The Allan Hancock College football team held off a late surge by San Bernardino Valley College to capture the 2018 American Championship Bowl title, 38-35, Saturday night at Righetti High School in Santa Maria.
The Bulldogs had all the momentum in the early going. Thomas Carr found Pierre Moudourou on a 76-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in the 1st quarter.
Just under two minutes later, Ryheem Skinner marched into paydirt from three yards out to quickly put Hancock on top, 14-0.
The Wolverines would cut the deficit in half midway through the 1st quarter, but the Bulldogs scored 14-straight points to end the half thanks to Skinner and Moudourou scoring their second touchdowns of the game. Hancock led 28-7 at the break.
It was 35-7 Bulldogs at one point in the 3rd quarter, but that’s when San Bernardino Valley started to make its comeback.
Armando Herrera connected with Josh Evans for a three-yard touchdown, then Austin Bacher scored on a three-yard rush to bring the score to 38-21 in favor of Hancock.
The Wolverines ended up scoring 21- straight points in the second half, including two more touchdown passes by Herrera. However, San Bernardino Valley could only cut the deficit as close as three points.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bulldogs head coach Kris Dutra said. “The kids had really good chemistry. This is a really tight group here. They play well together and I think it showed tonight. That’s the first time I’ve seen them put close to a full game together. They usually play about a half, but they really came together in the last month or so and it’s been special to watch.”
Carr went 10-15 passing with 242 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Skinner marched for 130 yards on 20 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns.
This is the first bowl championship for the Bulldogs since 2011.
Hancock ends the 2018 season with a 10-1 overall record which includes an undefeated American Pacific Conference title.