt State

S Chris Lee (El Camino HS) -- Henderson State

Halliday to Utah; list of Comets to 4-year is at 6

SAN MARCOS (2-09-2013) -- Palomar kicker Jon Halliday (left), who was succesfull on 16-of-20 field goal attempts last Fall with a long of 43 yards when he kicked four FGs in a 47-43 win over Southwestern on Sept. 15, become the sixth PC football player to sign with a four-year college.

Halliday signed with the University of Utah, where he originally had enrolled before transferring to Palomar.

Previoussignees during the regular period that began on Wednesday were offensive tackle Kolby Drew (Fresno State), corner Josh Jacko (University of San Diego), defensive end Brandon Blinn (Chaldron State) and safety Eric Paopao, a 2011 PC sophomore who sat out 2-12 with an injury, with Humboldt State.

Safety Chris Lee signed during the early period with Henderson State and transferred there in January.

Drew will sign with Fresno State next week

FRESNO (1-29-2013) -- Palomar sophomore Kolby Drew, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle, will sign a National Letter of Intent with Fresno State on the first day of the regular signing period next Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Drew, a Rancho Buena Vista High School product, was a first-team All-Southern Conference Selection, first-team All-Region IV and first-team all-state selection by the California Community College Football Coaches Association this past Fall. He also drew strong recruiting interest from West Virginia, Cal and Washington State.

Previously, Comet free safety Chris Lee signed in the early signing period with Division II Henderson State, which was 10-1 during the 2012 season, and already has transferred.

Boudreaux headed to mini-camp with Raiders

Bubba BoudreauxOAKLAND (1-22-2013) -- The Oakland Raiders will bring former Palomar and University of Nevada safety Chris "Bubba" Boudreaux to mini-camp this spring.

Boudreaux started at free safety for the Comets during the 2008 and 2009 seasons and played for the Nevada Wolfpack in 2010 and 2011.

He was a teammate of Saalim Hakim, who plays wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, for both of his seasons at Palomar.

The 6-foot-0, 205-pound Boudreaux was invited to the San Francisco 49ers mini-camp a year ago, then sustained an injury during camp.

Boudreaux led Palomar in tackles with 73 in 12 games as a sophomore, when the Comets advanced to the 2009 Southern California community college championship game and were ranked No. 8 nationally by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Kirkland, WA.

Boudreaux also led the 2009 Comets with 42 solo tackles, including 4 tackles for losses. He had 1 sack, 1 interception, 14 pass defenses, a quarterback hurry and 2 blocked kicks.

He played both of his seasons at Nevada on the same team with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepenick. Boudreaux was the Wolfpack's most valuable special teams award recipient as a senior in 2011.

Drew, Dennis are selected first-team all-state

VISALIA (1-07-2013) -- Palomar offensive tackle Kolby Drew and kick returner Austin Dennis both have been selected first-team all-state by the California Community College Football Coaches Association. Both will be eligible to sign in the regular signing period that begins Feb. 6.

Drew (left) is a 6-foot, 6-inch, 280-pound sophomore from Rancho Buena Vista High School who is considered the Comets' top big-time Division I prospect.

The speedy Austin (right), a 5-foot-4, 150-pounder from Scripps Ranch High School, accumualted 1,449 all-purposel yards for the Comets in 10 games, including 966 yards and a 92-yard touchdown on 30 kickoff returns. He also had 12 punt returns for 114 yards, 251 yards and 2 touchdowns on 41 carries rushing and 13 receptions for 147 yards.

Drew, Dennis, 6-foot-3, 250-pound sophomore linebacker Ofisa Kose (Vista High School) and 6-foot-6, 240-pound, red-shirt freshman tight end Ryan Ena (El Camino High School), were named first-team All-Region IV. Kose led the Comets with 86 tackles (51 solo) and had three fumble recoveries, 2 tckles for losses, 2 pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. Ena caught 43 passes for 570 yards and six touchdowns.

 Freshman safety Lee headed to D-II power

ARCADELPHIA, Arkansas (1-07-2013) -- Palomar freshman free safety Chris Lee has accepted a scholarship to NCAA Division II power Henderson State, signing a National Letter of Intent in the early signing period.

Henderson State went 10-1 in 2012 and won the Great American Conference championship. The Reddies were eliminated by Missouri Western in the Division II national playoffs.

Lee, an El Camino High School product, will begin classes at Henderson State next Tuesday, on Jan. 15. He was Palomar's sixth-leading tackler with 42 (25 solo), intercepted a pass on the goal-line and returned it out 27 yards vs. Fullerton and also had 3 pass break-ups, a quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.

Lee began his high school career at Oceanside before transferring crosstown to El Camino.

Schwab goes out in style as ASU crushes Navy

SAN FRANCISCO (12-29-2012) -- Palomar product Brice Schwab played a key role as Arizona State's starting offensive right tackle as the Sundevils rolled up 648 yards in offense and crushed Navy 62-28 Saturday in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park.

Arizona State rushed for 376 yards against the Midshipmen and passed for 272 additional yards. The Sundevils scored on their first nine possessions, and the 62 points was the most ever scored in a bowl game in history by any team currently in the Pac-12 Conference.

It was the final college game for the 6-foot-7, 302-pound former Comet star, a fifth-year senior. Schwab originally gave a verbal commit to USC going into his sophomore season at Palomar but de-committed and instead signed with ASU when Pete Carroll resigned as the Trojans' coach.

PHOTO: Brice Schwab (No. 71) in TV image from the Fight Hunger Bowl

Saalim Hakim, who was activated to the New Orleans Saints' active roster on Wednesday, catches a 56-yard touchdown pass from Nate Ong in Palomar's 27-21 victory over Saddleback on Oct. 10, 2009. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Saints activate ex-Comet Hakim to active roster

NEW ORLEANS (12-20-2012) -- Saalim Hakim, who caught 31 passes for Palomar's nationally-ranked 2008 and 2009 teams, was activated by the New Orleans Saints to their active roster Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Saints listed Hakim as third on their depth chart at one of their wide receiver positions going into Sunday's noon (CST) game with the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium.

Hakim, who was timed by NFL scouts in 4.23 for 40 yards, never played football before enrolling at Palomar as a true freshman in 2008. He was a soccer player at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas.

He was a receiver on the 2008 Palomar team that went 8-3 and was ranked No. 17 in the nation by the J.C. Grid-Wire of Kirkland, WA and the 2009 Comet squad that was 10-3, advanced to the Southern California championship game and was ranked No. 8 nationally by the Grid-Wire.

After catching 28 passes for 379 yards and six touchdowns for the Comets in 2009, Hakim played one season at Tarleton State.

He was a member of the Cowboys' practice squad ealier this season, then was a member of the St. Louis Rams' practice squad. The Saints signed him to their practice squad on Dec. 6 prior to activating him on Wednesday.

Hakim's brother, Az-Zahir Hakim, played in the NFL for the Rams, Detroit Lions, Saints, Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. Hakim's cousin, Scottie Anderson, played for the Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ex-PC All-American Buh new Cal D-coordinator

USA Today Sports File PhotoMADISON, Wis. / BERKELEY (12-19-2012) -- Andy Buh, a J.C. Grid-Wire first-team All-American when he played at Palomar, will leave Wisconsin after the Badgers' Rose Bowl game with Stanford to become defensive coordinator at California, sources throughout college football report.

Buh, the Badgers' linebackers coach, returns to the Bay Area, where he previously was an assistant at Cal and was co-defensive coordinator at Stanford under coach Jim Harbaugh. He appeared ready to follow former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema to Arkansas when he was offered the Cal job by new Bears coach Sonny Dykes.

Buh, who went on from Palomar to star at Nevada, also has been an assistant at Fresno State, San Diego State and Nevada. -- Courtesy photo (above): Buh, who starred on Palomar's 1991 national championship team, is pictured when he was co-defensive coordinator at Stanford.

TOP PHOTO:  Former Palomar star Orenzo Davis, a senior running back out of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, carries the ball for Montana State against Eastern Washington. He was the Bobcats' second-leading rusher on the season. Montana State, which lost to Eastern Washington 27-24 for its only regular-season loss, advanced to the FCS (formerly I-AA) quarterfinals but lost to Sam Houston State and finished 11-2. BELOW LEFT: C.J. Malauulu (Kent State).  -- Courtesy photos

Alums go bowling; others advance to playoffs

SAN FRANCISCO / PASADENA / MOBILE, Alabama / other sites (12-15-2012) -- Among the 32 Palomar football alums playing four-year college football in 2012 and numerous ex-Comets coaching on the college level, eight have advanced to the post-season.

