Going into the Hancock College football team's 2018 Pacific League opener, the Bulldogs' offense is in a familiar position.
The unit is very proficient at the ground game. In fact, the Bulldogs have been so proficient with the run game this year that they lead the league in every rushing category.
The Bulldogs also lead the league in scoring and total offense. They will face a team that moves the ball pretty well itself, Pasadena City College, in both teams' 2018 league debut. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at PCC.
Hancock is 4-1 and has won three straight. The Lancers are 2-3 and have lost three straight, two by 29 points and their last game by 49 in a 69-20 blowout at the hands of San Bernardino Valley College.
Pasadena had a bye last Saturday as Hancock was beating Antelope Valley College 26-3 at Hancock.
The Lancers score 26 points a game. Trouble is, they give up 41.
Their run defense hasn't been bad. They yield 107 yards a game on the ground. Their pass defense has been awful. Opposing quarterbacks throw for just over 300 yards a game on the Lancers.
Hancock quarterback Thomas Carr throws for a few yards over 100 a game.
It will be no surprise if the Lancers pack the box on defense against Ryheem Skinner and Co. as the Bulldogs approach the line of scrimmage. Hancock, though, has made a routine out of getting its rushing yards anyway when its opponents use that tactic.
Skinner lost the state junior college rushing lead to Rhamondre Stevenson of Cerritos after Hancock's third game. Stevenson ran for 339 yards in a 46-32 loss to Long Beach last week.
Still, Skinner is second in the state in rushing with a hefty 136 yards per game average. Jayden Vargas has blossomed as Hancock's No. 2 back, averaging 61 yards a game. Dependable Isaac Bausley averages 35.
The Hancock defense, which allows a little more than twice as much passing as it does rushing (186 yards passing, 92 yards rushing a game), figures to encounter the league passing touchdowns leader in PCC quarterback Mario Bobadilla.
Bobadilla has thrown eight touchdown passes and six interceptions.
In the defensive category that counts the most, points allowed, the Bulldogs have been very good. They give up an average of 17 points a game.
Pasadena has a good 1-2 running punch with Sultan Sullivan (69 yards a game, 5.7 yards a carry) and Drake Beasley (56 yards a game, 4.9 yards a game).
Carr has hooked up with Joe Guzman more often as the season has gone along. Hancock's leading receiver is up to about three receptions a game and an average of about 47 yards in reception yardage an outing.
Hancock, at 32:50 an outing, has been good at ball possession. Pasadena, which leads the league at 35:19, has been even better.
The Lancers have two good return men, David Fells (27 yards a return) and Rodney Collier (26).