Last year, the Hancock College football lost its first two Pacific League games and won its last three.
This year, the Bulldogs have out-scored their league opposition by a combined 77-10 in winning their first two league games. Hancock (5-2, 2-0) will try for its third straight Pacific League win, and sixth straight overall, when it plays at Woodland Hills-based Los Angeles Pierce College (3-4, 1-1).
The Brahmas have taken some shellackings from the Bulldogs over the years, including the 60-0 pounding Hancock put on Pierce at Hancock last year, but the Brahmas' fortunes have risen this year.
Pierce has been involved in two one-point decisions in its conference campaign so far, losing 7-6 to Los Angeles Valley College — which Hancock crushed 46-7 lat Hancock last week — and edging Citrus College 28-27 last Saturday.
Going in, the Bulldogs and Antelope Valley College are the only teams who are unbeaten in Pacific League play. The Marauders are 4-3, 2-0.
League sacks leader Osa Omokaru (eight) helps lead a Hancock defense that has allowed just 268.8 yards a game, including a miserly 57.9 rushing yards for opposing ground attacks.
Linebacker Basiru Jobe has been a particularly steady tackler for a Hancock defense that leads the state in sacks with 34. Defensive end Anthony Miller has also been a productive pass rusher for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs' defense will be pitted against a Brahmas attack that averages 207.9 yards a game passing and 159 yards a game rushing. Kyshawn Richards averages a healthy 5.7 yards per carry and is the team's rushing yardage leader at 69 a game.
Freshman teammate Marquise Mickens is second in the league in rushing touchdowns with five.
Hancock quarterback Jimmy Kelleher is second in the league in passing touchdowns with six. He went over the 1,000-yard mark in passing last week. Kelleher, a sophomore from Levittown, New York, has 1,010 passing yards on the year
Ryheem Skinner leads Hancock's rushing attack. He's at 89.6 yards a game now, and he averages 6.3 yards a carry.
Damon Whitmill Jr., at 59.6 yards a game, is the second-leading rusher for a Hancock ground attack that averages 238.4 yards a game. The Hancock passing attack averages an unspectacular 144.7 yards a game, but Kelleher has been steady in league play.
Johnathan Saavedra has thrown the bulk of the passes for the Brahmas, and he averages about 152 yards passing a game. He has thrown nine touchdown passes and nine interceptions.
Nipomo graduate Nick Kimball and Michael Ferraro have been particularly dependable receivers for Kelleher. Kimball is the team's receptions leader with 27. Ferraro leads the team in reception yardage, at 54 yards a game.
The Bulldogs have been able to shrug off most of the 851 yards they have been penalized for this year. Hancock was hit with just four accepted penalties, for a total of 40 yards, against Santa Barbara City College two weeks ago but was heavily penalized again against L.A. Valley.