But the most productive ex-Comet statistically this season, junior running back Nick Ricciardulli, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year for Division II Humboldt State, barely missed out on the post-season.

Ricciardulli rushed for 1,579 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 21 passes for 210 yards and a TD for the Lumberjacks, who went 7-4 and just missed winning a conference championship. The Poway High School product had nine games in which he rushed for at least 100 yards, including three games in which he surpassed 200 yards -- including 251 yards in a 24-20 win over Azusa Pacific on Oct. 13.

The Lumberjacks who have California's only remaining Division II program (Azusa Pacific is currently transitioning from NAIA to D-II), were spot-lighted in a New York Times feature that ran on Sept.11.

Also missing the post-season: Fifth-year senior starting corner Martavious "Mo" Lee at Utah. Lee had 35 tackles for the Utes, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown to beat BYU, a tackle for loss, six pass break-ups and seven pass defenses.

Among other ex-Comets who had big seasons statistically but missed the post-season was University of South Dakota junior safety Devin Tavernar. Taverna, who played high school football for Carlsbad and then Oceanside, was the Coyotes' second-leading tackler with 79 in 11 games. He also had three interceptions, broke up five passes and had eight pass defenses.

These ex-Comets did make it to the post-season:

-- Brice Schwab, a 6-foot-7, 302-pounder, who originally verballed to USC before de-committing and picking Arizona State, is the starting right tackle for the Sundevils. ASU (7-5) will play Navy on Dec. 29 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

-- C.J. Malauulu, a fifth-year senior outside linebacker at Kent State, which was ranked 18th in the nation by the Associated Press and was also 18th in the BCS standings before losing 44-37 to Northern Illinois in two overtimes in the MAC championship game. Malauulu is the son of two-year defensive line starter Casey Malauulu and nephew of Palomar receivers coach Lafo Malauulu (Palomar, San Jose State, BC Lions in the CFL), who is the Comets' all-time leading receiver. C.J. Malauulu was a two-time All-MAC selection after transferring from Palomar. This season, he has 68 tackles (2.5 for losses), 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 3 pass break-ups, 4 pass defenses and 3 quarterback hurries. While Northern Illinois moves on to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl, The Golden Flashes (11-2), losers only to Kentucky and Northern Illinois,  will play Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com bowl on Jan. 6 in Mobile, AL.

-- David Fisher spent the 2012 season as Kent State's back-up quarterback and is primed to start for the Golden Flashes next year as a fifth-year senior. Fisher was the Comets' quarterback in 2011, when he accumulated 2,539 yards and 34 touchdowns running and passing and led Palomar to the Southern California semifinals.

-- Andy Buh, former J.C. Grid-Wire All-American linebacker at Palomar, is the linebackers coach at Wisconsin, which plays Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Buh went on to star at Nevada and has also been an assistant coach at Cal, San Diego State, Stanford and Nevada.

-- Mike Bethea, who went on from Palomar to start atoutside linebacker at Nevada and was the Wolfpack's leading tackler. Bethea is a graduate assistant coach at Nevada, which lost 49-48 to Arizona in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday in Albuquerque. 

-- Receiver Alex Wheat, who starred for Palomar in 2011 and red-shirted this season at Utah State. The Aggies (11-2) defeated Toledo 41-15 in the Famous Potato Bowl on Saturday in Boise, ID. Wheat will be a sophomore next season.

-- Fifth-year senior running back Orenzo Davis, who was the second-leading rusher for a Montana State team that went 11-2 this season and advanced to the Football Championship Sub-Division (formerly I-AA) quarterfinals where the Bobcats lost to Sam Houston State 34-16. Davis rushed for 597 yards and 7 touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 101 yards. He rushed for 145 yards in a 55-10 win over North Dakota, scoring on runs of 19 and 17 yards. He also rushed for 123 yards and scored on a 74-yard run in a 24-17 victory over Southern Utah. Montana State defeated Stony Brook 15-10 in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals.

-- Nate Ong, a fifth-year senior, spent the season as a back-up quarterback to Taylor Heinicke at Old Dominion. Heinickle passed for 5,076 yards and 44 touchdowns, breaking Styeve McNair's FCS record of 4,863 passing yards set for Alcorn State during the 1994 season. The Old Dominion Monarchs defeated Coastal Carolina 63-35 in the second round of the FCS playoffs, then were eliminated by Georgia Southern 43-35 in the quarterfinals.



Ex-
Comets, No. 17 Kent State on ESPN2 today

DETROIT (11-30-2012) -- Kent State, with former Palomar football standouts C.J. Malauulu and David Fisher, will play Northern Illinois in the Midwestern Athletic Conference championship game today (Friday) at 4 p.m. PST at Ford Field in Detroit on ESPN2.

The Golden Flashes (11-1) come in ranked No.  17 in the nation in the BCS ratings and No. 18 by the Associated Press.

Malauulu (shown above returning an interception for a touchdown vs. Ohio University last week) in a senior and all-conference linebacker for Kent Sate.

Fisher is the Golden Flashes' back-up quarterback and is expected  to be their starter next season.


Malauulu's pick six leads Kent (11-1) to title

KENT, Ohio (11-23-2012) -- Senior linebacker and former Palomar star C.J. Malauulu caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, then returned an interception 33 yards for a another TD (left) on Friday, lifting Kent State to the MAC East championship with a 28-6 win over Ohio University.

Kent State (11-1) finished the regular season 8-0 in the MAC, becoming the first East Division team to go unbeaten since Ben Roethlisberger and Miami (OH) went 8-0 in 2003. The Golden Flashes are ranked No. 23 by both the A.P. and BCS, their first time in the Top 25 since 1972, and are primed to move up going into next Friday's MAC title game vs. Northern Illinois at Ford Field in Detroit.

It was the 10th straight win for Kent State since the Golden Flashes lost at Kentucky on Sept. 8.. Northern Illinois, next week's opponent, also is 11-1 since opening the season with an 18-17 loss at Iowa on Sept. 1.

David Fisher, another Palomar transfer, is Kent State's No. 2 quarterback as a junior and is poised to take over the starting job next season.



2012 Season

Ena, Drew, Kose and Dennis unanimous picks

 
SAN MARCOS (11-20-2012) --
Four Palomar players -- freshman tight end Ryan Ena, sophomore offensive tackle Kolby Drew, sophomore middle linebacker Ofisa Kose and sophomore kick returner Austin Dennis -- were uanimous first-team All-Southern Conference selections in voting by conference head football coaches.

Other Palomar first-team selections were sophomore  running back Chad Dobbins, center David Villanueva and freshman  receiver Anthony Mount.

Comets named to the second team were freshman safety Stephen Parks, sophomore defensive tackle Shiane Tupua, freshman quarterback Ryan Lamb and sophomore outside linebacker Shanta Chaloux.

Photo: Unanimous first-team tight end selection Ryan Ena, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound freshman from El Camino High, catches a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lamb in 27-7 victory over Golden West. -- Photo by Hugh Cox



Dobbins selected 2012 MVP by PC teammates

SAN MARCOS (11-20-2012) -- Sophomore running back Chad Dobbins (left) out of Mission Hills High School received the Most Valuable Player award at the Palomar football banquet on Tuesday at Hometown Buffet.

Dobbins rushed for 821 yards on 192 carries and also had 11 pass receptions for 87 yards playing in nine of the Comets' 10 games.

In all, 11 awards were presented.

The awards all were selected by the players with the exception of the Coaches' Award which was chosen by the coaching staff.

