Allan Hancock vs East Los Angeles

Ben Willkomm gets up after making an interception in the first half against East Los Angeles College during the game at Hancock College on Sept. 9. Hancock went on to a 21-13 victory and has now won three straight games.

Peter Klein, Contributor

As the Hancock College football team's winning streak has lengthened, its ranking has risen.

The Bulldogs (3-1) were ranked second in the latest Southern California-American Division Poll. Undefeated Los Angeles Valley College remained atop the division rankings at No. 1. The Monarchs have won 19 straight.

Hancock will try to make it four wins in a row Saturday. The Bulldogs will host American Division Mountain League member San Bernardino Valley College (2-2) at 2 p.m. Hancock, which plays in the Pacific League, has won three straight over Metro League teams.

SBVC is ranked in the American Division top 10 itself. The Wolverines are ranked No. 9. They won in a 45-0 blowout over Los Angeles Southwest College last week. 

Hancock has a pretty balanced offense (sophomore quarterback Jimmy Kelleher has thrown for an average of 185 yards a game and has an efficiency rating of 110.1). However, the Bulldogs have been characteristically better on the ground.

The Bulldogs finished fourth in the state in rushing last year, and that is their state ranking in that category this year. Hancock averages 209 yards a game rushing.

Rykeem Skinner has played in just two games, but he is the team's leading rusher at 175 yards on the year. None of the other Bulldogs' ballcarriers average more than 41 yards a game on the ground, but seven of them have at least one rushing touchdown. No one on the team has more than two.

As it was last year, the Wolverines' defense has been pretty good. Hancock won 16-6 when the teams played at San Barnardino last season. This year, the Wolverines give up 200 yards a game passing and 110 yards a game rushing.

They don't have anyone with spectacular rushing stats, but Deion Walker averages a solid 60 yards a game and has scored three of the team's four rushing touchdowns.

San Bernardino moves the ball much more through the air (242 yards per game) than on the ground (103 per game average).

Hancock's defense has been characteristically stingy against the run, allowing 88 yards a game rushing. The Bulldogs give up 227 yards a game passing. 

Freshman quarterback Anthony Herrera's efficiency rating is almost exactly    the same as Kelleher's. It sits at 109.2. Herrera has thrown six touchdown passes and five interceptions. Kelleher has thrown two TD passes and four interceptions.

Herrera's favorite targets have been Kellen Pachot (57 yards in receptions a game) and Elijah Smith (50 yards in receptions per game). The two have 13 receptions apiece.

Nick Kimball is Hancock's leader in receptions (19) and reception yardage (273). Michael Ferraro has played in just two games, but he has made a big impact in those two games. He has a total of 12 receptions and is the squad's reception yardage per game leader at 86.

The Bulldogs have had a healthy pass rush this year. They are fourth in the state in sacks, with 16. They're also fourth in the state in interceptions, with 10. Domanic Chapa leads the team in interceptions with three.

Linebacker Basiru Jobe set a program single game record with 20 tackles in Hancock's 50-35 win over Santa Ana College in Santa Ana last week.

Eron Kelly is SBVC's season sacks leader with 4.5.

Both teams have been hit with prodigious penalty yardage. The Bulldogs  have been flagged with 58 accepted penalties for a total of 587 yards. The Wolverines (55 accepted penalties, 515 yards) aren't far behind.    

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Sports Reporter