The FC football squad hosted Palomar College on Saturday afternoon, and ran past the Comets 55-42.
The scorching summer heat came swinging back to Southern California this weekend, but the Hornet offense shined racking up 350 yards on the ground and 188 through the air (538 total yards). Two Fullerton running backs went over 100 yards rushing in Alfonzo Graham (113 yards / 1 TD) and Brandon Rankins (106 yards / 2 TDs). Quarterback Cooper Callis also impressed running for 81 yards, and Lucky Avinger banged out 24 yards with a touchdown.
Like last week, the opening kickoff jumpstarted the fan's hearts when Kashan Griffin ran the ball 88 yards to the Palomar 12-yardline nearly breaking the record for most kick returns in a season. Currently, there is a three-way tie for the record (3) with Griffin, Marnez Ogletree (2014), and Keyon Lee (2011) sharing the honor. The Hornets scored on the very next play from scrimmage on a 12-yard run by Rankins.
Fullerton went up 14-0 at 7:44 in the first quarter when Graham took the ball across the goal line from the 4-yardline.
Three minutes later, the Comets got on the board on a 52-yard pass from QB Rodney Thompson to Johnny Armentro.
Fullerton wrapped up the first quarter with a 48-yard TD run by Rankins to go up 21-7.
Palomar scored on their next possession, an 11-play drive that ended with a 2-yard run by Thompson.
The Hornets did not waste any time getting back on the board with a 25-yard strike by Callis to Kailan Noseff. FC led 35-14 at 10:52 in the second.
The Comet offense was busy driving down the field with 2:18 left in the half. Thompson tossed a pass to the 15 and it was picked off by Xavion Steele, who took it back for an 85 yard Hornet touchdown. The half ended with Fullerton having a healthy 35-14 lead over Palomar.
There were 6 touchdowns and 2 field goals scored in the second half as Fullerton maintained a decent lead throughout for the needed win. Both of Palomar's onside kicks were unsuccessful with the Hornet special teams playing a great game. Both of place kicker Alec Fonseca's field goals were good from 28 and 30 yards out.
The Hornet win keeps them in the race for a conference title at 1-1, while the Comet loss sets them back at 0-2 in the Central Conference. The win also gives FC a 14-12 edge in the all-time series with Palomar. The first time the two colleges faced off was in 1992. The Comets won that game 31-18 in Fullerton.
Up Next: Fullerton (3-4 overall, 1-1 conference) will travel south to San Diego Mesa College for another conference showdown on Saturday, November 2nd. Kickoff is at 6:00 pm.
*Photo by Matt Brown