AWARD WINNERS

MVP-Chad Dobbins; Offensive  Players of the Year-Anthony Mount, Ryan Ena; Defensive Player of the Year-Shonta Chaloux; Special Teams Player of the Year-Austin Dennis; Special Teams Iron Man-Aaron Mossbarger; Lineman of the Year-Shiane Tupua; Most Improved-Ryan Lamb; Coaches' Award-Anthony Bolton; Offensive Scout Team-Garrett Fiehler; Defensive Scout Team-Toe Amu

ABOVE: Palomar's Donovan Thurman returns an interception out to the 9-yard line late in the game. He picked the ball at the 3. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Demarcus Henderson, who forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles and returned a blocked field goal attempt 71 yards for a TD

Comets win on 3 TD passes, late defensive plays

EL CAJON (11-10-2012) -- Palomar made big plays in the fourth quarter when it had to Saturday afternoon. Along the way, the Comets put a positive spin on a disappointing season by beating rival Grossmont 33-28 in a Southern Conference game.

On an afternoon that Ryan Lamb threw two touchdown passes to tight end Ryan Ena and one to Anthony Mount, the Comets came up with a series of huge fourth-quarter defensive plays.

With just over 11 minutes remaining and Palomar leading by five points, Shiane Tupulo blocked Andres Carrillo's field goal attempt. Demarcus Henderson scooped up the ball and raced 71 yards for a touchdown to put the Comets up by 12 points 33-21.

After the Griffins scored to get back to 33-28 and were driving again, Donovan Thurman intercepted a Chris Bonner pass at the Palomar 3 with 2:49 left and returned it 6 yards out to the 9.

Then, with Grossmont at the Palomar 27 and in position to possibly win the game, Henderson forced a fumble by Nickolas Kurtz at the end of a Bonner pass and recovered it himself with 1:04 to play.

The Comets ran out the clock as Lamb took a knee twice.

Lamb, Palomar's freshman quarterback, threw for 295 yards, completing 23 of 50 pass attempts as freshmen M.J. Bailey (8 catches for 107 yards), Ena (5 receptions for 106 yards) and Mount (4 catches for 40 yards) made a series of spectacular catches.

Ena's touchdown catches were for 13 yards just before halftime and 11 yards in the third quarter. He had two receptions, including what would have been another TD grab, nullified by penalties. Mount also had a stunning grab of a 19-yard pass from Lamb nullified.

Thurman, another freshman, led the Comets defensively with 10 tackles. He also broke up two Grossmont passes. Tupua had eight tackles, three for losses and contributed two sacks and a broken-up pass. Freshman Chris Lee had eight tackles and forced a fumble. He also nearly intercepted a pass in the end zone. Shonta Chaloux had seven tackles. Stephen Parks, another freshman, added six tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass.

The Comets added a third-quarter safety when Grossmont's Rhys Felton kicked the ball out of the back of the endzone following a bad snap on a punt attempt.

Palomar's line neutralized Grossmont's Ian Seau, the state sack leader. Although the Griffins kept pressure on Lamb all afternoon with a big pass rush, Seau had only five tackles, and no sacks.

Palomar had difficulty all day trying to move the ball on the ground, but Lamb ran over Willie White, who had 11 tackles, at the end of a 15-yard run.

Palomar finished the year 4-10 and 2-4 in conference during a season which saw the Comets lose games by one point, three points and seven points. The Griffins finished 5-5, 3-3 in conference as the Comets knocked them out of a chance to qualify for a bowl game. Teams need at least six wins to be bowl eligible.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

Comets close out 2012 season at Grossmont

EL CAJON (11-09-2012)
-- Palomar will close out a frustrating 2012 football season on Saturday when the Comets play at Grossmont College with bragging rights and an opportunity to knock the Griffins out of bowl eligibility at stake.

The Comets and Griffins will tangle at 1 p.m. at Mashin-Roth Memorial Stadium in the Southern Conference match-up.

Running back Chad Dobbins, who missed last week's 34-31 loss to conference co-leader Santa Ana with an injury, will return for Palomar. Quarterback Ryan Lamb (left) had his third consecutive 300-yard passing game against the Dons, who can wrap up the conference title by beating Fullerton on Saturday.

The Comets won last year's meeting at the same site 34-31 in a driving rainstorm.

PALOMAR GAME DAY
The Match-Up: Palomar (3-6 Season, 1-4 Southern Conference) at Grossmont (5-4, 3-2)
Day, Date, Time: Saturday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m.
Site: Mashin-Roth Memorial Field, Grossmont College, El Cajon
Radio: KKSM-1320 AM; Cox Digital Cable Channel 958; http://www.palomar.edu/kksm/live.asp
Last Meeting: Palomar 34, Grossmont 31 in 2011
Probable Palomar Starters (Listed in CAPS)
OFFENSE
PLAYER HT / WT YR HIGH SCHOOL / PREVIOUS COLLEGE
QUARTERBACK
RYAN LAMB 6-4  215 Fr Oceanside
RUNNING BACK
CHAD DOBBINS 5-10 205  So Mission Hills
Other Notable Running Backs: Austin Dennis -- Scripps Ranch;  Aaron Mossbarger -- Escondido; Earvin Simmons -- Murrieta Valley / Riverside City College
FULLBACK
TYLER FAAPOULI 5-11 249 So El Camino
RECEIVERS
M.J. BAILEY 6-1  195 Fr San Marcos
MICHAEL HODGES 6-3  210 So Monte Vista
SLOT RECEIVER
AUSTIN MOUNT 5-6  155 Fr Oceanside
Other Notable Receivers: Josh Harris -- Temecula Chaparral / Riverside CC
TIGHT END
RYAN ENA 6-6  240 Fr El Camino
Other Notable Tight End: Sam Browning -- Escondido
LEFT TACKLE
NATE DEVAN 6-7  295 So Temecula Chaparral / Sacramento State
LEFT GUARD
A.J. KAPLAN 6-6  300 So Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas, NV)
CENTER
DAVID VILLANUEVA 6-3  305 So Escondido
RIGHT GUARD
DOUG SAEKS 6-6   300 So Westview (Beaverton, OR)
RIGHT TACKLE
KOLBY DREW 6-6  280 So Rancho Buena Vista
Other Notable Linemen: Larry McKenzie -- El Camino; Victor Martinez -- San Pasqual
DEFENSE
PLAYER HT / WT YR HIGH SCHOOL / PREVIOUS COLLEGE
ENDS
AARON LEAUMA 5-10 260 Fr Mission Hills
ANTHONY BOLTON 5-11 235 So Escondido
TACKLES
SHIANE TUPUAA 6-0  280 So Banning (Wilmington)
BRANDON TAELE-DURHAM 5-10 230 So Vista
Other Notable Defensive Linemen: Erik Aunese -- Mission Hills / Fort Lewis College; Brandon Blinn -- Cascade (Everett, WA); Tyrone Knight -- Temecula chaparral; Junior Togiaso -- La Jolla Country Day / Cornell University 
MIDDLE LINEBACKER
OFISA KOSE 6-3  250 So Vista
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
SHANTA CHALOUX 6-0  210 So Valley Center
EZRA LATU 6-1  230 So Murrieta Valley (Murrieta)
Other Notable Linebackers: Eric Robertson -- Escondido; Joe Scott -- Mission Hills / Ft. Lewis College; Connor Sodano -- Carlsbad
CORNERS
DE MARCUS HENDERSON 5-10 170 So Mar Vista
TYLER BAILEY 5-10 175 Fr Serra / Northern Arizona Univ.
Other Notable Corners: Shalimar Lawson-Hinds -- Temecula Valley; Desmond Dyas -- Temecula Chaparral
SAFETIES
DONOVAN THURMAN 6-0  190 Fr El Camino
STEPHEN PARKS 6-0  196 Fr Escondido
CHRIS LEE 6-2  190 Fr El Camino
Other Notable Safety: Tyler Moore -- Escondido
SPECIAL TEAMS
PLAYER HT/WT YR HIGH SCHOOL / PREVIOUS COLLEGE
FIELD GOALS, EXTRA POINTS
JON HALLIDAY 6-2  185 Fr Brighton (Sandy, UT) / University of Utah
KICKOFFS
JONATHAN LEIVA 6-0  175 Fr Cathedral (Los Angeles)
PUNTS
TIM TAHTI 5-10 198 So Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) / University of New Mexico
JUAN SOTO 6-0  203 Fr Elsinore (Wildomar)
HOLDER
TIM TAHTI 5-10 198 So Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) / University of New Mexico
ROMAN SEVIER 5-9  175 Fr Poway
LONG SNAPPER (PAT, FIELD GOALS, PUNTS)
RILEY WILSON 5-10 200 Fr Escondido
KICKOFF RETURNERS
AUSTIN DENNIS 5-4  149 So Scripps Ranch
EARVIN SIMMONS 5-7  175 Fr Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) / Riverside City College
PUNT RETURNER
AUSTIN DENNIS 5-4  149 So Scripps Ranch
PLAYERS ON MULTIPLE SPECIAL TEAMS
AARON MOSSBARGER 5-10 180 Fr Escondido
ERIC ROBERTSON 5-10 230 Fr Escondido
CONNER SODANO 6-2  250 Fr Carlsbad
SYLVESTER HAGEN 6-1  230 Fr New Albany (New Albany, OH)
MORGAN FERGUSON 6-3  185 Fr Westview
BRANDON TAELE-DURHAM 5-10 230 So Vista
TYLER MOORE 6-0  185 Fr Escondido
TYLER FAAPOULI 5-11 249 So El Camino

PC's Kose is conference Player of Week again

LONG BEACH (11-07-2012)
-- For the second time in three weeks, Palomar middle linebacker Ofisa Kose has been selected as Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Kose, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound sophomore out of Vista High School, broke a Palomar record with 23 tackles (17 solo) in last Saturday evening's 34-31 loss to Southern Conference co-leader Santa Ana. He also recovered a fumble.

