Photo by Ed Beyer, PhD
LANCASTER - The Marauder football team could taste it.
It wanted a piece of the conference championship pie.
And for one half, AVC battled toe-to-toe with Allan Hancock with the score tied as both teams entered their respective locker rooms. Then for the second time this season at home, the Marauders had a second half collapse. And this time it cost them at least a share of the conference championship, for now.
Only nine yards of total offense in the second half and 14 points in the final two quarters helped propel the Bulldogs to a 21-7 victory over AVC, Saturday night at Marauder Stadium and with it Allan Hancock (7-2, 4-0) clinched at least a share of the conference championship.
"We just didn't execute when we needed to," AVC quarterback Armani Edden said. "It's extremely disappointing. It's not up to us to see if we get a bowl game. It's out of our hands. We just know we have to go to work Monday and rally as a team. We have to bounce back and come out next week and get the victory."
Edden finished the game 13-of-34 for 122 yards and one touchdown, but the offense seemed out of sync the entire night.
AVC took the early 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Edden connected with John Johnson on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 9:53 remaining in the quarter. The Bulldogs rallied back five minutes later following a 10-yard touchdown from Isaac Bausley.
Allan Hancock was clinging to a 14-7 lead with less than three minutes remaining. On fourth down and the ball on the 31-yard line, the Bulldogs opted to go for it. A bootleg by Allan Hancock led to a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Kelleher to Dominic Chance for the touchdown, putting the game out of reach.
The Marauders still have an opportunity to at least share the conference championship should they defeat Pierce College next week and the Bulldogs lose to Citrus College.