Bryce Dickson (11) throwing the ball to the right side of the field at College of the Canyons, Thursday 101322 (Kyle Kawamoto/Canyons News)

College of the Canyons celebrated its first homecoming game in three years Thursday night, alongside their 25th anniversary season of Cougar Football. 

The celebration was short as the Cougars lost 17-7 to rival Bakersfield (3-3). This extends their record to 2-4 on the season extending their losing streak to four games. 

Bryce Dickson got the start at quarterback, starting off strong for the Cougars. Early on he found receiver Jacobee Taylor for a 39-yard touchdown catch, which put them up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

“As soon as I saw him pressing me, I knew it was a touchdown,” Taylor said. “I just saw the middle of the field open and I took the opportunity.”

The offense went on a cold streak after that and couldn’t end zone for the rest of the game. The Bakersfield defense held COC to 174 yards of total offense for the rest of the night.   

“We just need to build momentum,” Dickson said. “We’re trying to do too much at one time. Trying to score in one play, but if we pick our heads up and keep driving every play instead of trying to score on one play.”

The Cougar’s defense was a spotlight for the team as it held Bakersfield scoreless for the first 28 minutes of the game. 

However, Bakersfield quarterback Joseph Campbell executed a two-minute drill at the end of the half. He ended up taking a 1-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone and tied the game at 7-all going into halftime. 

Going into the fourth quarter, Bakersfield led 10-7. Midway through, Campbell found receiver Jihad Marks on a screen, who did the rest. He took it 71-yards down the left sideline to extend the lead to 17-7. Despite those two touchdowns Cougars head coach Ted Iacenda loved the intensity of his defense. 

“My hat’s off to the defensive side of the ball. They played their butts off, they battled,” Iacenda said. “We’ve definitely just got to figure it out on the offensive side so we can produce more points and get them off the field.” 

A COC ball carrier gets stopped by Luke Wattenbarger (18) at College of the Canyons, Thursday 101322 (Kyle Kawamoto/Canyons News)

One player who played through the whistle was Brian Snoe. He finished with six tackles, including three tackles for loss, and one sack. He now leads the team with 24 tackles on the sesaon. has 24 tackles on the season leading the team. 

“I prepare really well for games. I watch a lot of film,” Snoek said. “Formation-wise, I was seeing what kind of plays they would run, so for the game I was able to make my reads and be able to execute off of them.”  

Midway through the season, the Cougars have not yet committed to a starting quarterback. Chayden Peery started the season, and this week Dickson and Peery each got two possessions to determine the starter for the second half. Which Dickson ultimately won. 

“Whenever you lose, everything is up for grabs. Everything is up for evaluation,” Iacenda said. “Not just the quarterback position. We’re gonna look at the offensive line, run game, ball carriers, and we’re gonna see what we need to do to get this fixed offensively.”

It can be hard to find continuity within an offense when the quarterback constantly changes. But for Dickson, that’s not that problem offensively.

“I just think we’re not executing. When we need to be,” Dickson said. “We need to come together as a team and execute plays. We’re just not doing that.” 

The Cougars look to bounce back next week on the road when they play Allan Hancock College (2-3). Hopefully, they can get back into the win column. 

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