 

ABOVE: Middle linebacker Ofisa Kose (44), who broke Palomar's single-game tackles record, hauls down Santa Ana's Divonte Beale from behind Saturday night. No. 35 for the Comets is Trent Roberts. No. 94 at the left is Brandon Taele-Durham. BELOW: Aaron Mossbarger runs for a first down. No. 46 is Tyler Faapouli. No. 71 is Kolby Drew. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

Onside kick seals PC loss; 23 tackles for Kose

ESCONDIDO (11-3-2012) -- A Palomar record 23 tackles (17 of them solo) by sophomore middle linebacker Ofisa Kose and big nights by Ryan Lamb and Austin Dennis weren't enough for the Palomar football team on Saturday night.

Santa Ana took the lead on a field goal with 4 minutes, 25 seconds to play, then recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock to hold off the Comets 34-31 in a Southern Conference game at Wilson Stadium.

Kose's tackle total broke the Palomar record of 19 by Adam Witzmann last season, also against Santa Ana. He made a touchdown-saving tackle and also recovered a fumble.

Dennis, getting extra work with running back Chad Dobbins in street clothes with an injury, racked up 326 all-purpose yards, 92 rushing, 22 receiving, 180 on kickoff returns and 32 on a punt return. He returned one kickoff 55 yards and returned another 78 yards to set up one of three field goals by Jon Halliday.

Lamb had his third straight 300-plus yard passing performance, throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns to Anthony Mount for 24 and 17 yards.

Tight end Ryan Ena had eight receptions for 87 yards, M.J. Bailey six for 86 yards and Mount five for 88 yards. Halliday kicked field goals of 42, 22  and 30 yards and converted on two extra points. Fullback Tyler Faapouli ran 22 yards for a first down on a fake punt. Aaron Mossbarger ran in a two-point conversion.

Stephen Parks had 11 tackles, Donovan Thurman 10 tckles with two broken-up passes and Shonta Chaloux nine tackles as the defense was on the field muchof the night, with Santa Ana runnng off 109 plays on the way to outgaining the Comets 707 yards to 475.

Santa Ana quarterback Hayden Gavett running for 173 yards and passing for 188 and with Areseo Lakey rushing for 199 yards and two touchdowns,

The Dons (7-2, 4-1) remained tied for the conference lead with one game to play, while the Comets fell to 3-6, 1-4 and will finish with their first losing season since they went 4-6 in 2005.

Palomar will try to close its season with a victory on the road against rival Grossmont next Saturday afernoon.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

Middle linebacker Ofisa Kose (44) makes an open-field tackles for the Comets against Saddleback last week. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets to face Dons in final 2012 home game

ESCONDIDO (10-31-2012) -- Palomar draws a streaking Santa Ana College team in his final home game of the 2012 football season on Saturday at Wilson Stadium. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m.

The Dons come in with a four-game winning streak since starting the season 2-2. They're still alive in a bid for a Southern Conference championship and playoff berth.

The Comets need to win their last two games, on Saturday and at Grossmont a week from Saturday, to finish the season 5-5 overall and 3-3 in conference.

ABOVE: Austin Dennis scores Palomar's second touchdown on a 9-yard run with 3:20 left in the third quarter on Saturday night. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Lamb and receiver Mike Hodges celebrate 53-yard touchdown play -- Photo by Deb Hellman

Injured Lamb passes for 305 yards but PC falls

ESCONDIDO (10-27-2012) -- Ryan Lamb, who hadn't practiced all week after an injury at Fullerton one week earlier, entered the game in the first quarter and passed for 305 yards against Saddleback at Wilson Stadium on Saturday night.

But the Comets (3-5,1-3 in the Southern Conference) dropped a 35-21 decision to the Gauchos, must beat Santa Ana and Grossmont in their last two games to finished at .500 and no matter what happens cannot become bowl eligible.

Lamb, who left the game against the Hornets on Oct. 20 in the fourth quarter after throwing for 355 yards, completed 21-for-48 passes in Saturday's game against the Gauchos. He connected with Anthony Mount for a 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Mike Hodges for a 53-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Austin Dennis scored the Comets' third touchdown on a 9-yard run in the third quarter.

Lamb was intercepted four times, although two of those picks came on tipped balls.

Tyler Bergman who started Saturday's game, hit on two early pass completions for 23 yards. But he also was intercepted twice, the second time resulting in a Saddleback touchdown.

In all, the Gauchos intercepted six passes, while the Comets recovered four fumbles in a sloppy game.

Mount finished with seven receptions for 98 yards, and tight end Ryan Ena caught five passes for 78 yards. Hodges had five receptions for 85 yards, and fullback Tyler Faapouli caught three screen passes for 25 yards.

Defensively, Donavan Thurman, Shonta Chaloux and Demarcus Henderson led Palomar with 10 tackles each. Thurman also recovered a fumble and returned it 29 yards, and Chaloux broke up two passes, Henderson one.

Ofisa Kose had eight tackles, one for a loss. Stephen Parks also had eight tackles, while breaking up two passes.

Arnold Voa, Brandon Taele-Durham and Alphonso White also recovered Saddleback fumbles.

Chris Lee blocked a punt.

For the Gauchos, who are 4-4 overall, Anthony Cade rushed for 109 yards on 15  carries. James Marshall ran for 78 yards and three touchdowns.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

Aaron Leauma recoves a fumble against Cerritos on Oct. 6. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets to host hot Saddleback team tonight

ESCONDIDO (10-27-2012) -- Palomar, attempting to rebound from a frantic 33-32 loss to Fullerton last week that ended in a flurry of controversial calls and non-calls by the officials, will catch a hot Saddleback team in a must-win Southern Conference game tonight (Saturday) at 6 p.m. at Wilson Stadium.

The Comets (3-4, 1-2 in conference) need a victory to remain bowl eligible going into their final two games of the season. They'll be facing a Saddleback squad that is in the same situation. The Gauchos are 3-4, but have turned a 1-4 start against possibly the nation's toughest schedule around to go 2-1 in conference. In their last two games the Gauchos have beaten Fullerton 44-29 and Orange Coast, two teams the Comets have lost to.

Palomar faces a game-time decision at quarterback between regular starter Ryab Lamb and Tyler Bergman. Lamb had a breakout game at Fullerton,  passing for 355 yards and two touchdowns and running for another TD, but exited with an injury late in the game. Bergman came in for Lamb last week and completed two late passes.

The Comets won last season 44-41 on a late field goal  in a game that catapulted Palomar into the Southern California playoffs while eliminating Saddleback from playoff contention.

Kose is conference Defensive Player of Week

LONG BEACH (10-14-2012) --  Tackle Ofisa Kose, Palomar's starting middle linebacker,has been named Southern Conference Defensive player of the Week.

Kose, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound sophomore from Vista High School, had 11 tackles (six solo) and broke up two passes in the Comets' 33-32 loss to Fullerton.


Lamb throws for 355 yards, 2 TDs in 33-32 loss

FULLERTON (10-20-2012) (10-21-2012) -- Freshman quarterback Ryan Lamb (left) went 25-for-39 passing for 355 yards, including two touchdowns to tight end Ryan Ena (right), and Chad Dobbins added 126 yards rushing on Saturday night.

