Comets win BC Empire Bowl
December 3, 2008
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Clifford & Bradford Insurance sponsored the fifth annual Golden Empire Bowl on Nov. 22 at Memorial Stadium. For the first time in the bowl’s five-year existence, the Bakersfield College Renegade football team did not participate in the bowl. The Palomar College Comets (9-3) and the Cerritos College Falcons (7-5) played in a high scoring, non-playoff bowl game that Palomar won 38-33.
Both Palomar and Cerritos missed the playoffs, so the bowl game was the last game of the season for both teams.
Palomar head coach, Joe Early, said, “We had two top-notch teams play and both should have been in the playoffs.”
Cerritos head coach, Frank Mazzotta said that the Golden Empire Bowl is the greatest bowl game at the junior college level.
The Falcons scored first with a 32-yard field goal by Pedro Puga in the first quarter on their first drive. Palomar tied the game with a 19-yard field goal by Collin Yost, which made the score 3-3 in the first quarter.
The first touchdown of the game was not scored until a little less than 2 minutes left in the first quarter. Cerritos sophomore fullback Junior Tivao scored on a 1-yard touchdown that made the score 10-3.
In the second quarter, Palomar scored its first touchdown when freshman quarterback Matt Christian completed a 29-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Martavious Lee, which tied the score 10-10.
Both teams scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first half. Before halftime, Cerritos was kept from a touchdown after their quarterback, Jeffrey Fischer, could only carry the team down to the 37-yard line. Cerritos’ Pedro Puga’s 37-yard field goal was good.
Fischer went 20-for-33 and passed for 219 yards and one touchdown. However, Fischer was sacked twice by Palomar’s defense.
The halftime score was 24-20 in favor of Palomar.
In the second half, Palomar pulled away with a touchdown by running back freshman Orenzo Davis on seven plays, which made the score 31-27 in favor of Palomar. Palomar also scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Christian to Lee in the fourth quarter.
With 9:52 left in the game, the score was 38-27 in favor of Palomar. Davis was the rushing leader for Palomar with 13 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Cerritos scored again when sophomore running back Duane Bowen made a 4-yard run with 6:20 left in the game, and the score was 38-33. The game ended with the same score with Cerritos coming up short as Palomar took control of the ball the last 3 minutes of the game and converted a first down after Cerritos used their last time out that stopped the clock at 2:54.
The game lasted a total of two hours and 48 minutes.
Cerritos’ Duane Bowen was named Offensive Player of the Game, and Defensive Player of the Game was Palomar defensive back, freshman Anthony Young. The Golden Empire Bowl’s Most Valuable Player was Palomar quarterback Matt Christian.
Christian went 20-for-29 with one interception, one sack and passed for 253 yards. Early said, “This type of atmosphere gave them (freshmen) a taste of playoffs, and sophomores a great way to end.” Early said about the next season for the Comets, “This will be a huge motivator.”