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Hancock runs wild in 28-13 win over Vaqueros

Sammy Ortiz reaches for a pass in Saturday's home finale. He caught a 32-yard TD on a double pass from Jahmal Cornwell. Ortiz has caught 3 passes this year and all have been for TDs in the 4th quarters of the last three games. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Sammy Ortiz reaches for a pass in Saturday's home finale. He caught a 32-yard TD on a double pass from Jahmal Cornwell. Ortiz has caught 3 passes this year and all have been for TDs in the 4th quarters of the last three games. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Hancock ran on 86% of its plays on Saturday and the Bulldogs piled up 396 rushing yards and four TDs in a 28-13 American Pacific League win over SBCC at La Playa Stadium.

The Bulldogs (6-2, 3-0) are the No. 1 rushing team in California, averaging 302.1 yards and nearly four touchdowns a game. They had two 100-yard rushers on Saturday – Maurice Smith with 17 carries for 121 yards and two TDs and Terrance Raynor (13 for 102 yards), who averaged 7.8 yards per carry and scored on a 12-yard run to make it 21-0 midway through the second period.

The Vaqueros (2-6, 1-2) got a 50-yard kick return from Jaylon Smith to set themselves up at midfield. They converted on a fourth-and-6 from the 30 when Bradley Kleven hit Cyrus Wallace for 14 yards.

Hancock was called for pass interference on the next play, moving the ball to the 10. Kleven took his eye off the shotgun snap on first down and fumbled, allowing John Sniffen to recover for the Bulldogs at the 17.

Wallace led the Vaqueros with six receptions for 86 yards (14.3 avg.) and a touchdown in their final home game of the season.

Smith sprinted 41 yards for a TD at 8:01 of the third quarter to cap a six-play, 73-yard drive that made it 28-0.

The Vaqueros got on the board on the third play of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Scotty Forbes ran 21 yards to the Hancock 39, then found a wide-open Wallace at the 17-yard line and he carried it in to complete a 39-yard scoring play.

"They were in zero man with no free safety, so we checked it to a solid protection," said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos. "We just call out the guy who's going to run the deep route and we got a good throw and catch."

SBCC punted on its next possession and Curt McDonald muffed it at his own 32. Cory Butler pounced on it for the Vaqueros. On first down, the Vaqueros scored on a flea flicker as Forbes threw a lateral pass to Jahmal Cornwell, who tossed a 32-yard TD pass to Sammy Ortiz.

Ortiz, a 5-8 freshman from Hayward, Calif., has three catches this year and they've all gone for touchdowns in the fourth quarters of the last three games, measuring 72, 33 and 32 yards. A bad snap on the PAT try forced Forbes to try a pass that fell incomplete.

"Our guys never gave up and they kept coming back," said Moropoulos. "We turned down a great opportunity in the first half and we missed a few tackles. But our defense rose up big and did a great job in the second half.

"We have the capabilities on offense, we just have to believe it and do it."

Hancock ran 61 times for 396 yards and a 6.5 average. The Bulldog defense held the Vaqueros to 23 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Hancock doubled up the Vaqueros in total offense, 442 to 214 yards.

SBCC passed for 191 yards and two TDs. Kleven completed 12-of-14 in the first half for 74 yards. Forbes played the last two quarters, completing 6-18 for 85 yards and a TD.

The Vaqueros got a huge break late in the game when a bounced punt snap led to the punter being tackled for an 11-yard loss at the Hancock 19 with 3:41 to play. The Vaqueros were called for holding, then got a 14-yard Forbes-to-Cornwell connection that moved it to the 8-yard line.

After three incomplete passes, Forbes was intercepted by EJ Barrera in the end zone.

"Hancock likes to run and they're going to slam it down your throat," said Moropoulos. "That's where our guys rose up and did a nice job. We kept playing hard all day. We missed some tackles that gave them some big runs."

Defensive back Nazir Hopson led the defense with 12 tackles and Patrick Dill Jr. had 11. Jacob Shultz added nine tackles and 1.5 for loss. He's third in the APL in tackles (7.6 per game) and his 18 tackles-for-loss are No. 1 in the league.

The Vaqueros will play their last two games on the road, traveling to Santa Monica next Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest and then playing at Pasadena City on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.