But Palomar dropped a wild 33-32 shootout to Fullerton in a Southern Conference football game at Fullerton Union High School District Stadium.

Lamb left the game with an undetermined injury late in the fourth quarter as the Comets, leading 32-26, were driving for what would have been a victory-clinching touchdown. Lamb was injured amidst a crowd scrambling on the turf for the ball following a bad snap on second down on a play that began at the Fullerton 19.

He got possession of the ball but sustained the injury on the play.

Palomar was flagged with back-to-back 15-yard penalties at the end of the play and wound up back at its own 45-yard line. Tyler Bergman replaced Lamb at quarterback.

The Comets wound up punting the ball away, and the Hornets tied the game 32-32 on a 35-yard screen pass from Conor Bednarski to Eli Pleasant with 1:42 remaining. Jesse Aguilar' tacked on the deciding PAT kick.

The above came after safety Stephen Parks accelerated in the open field to haul down Fullerton's Ryan Bird from behind on a 48-yard run to the Comets' 35.

Austin Dennis returned the kickoff 27 yards to the Comets' 28-yard line. Bergman completed two straight passes to M.J. Bailey for 4 and 32 yards, giving Palomar a first-and-10 at the Fullerton 36 with the clock running down. But the Comets never got in range to attempt a winning field goal in the closing seconds as the Hornets stopped them on an incomplete pass and a 4-yard sack, setting up a fourth-down interception by Alex Bernstein at the Fullerton 15 with 1:07 left.

Lamb's touchdown passes went for 12 yards to Ena in the first quarter and 2 yards to Ena in the fourth quarter. Lamb also completed passes to Dennis for 49 yards on a catch-and-run play and 47 yards to Mount. Lamb scored a TD himself on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

Ena finished with six catches for 82 yards and the two TDs. Mount had six receptions for 130 yards, while Bailey (five catches) and Mike Hodges (three) also had multiple receptions. Austin returned four kickoffs for 144 yards, including a 59-yarder. Tim Tahti averaged 40.3 yards for three punts, while Jonathan Leiva put two kickoffs through the end zone for touchbacks.

Dobbins put Palomar in front 32-19 on a 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The Comets' other scoring came on two Jon Halliday field goals, from 38 and 30 yards, and two PAT kicks.

Halliday, missing his regular holder, never had a chance on two other point-after attempts, depositing the ball wide left on one of them when he had to rush the kick and having another try blocked. Bernstein returned the block all the way to the end zone for what turned out to be the deciding two points.

(Video of the game viewed on Sunday showed four Fullerton violations on the play: Using one's hands on players'  backs as leverage to vault over the line to block the kick, plus three more on the return -- a forward lateral and two clips in the open. No penalties were called and the return and two points stood.)

The Comets rolled up 497 yards in their best offensive performance of the season.

On the other side of the ball, iddle linebacker Ofisa Kose had 11 tackles, six of them solo, and broke up two passes.

Safety Chris Lee made the defensive play of the night for the Comets when he intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it out 27 yards, setting up a drive that culminated with Halliday's second field goal with one second remaining in the first half. Lee also had seven tackles.

Eric Robertson also had seven tackles, including a half-tackle for a loss. And Parks likewise contributed seven tackles. Donovan Thurman intercepted a pass.

The Comets (3-4, 1-2) now must win their final three games, beginning Saturday night against Saddleback at Escondido's Wilson Stadium, to end the regular season 6-4 and become bowl eligible.

The Hornets advanced to 3-4, 2-1.

GAME STATS | SEASON STATS

ABOVE: Palomar's Shanta Chaloux (41) bats down a Cerritos pass attempt in the second quarter Saturday night. No. 99 is Arnold Vo'a. BELOW RIGHT: Austin Dennis returns a kickoff 46 yards to the Cerritos 49-yard line late in the first quarter. The return gave the Comets field position to score their first touchdown 42 seconds into the second quarter. BELOW LEFT: Tight end Ryan Ena (85) turned this catch of a Ryan Lamb pass into a 64-yard gainer which set up Palomar's final touchdown. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets drop rematch of 2011 SoCal semifinal

ESCONDIDO (10-6-2012) -- Palomar spotted visiting Cerritos 21 first-quarter points, then came back in the second half to pull to within eight points, but eventually dropped a 35-20 non-conference football decision on Saturday night at Wilson Stadium.

The Comets made the game, a rematch of last year's Southern California community college semifinals, closer than the final score would indicate. The Falcons scored the final points of the night, on a 1-yard touchdown run by Donald Livingston and Marco Torres' PAT kick, with just 9 seconds remaining in the game.

"We spotted them too many points early, made too many mistakes including too many penalties -- again. But I was proud of our kids and the way they came back," Palomar coach Joe Early said. "(Cerritos) got the cheap touchdown at the end to make it seem one-sided, which it wasn't.

"We have our bye next week. We'll come back and start our stretch run in two weeks at Fullerton -- four conference games the last four weeks. And (the Southern Conference) is wide open. Tonight didn't hurt us because it was non-conference, and this thing is far from over as far as the playoffs and bowl games are concerned."

Palomar is 3-3 and will still be 1-1 in conference when the Comets go to Fullerton on Oct. 20.

The Comets got back in the game Saturday on touchdown passes of 29 and 23 yards from Ryan Lamb to Mike Hodges and eight points by kicker Jon Halliday (field goals of 33 and 23 yards and two extra-point kicks).

Lamb, who finished 19-for-35 with the two touchdowns and one interception after a  1-for-7 start, passed for 228 yards including a 64-yard completion to tight end Ryan Ena on a third-and-eight play from the Palomar 6 that took the ball down to the Cerritos 30. He threw his 23-yard touchdown pass to Hodges two plays later as the Comets closed to 28-20 with 7:30 left in the game.

But the Falcons finished off the Comets as they ate up 6 minutes, 45 seconds on a drive that covered 71 yards on 14 plays and culminated with the final touchdown with 9 seconds showing on the Chick Embrey Field scoreboard.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Ena had four catches for 83 yards and Hodges, Austin Dennnis, Anthony Mount, Josh Harris and Shaka Robinson each had two receptions.

Cerritos huge, quick and athletic defense closed up what holes Palomar was able to create and got to the ball in quick order to limit Southern Conference rushing leader Chad Dobbins to 36 yards on 13 carries.

Austin contributed 126 all-purpose yards, 86 on two kickoff returns, 7 on one rush and 26 yards receiving.

Middle linebacker Ofisa Kose led Palomar defensively. He recovered a fumble and reurned it 22 yards, made eight tackles and also had a quarterback hurry. Cornerback Demarcus Henderson forced the fumble directly in front of the Palomar bench.

Shonta Chaloux and Anthony Bolton forced two other big fumbles by Cerritos, which Trent Roberts and Aaron Leauma recovered.

Chaloux also had two pass break-ups and seven tackles. Henderson, Donovan Thurman and Eric Robertson contributed six tackles each. Josh Jacko, returning from an injury, had five solo tackles, second on the team to Kose's seven.

GAME STATS | SEASON

TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Erik Aunese (59) blocks a field goal attempt against Golden West on Saturday night.The football is pictured sailing over the holder at the far left. ABOVE: Safety Stephen Parks intercepts a pass in the first quarter. Parks' pick led to the first points of the game, a 24-yard field goal by Jon Halliday. No. 10 is Diachi Kozu, the Comets' first-ever Japanese football player from Komaba Gakuen in Tokyo. BELOW RIGHT: Tight end Ryan Ena catches a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lamb in the first quarter. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

Lamb, Dobbins, 'D' lead Comets over Rustlers

ESCONDIDO (9-29-2012) -- Palomar returned to the football win column on Saturday night, defeating visiting Golden West 27-7 at Wilson Stadium as freshman quarterback Ryan Lamb completed 21-of-31 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

Chad Dobbins rushed for 135 yards on 24 carries behind the blocking of Nate Devan, A.J. Kaplan, David Villanueva, Doug Saeks, Kolby Drew, tight ends Ryan Ena and Sam Browning, and fullback Tyler Faapouli.

And the Comets' defense pitched a near-shutout behind the performances of safety Stephen Parks (9 tackles, 1 interception to set  up a field goal), linebacker Ezra Latu (9 tackles), safety Chris Lee (8 tackles), linebacker Ofisa Kose (8 tackles), down lineman Anthony Bolton (7 tackles, tackle for loss, quarterback hurry), down lineman  Fiaalii Togiaso (6 tackles, 1 sack, 5 tackles for losses) and safety Donovan Thurman (6 tackles).

Erik Aunese blocked a field goal, and Joe Scott and Mike Stiles recovered fumbles.

Palomar (3-2, 1-1 Southern Conference) jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead on Jon Halliday's 24-yard field goal, his first of two on the evening, a 4-yard touchdown pass from Lamb to M.J. Bailey and an 11-yard TD pass from Lamb to Ena.

Golden West (2-3, 0-2) got on the board in the second quarter by a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Ryan Watson.

The Comets answered with 10 unanswered second-half points as Lamb hit Mike Hodges with a 4-yard touchdown pass and Halliday kicked a 26-yard field goal. Halliday converted after all three Palomar touchdowns.

Ten different Comets caught passes, led by Ena with four for 24-yards, all in traffic and Kam Hanna (3 for 26 yards), Austin Dennis (3 for 26 yards) and Faapouli (3 for 23 yards).

Palomar shot itself in the foot with 12 penalties for 134 yards, but survived.

The Comets will play a non-conference game with Cerritos at Wilson Stadium next Saturday at 6 p.m.

GAME STATS | SEASON

ABOVE: Chad Dobbins is off and running on his third touchdown, a 37-yard run with 12:34 left in the third quarter. Dobbins rushed for 233 yards on 28 carries. He had a fourth TD called back. BELOW: Austin Dennis (23) rollows Eavin Simmons (20) upfield on a 92-yard kickoff return for the game's final touchdown. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Dobbins runs for 233 yards but PC can't hold on

COSTA MESA (9-22-2012) -- Chad Dobbins rushed for 233 yards and touchdowns of 8, 16 and 37 yards on 28 carries Saturday afternoon, but Palomar couldn't hold on to an early 14-0 lead and dropped its Southern Conference football opener to Orange Coast 35-28.

Dobbins also had a fourth TD called back when his 26-yard scoring run was nullified by a false start penalty on the Comets in the third quarter. The teams were tied 21-21 at the time and, if the TD had counted, it would have put Palomar back in front.

Orange Coast won the game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the first one which put the Pirates in front for the first time 28-21. Orange Coast led 35-21 when Austin Dennis returned a kickoff 92 yards to close the gap back down to seven points with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.

Palomar never got the ball back after that. Orange Coast drove from its own 10-yard line to the Comets' 23, taking 15 plays to make seven first downs, as the Pirates ate up the remaining time against a tired Palomar defense that had been on the field too long.

Dobbins' 233-yard performance was the third-best in Palomar history, behind Joe Hall's 261 yards against Saddleback and Hall's 246 yards vs. Pasadena City College, both during the Comets' last national championship season in 1998.

Austin was the other Comet to have a big statistical day on Saturday, with 180 yards in returns (4 kickoff returns for 176 yards, 2 punt returns for 44 yards).

The Comets (2-2, 0-1 Southern Conference) self-destructed against the Pirates (3-1, 1-0). Palomar had two touchdowns called back (the other one a fumble return by Brandon Blinn), missed three field goals, dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone and saw a fourth-quarter drive end on an interception at the Orange Coast 22.

The Comets out-rushed the Pirates 283 yards to 237, but were on the short end of a 319 yards-to-79 yards differential in passing yardage.

Tight end Ryan Ena caught four passes for 35 yards for Palomar. Linebackers Ofisa Kose and Shonta Chaloux each had 10 tackles to lead the Comets defensively. Chaloux also broke up a pass. Donovan Thurman contributed 9 tackles. Blinn recorded  7 tackles,  including 2 tackles for losses  and a sack. DeMarcus Henderson broke up two passes and recovered a fumble.

GAME STATS | SEASON


Former PC teammates Schwab and Lee meet

TEMPE, Arizona (9-20-2012) -- Former Palomar teammates Martavious "Mo" Lee and Brice Schwab will meet Saturday night at Sundevil Stadium when Lee's Utah Utes play Schwab's Arizona State Sundevils in a Pac-12 opener.

Schwab, a fifth-year senior, starts at right offensive tackle for ASU, which brings a 2-1 record into the game.

Lee, a converted wide receiver, starts at corner for the Utes, who also come into the game 2-1.

Lee returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown on Saturday in Salt Lake City to help the Utes defeat rival BYU 24-21. He had four tackles and a half-tackle for loss in the game and also knocked the football loose from Riley Nelson, the Cougars' quarterback on what was ruled an incomplete pass. That play was caught on camera (see photo above) but does not show up in Lee's stats.

Lee has 11 tackles on the season for Utah, which opened the season with a 41-0 win over Northern Colorado and was upset 27-20 in overtime at Utah State before beating BYU.

Arizona State opened with back-to-back victories over Northern Arizona 63-6 and Illinois 45-14 before losing 24-20 at Missouri on Saturday.

(ABOVE PHOTO: Martavious "Mo" Lee (5)  is shown knocking the football away from BYU quarterback Riley Nelson in the Utes' 24-21 victory on Saturday in Salt Lake City. The play was ruled an incomplete pass. -- Courtesy photo)

David Fisher (photo by David Dermer)DAVID FISHER, Kent State -- Fisher, who transferred from Palomar after the 2011 season, is pressuring returning three-year starter Spencer Keith at quarterback for the Golden Flashes.

Fisher is 10-of-16 passing for 177 yards and a 63-yard touchdown in his first two appearances.

Kent State opened with a 41-21 victory over Towson, lost 47-14 at Kentucky when Fisher did not play.

 The Golden Flashes  rebounded on Saturday with a 23-7 win at Buffalo in its MAC opener.

C.J. MALAUULU, Kent State -- Malauulu, who transferred from Palomar after the 2010 season, is in his second year as a starter at weak-side linebacker for the Golden Flashes.

Malauulu was a pre-season All-MAC first-team selection.

The son of former Palomar defensive lineman Casey Malauulu and nephew of Comet carrer receptions record-holder and current receivers coach Lafo Malauulu has 12 tackles, a sack and a quarterback hurry in three games.

He's started all three games.

DEVIN TAVERNA, South Dakota -- Taverna, who starts at safety, has 15 tackles and has broken up a pass in his first two games. He transferred to South Dakota after last season, when he was Fisher's teammate with the Comets.

The Coyotes opened with a 35-25 loss at Montana, then defeated Colgate 31-21 lat Saturday.

South Dakota will visit Northwestern on Saturday at Evanston, Illinois

Paul MoorePAUL MOORE, Florida Atlantic -- Moore, who missed the 2010 season for the Owls with a hand injury after transferring from Palomar, then played in six games in 2011, started Florida Atlantic's season-opening 7-3 win over Wagner. But he sustained a knee injury in a loss to Middle Tenneessee in week 2.

He missed last week's loss at Georgia and has been declared out for the season going into Saturday's game at defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama.

Florida Atlantic will have to petition the NCAA to grant Moore, son of former Florida State and Cincinati Bengals receiver Paul Moore, a hardship sixth year of eligibility.

EX-COMETS ON 4-YEAR LEVEL, 2012
OT -- Brice Schwab, Arizona State University
CB -- Martavious Lee, University of Utah
DE -- Zach Gholson, University of Memphis
LB -- C.J. Malauulu, Kent State University
QB -- David Fisher, Kent State University
WR -- Alex Wheat, Utah State University
WR -- Kyle Greenwood, University of Memphis
SL -- Paul Moore, Florida Atlantic University (injured)
WR -- Nigel Westbrooks, University of Nevada (injured)
RB -- Orenzo Davis, Montana State University
LB -- Adam Witzmann, Charleston Southern University
QB -- Nate Ong, Old Dominion University
S -- Devin Taverna, University of South Dakota
TE -- Cory Soto, Lamar University
CB -- Devin Willis, Northern Arizona University
LB -- Richie Mataafa, North Alabama University
S -- Dean Faddis, Portland State University
OT -- Steven Steiner, Western Carolina University
RB  -- Nick Ricciardulli, Humboldt State University
DT -- Reggie McGrue,  Humboldt State University
C -- Jose Zuniga, Lindenwood University
WR -- Andre Uptgrow, Lindenwood University
LB -- Jeremiah Kose, University of Montana (injured)
DB -- Xavier McGinniss,  Bevard College
RB -- Anthony Walker, Whittier College
 CB -- Corinthian Gray, Northwood University
LB -- Tanner Hix, Cal Luthern University
TE -- Carson Paopao, Eastern Oregon University
LB -- Tala Meyers, North Park University
P -- Rocco Hemphill, Livingstone College
WR -- Geoff Akpom, Benedictine College
DE -- Eugene Lott, Wesley College

J.C. Grid Wire: Comets edge up to 18th in USA

KIRKLAND, Washington (9-19-2012) -- Palomar, which was ranked as high as No. 10 in the nation earlier in the season, has inched up to 18th from last week's No. 21 in the J.C. Grid Wire / JCFootball.com rankings.

The nation's Top 10 teams are No. 1 East Mississippi, No. 2 Mt. SAC, No. 3 City College of San Francisco, No. 4 Iowa Western, No. 5 Butler (Kansas), No. 6 Arizona Western, No. 7 Navarro (Texas), No. 8 Mississippi Gulf Coast, No. 9 Ventura and No. 10 Riverside City College.

Palomar is 2-1 after beating Southwestern 47-43 on Saturday. The Comets visit Orange Coast, also 2-1, on Saturday at 1 p.m. in both teams' Southern Conference opener.

ABOVE: Palomar freshman kicker Jon Halliday, the Southern Conference Special Teams player of the Week, shown kicking one of his four field goals out of Roman Sevier's hold vs. Southwestern. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Outside linebacker Shonta Chaloux,the conference's Defensive Player of the Week

Chaloux and Halliday named Players of Week

LONG BEACH (9-18-2012) -- Palomar outside linebacker Shonta Chaloux and kicker Jon Halliday have been honored as Southern Conference Players of the Week.

Chaloux was selected as Defensive Player of the Week. Halliday was named Special Teams Player of the Week.

The conference named Orange Coast running back Robert Penny, who will lead the Pirates against Palomar on Saturday afternoon at LeBard Stadium in Costa Mesa, as its Offensive Player of the Week.

Chaloux, a 6-foot-0, 210-pound sophomore from Valley Center High School, intercepted two passes in the Comets' 47-43 victory over Southwestern on Saturday.

Chaloux opened the scoring in the game 4 minutes, 15 seconds into the game when he intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.

Then, after the Comets scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown with 1:07 to play in the fourth quarter, Chaloux clinched the vitory with his second interception. He also had five tackles during the game.

Halliday, a 6-2,185-pound freshman from Brighton High School in Sandy, UT and a transfer from the University of Utah, tied a Palomar record when he went 4-for-4 on field goals against the Jaguars, hitting from 44 yards in the second quarter, and from 30, 25 and 38 yards in the fourth quarter.

He tied the PC mark set in 1983 by Ryan Lux against Mt. SAC. Lux later was Temple University's starting kicker for two years.

Halliday also was 5-for-5 on PATs on Saturday and  is perfect on both field goals (6-for-6) and conversions (8-for-8) on the season.

Halliday accounted for 17 of the Comets' 47 points on Saturday.

Penny rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries as Orange Coast defeated Long Beach City College 34-12. The Pirates, whose only loss came in overtime to Moorpark, will match 2-1 records with the Comets at 1 p.m. Saturday.

ABOVE: Shonta Chaloux intercepts a pass in the first quarter of Saturday's game. He returned it 32 yards for a touchdown to enable Palomar to draw first blood. BELOW: Chris Lee (left) and De Marcus Henderson (right) double-team Southwestern's Robin Johnson, knocking the ball loose. Ofisa Kose (44) recovers the fumble for the Comets. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

Comets win on Lamb-to-Ena pass with 1:07 left

ESCONDIDO (9-15-2012) -- Thanks to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Lamb to tight end Ryan Ena with 1 minutes, 7 seconds to play, Palomar remained unbeaten against Southwestern since 1988 on Saturday night, winning 47-43.

The Comets jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the game's first 13 minutes, 15 seconds, fell behind twice, came back to lead by nine points and trailed 43-40 when the Jaguars took the lead on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brett Nelson and 2-point conversion run by Tyler Anderson with 1:41 to play.

Lamb was 18-for-36 passing for 261 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He managed a 34-second drive after Southwestern's final go-ahead touchdown that resulted in his game-winnng TD pass to Ena.

Lamb also passed to Josh Harris (4 catches, 89 yards) for touchdown plays covering 39 and 12 yards.

Jon Halliday went 4-for-4 on field goals, converting from 44, 30, 25 and 38 yards out to tie the Palomar record set by Ryan Lux, who later kicked for Temple, against Mt. SAC on Oct. 18, 2003. Halliday also was 5-for-5 on PAT kicks, giving him 17 of the Comets' 47 points.

Shonta Chaloux returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown to give the Comets an early 7-0 lead. Fast forwarding to the fourth quarter, he also clinched the victory after the Lamb-to-Ena touchdown when he intercepted a pass and tacked on a 17-yard return with 23 seconds showing on the Wilson Stadium scoreboard clock. In between he had five tackles.

Freshman safety Chris Lee had a breakout game defensively with nine tackles, six of them solo, and two pass break-ups.

Byreese Taylor had seven tackles and recovered a fumble. Sephen Parks had seven tackles and broke up a pass. Ofisa Kose and Arnold Vo'a also recovered fumbles.

Anthony Mount caught four passes for 102 yards and returned a blocked field goal 45 yards for a touchdown.

GAME STATS | SEASON

ABOVE: Palomar's Eric Robertson and Chris Lee (17) bring down Riverside City College running back Jamil Austin in the fourth quarer last Saturday night in Riverside. --  Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Tight end Ryan Ena, who had a spectacular one-handed grab of a Ryan Lamb pass in that game

Comets try to get back on track in home opener

ESCONDIDO (9-14-2012) -- Palomar will play its home football opener Saturday against non-conference opponent Southwestern, a team that comes in 2-0 but has endured decades of frustration against the Comets.

The Comets (1-1), dropping down to play their only game of the season against a team from the lower tier of Southern California community college football, will be trying to work out some frustrations of their own. They went into last week's game at Riverside City College ranked 10th in the nation but basically failed to show up against a good team, turned the ball over six times and got smoked.

Palomar enters its home opener ranked 21st nationally by J.C. Gridwire / JCFootball.com, having dropped 11 spots from a week ago. The Comets also dropped from No. 6 to No. 16 in the California Community College coaches poll after their non-performance against the Tigers.

"They're coming in 2-0. They've scored a lot of points, and they've gained a lot of yards," Palomar coach Joe Early said.

The Jaguars have had their way in victories over West Los Angeles 55-33 and Los Angeles Valley 42-3. But it's difficult for a second tier team to crack the national and state rankings, and the Jaguars remain unranked despite their two one-sided wins.

This will be Southwestern's only opportunity to make a statement against a top-tier team. Southern California Football Association teams can only play outside their tier once a season.

The Jaguars have not beaten the Comets since 1988, when they scored on a long broken-field run late in the fourth quarter to win 42-35 in the finalt game of the season at Devore Stadium in Chula Vista.

ABOVE: Palomar's Austin Dennis returns a kickoff 61 yards to the Riverside City College 34-yard line in the third quarter last week. The Comets had one of their six turnovers three plays later. --  Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT:  Ryan Lamb, who passed for 181 of his 216 yards in the second quarter, which Palomar dominated but was only able to score once in three trips into the red zone.

Comets virtual no-shows & Tigers have way

RIVERSIDE (9-08-2012) -- What was supposed to be a showdown of nationally 10th-ranked Palomar and nationally 14th-ranked Riverside City College turned out to be a bust Saturday night when the Comets basically failed to show up.

RCC, which was very into the game after an upset loss last week when it opened the year ranked fourth in the nation, took full advantage of the Comets' surprising lack of focus and intensity. The Tigers jumped out fast and kept the pedal to the medal through three quarters-plus on the way to a 47-7 non-conference victory at Wheelock Field.

RCC's E.J.Schexnayder ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Zach Adams threw four TD passes, the final one on a 24-yard strike to Gus Penning that ended the game's scoring and made the final 47-7 with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

Riverside eventually called off the dogs midway through a scoreless fourth quarter.

Palomar trailing 17-0, showed its first signs of life in a second quarter during which the Comets outscored the Tigers 7-3 on a 53-yard scoring bomb from quarterback Ryan Lamb to receiver Anthony Mount. Mount juked RCC defenders and ran away from the Tigers' secondary after catching the ball. Jon Halliday kicked the PAT.

The Comets turned the ball over twice after long drives in the quarter, once on an interception deep in the end zone following a 61-yard drive, and the other time at the end of a 51-yard pass play from Lamb to Mike Hodges when the ball suddenly came loose from Hodges' grasp. In all, Palomar turned the ball over six times.

Lamb passed for 181 of his 202 first-half yards in the second quarter. He finished the night with 212 yards passing, going 11-for-26 with the TD and three of Palomar's four interceptions. Mount had all four of his receptions for 83 yards in the quarter.

The Palomar defense also came to life in the second quarter. But the Comets' momentum disappeared as Riverside scored four touchdowns in the third quarter.

The Comets were unable to establish a running game until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter as RCC was able to control the line of scrimmage. Shakeel Marshall rushed for 40 yards in the fourth quarter on seven carries.

A bright spot for Palomar's special teams was a 165-yard performance on five kickoff returns by Austin Dennis.

Byreese Taylor had eight tackles, six solo, for Palomar defensively. Shiane Tupua also had eight tackles. Connor Sodano contributed seven tackles.

Brandon Blinn had six tackles, including a sack, and blocked the PAT attempt after RCC's last TD of the night. Ofisa Kose and Desmond Dyas added six tackles each. Stephen Parks also had a sack.

Both teams are now 1-1 on the season.

GAME STATS | SEASON

 

ABOVE: Defensive tackle Fiaalii "Junior" Togiaso, a 6-foot-0, 320-pound transfer from Cornell, flattens El Camino's Ricky Johnson early in the second half in the Comets' 20-7 victory on Saturday night in Torrance. No. 44 for Palomar at the left is middle linebacker Ofisa Kose. BELOW RIGHT: Quarterback Ryan Lamb cocks his arm to throw the ball on a play-action pass after faking a handoff to Chad Dobbins (33). No. 1 is receiver Anthony Mount. BELOW LEFT: Dobbins busts through a hole created by guard A.J. Kaplan (77), guard Doug Saeks  (72) and tight end Sam Browning (81) for a 92-yard run in the second quarter. Dobbins was brought down at the Warriors' 4-yard  line and the Comets were stopped on four straight plays, including runs from inches away on third and fourth downs. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. 

Dobbins 170 yards; Comets stun El Camino 20-7

TORRANCE (9-01-2012) -- Chad Dobbins rushed for 170 yards on 31 carries, Ryan Lamb made his debut as Palomar's starting quarterback with two touchdown passes to Mike Hodges and the nationally 16th-ranked Comets opened the football season with a 20-7 non-conference upset over No. 12 El Camino on Saturday night.

The Comets' defense turned in a dominating effort against an El Camino team quarterbacked by rifle-armed USC transfer Jesse Scroggins. Palomar forced four turnovers, held El Camino to 17 yards rushing and only allowed the Wildcats into the end zone once, when a facemask penalty on a swarming sack of Scroggins kept an El Camino drive alive.

"We faced adversity and we overcame it," said coach Joe Early.

The victory sends the Comets into next Saturday's 6 p.m. game at coach Tom Craft's nationally No. 4-ranked Riverside City College team with a 1-0 record. The Tigers will come into the game with a 0-1 mark after losing for the first time since 2010 on Saturday, 28-27 on the road at Ventura.

Palomar took a 3-0 lead with 6:52 remaining in the second quarter when University of Utah transfer Jon Halliday split the uprights on a 41-yard field goal.

El Camino answered with its only points of the night with 7 seconds showing on the scoreboard clock at historic Murdock Stadium on a 16-yard TD pass from Scroggins to Luckner Brady after the facemask penalty and a PAT kick by Cody Thornton.

In the second half, it was all Palomar's show as the Comets scored the game's final 17 points on a 30-yard Lamb-to-Hodges touchdown pass, with 10:30 left in the third quarter, a 34-yard field goal by Halliday with 3:20 remaining in the same quarter, a 9-yard Lamb-to-Hodges ouchdown wih 6:21 left in the game and two Halliday PAT kicks.

Cornerback De Marcus Henderson and freshman safety Stephen Parks contributed the two most spectacular turnovers of the four produced by the Palomar defense.

Henderson stole the football at the Palomar 3-yard line from an El Camino running back trying to take it into the end zone. That set up a 92-yard run by Dobbins, the second-longest run from scrimmage in Palomar history, coming back the other way which gave the Comets a first-down inside the Warriors' 5-yard line. They were unable to score in four tries, however, the last two from inside the 1-yard line as the two teams remained scoreless early in the second quarter.

Parks had the last turnover of the night for the Comets, an interception and 37-yard return which cut the knees off a Scoggins-led El Camino drive.

In between, Parks caused a fumble that Shalimar Lawson-Hinds recovered for the Comets, and Kam Hanna had a fumble recovery of a punt that was touched by an El Camino player, setting up Halliday's second field goal.

Tyler Bailey, Henderson and Parks led the Comets with six tackles each. All Bailey's tackles were solo and he also forced a fumble. Arnold Vo'a contributed five tackles, including 2.5 sacks and also had three quarterback hurries. Shonta Chaloux had five tackles, a half-sack and also forced a fumble, and Lawson-Hinds also added five tackles to go along with his fumble recovery.

Not unexpectedly, Palomar was able to run the ball successfully against a big El Camino defense, and protect Lamb most of the night due to a big night by the Comets' offensive line of guards Doug Saeks and A.J. Kaplan, tackles Kolby Drew and Nate Devan, center David Villanueva and tight end Ryan Ena.

Lamb connected on 14 of 28 passes for 146 yards and the two TDs with one interception on a tipped ball in his Palomar debut. Hodges caught three balls for 64 yards and the two touchdowns. Anthony Mount also had catches. Ena,  M.J. Bailey and Joe Kanahele each contribugted  two receptions.

Tim Tahti deopsited three punts inside the 20-yard line, one to the 10 when, after a penalty, put e Warriors on their 5-yard line. Austin Dennis returned five punts for 36 yards to go along with 25 yards rushing on just three carries.

GAME STATS | SEASON

Former Palomar middle linebacker Tyler Seau reacts to the crowd while speaking at Friday evening's public memorial for his late father, Junior Seau, at Qualcomm Stadium. Tyler was chosen by the Seau family as its representative to speak to the crowd and TV audience. -- Courtesy photo

Tyler Seau speaks for family at dad's memorial

SAN DIEGO (5-11-2012) -- Former Palomar middle linebacker Tyler Seau was his family's representative to speak at his dad Junior Seau's public memorial Friday evening at Qualcomm Stadium.

Tyler Seau, 23, the eldest of Junior Seau's four children, was chosen by the Seau family as its spokesperson.

Some of Tyler Sea's remarks to the crowd at the 'Q":

"You (fans) have definitely made this process a little easier. All the support and love you ... have given us this week has allowed us as a family to come together and be strong. ... Tonight is truly amazing. (My father) has had an impact on every single one of our lives today. He is truly a legend and he will be with us forever."

The memorial was a "celebration of life" for the former football and basketball CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year at Oceanside High Schoo and ex-USC All-American and All-Pro with the Chargers and New England Patriots, Junior Seau's No. 55 was retired at the memorial by Chargers President Dean Spanos.

Tyler Seau did not have his dad's size, but inherited his hitting ability. He came to Palomar out of Mission Hills High School. After playing for two seasons for the Comets, Tyler helped Delta State Univeristy of Cleveland, Mississippi to the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship Game, where the Statesman lost to Minnesota Duluth 20-17 at Florence, Alabama..

Tony Seau, Junior Seau's brother and Tyler's uncle, also played football for Palomar and later was an assistant coach for the Comets.

Junior Seau, one of the greatest players in Chargers history and one of the NFL's all-time best defensive players, shot himself in the chest on May 2 at his house in Oceanside. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


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