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Bucking for the Brahma Bowl Begins at Pierce

Times Staff Writer

It’s not named after a fragrant flower or a luscious fruit. Instead, its title conjures images of 4-H competition or a chili cook-off.

But Valley junior college football teams already are jostling to appear in the first Brahma Bowl, which will be held on Dec. 7 at Pierce College.

One participant will be the champion of the Southern California Conference, according to Pierce Athletic Director Bob O’Connor. Valley and Pierce, both 2-0, are tied for first in the SCC and meet Nov. 23 at Pierce in a game that could decide the conference championship.

“The other team is up in the air,” O’Connor said. “Glendale would be attractive.”

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Glendale is 7-0 and leads the Western State Conference. The Vaqueros are one of six undefeated teams in the state but might choose the prestigious Shrine Potato Bowl if invited. That would leave the second-place WSC team--currently Moorpark--to face Valley or Pierce.

Moorpark, which was beaten by Pierce, 31-28, after leading, 28-24, with four minutes remaining, would love another shot at the Brahmas.

“I still think we’re better than they are,” Moorpark offensive lineman Pat Cheek said. “We’re twice the team they are.”

The Brahma Bowl committee could select a team from another region--O’Connor mentioned Taft and Bakersfield--but local teams are preferable because they are a better draw.

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Seven other JC bowl games also dot the state. The Brahma Bowl is the unofficial postseason affair for teams from Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Said Fred Baer, JC Athletic Bureau director: “Bowl directors are not locked into choosing from a specific area, but for financial and attendance reasons, most bowls match two local teams.”

In other words, don’t look for Valley, Pierce or Moorpark to play in the Golden Valley Bowl, hosted by the College of the Siskiyous in the bustling community of Weed.

Big Gun: Clifford Cannon, a sophomore running back at Valley College, gained 198 yards on 21 carries to lead Valley to a 28-8 victory over East L. A. on Saturday.

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“He probably should be offensive player of the week in the state,” Valley Coach Chuck Ferrero said.

The Monarch defense already has gained statewide recognition. Valley is ranked second in the state, allowing a stingy 185.2 yards per game, and is one of three JCs that has allowed fewer than 200 yards per game.

Two defensive leaders were hurt Saturday, but Valley still held East L. A. to 72 yards rushing. Defensive linemen Alain Greer (groin pull) and Danny Duffy (strained knee) played little but should get a chance this week against the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo junior varsity.

Checkered Records: The preconference records of Western Football Conference teams are about as meaningful as the spring-training records of major league baseball teams.

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Cal Lutheran began WFC action with a 4-1 record and is 4-3 after two conference losses. Portland State was 2-3 and is 2-4 after losing to WFC member Sacramento State.

So why is Cal Lutheran considered an underdog in its game at Portland on Saturday?

The Kingsmen built their preconference record on wins over an obscure NAIA team, Western New Mexico, and relatively weak Division II schools: Sonoma, San Francisco and St. Mary’s.

Portland State was in over its head against five teams from the Division I-AA Big Sky Conference. The Vikings defeated Montana and Montana State, but lost to Idaho, Idaho State and Weber State.

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“We present as much a threat to Portland State as Belgium did to the Third Reich,” Cal Lutheran Coach Bob Shoup said.

On the Prowl in Portland: Newbury Park High graduate Brian Coushay is Portland State’s leading receiver. The 6-0, 180-pound senior ranks third in the WFC with 28 catches for 463 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Coushay was All-Marmonte League at Newbury Park in 1981 when he teamed with quarterback Greg Tipton. Both earned All-Western State Conference honors at Santa Barbara City College in 1983. Tipton is quarterback at the University of Hawaii.

Coushay caught 30 passes for 612 yards and 7 touchdowns his sophomore season at Santa Barbara and had 16 catches for 339 yards last season at Portland.

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Shoup is more impressed with Coushay now than he was two years ago.

“He wasn’t heavily recruited,” Shoup said. “He’s made a believer out of a lot of people.”

Coushay, who runs the 40 in 4.5, leads the WFC with 189 yards on 20 punt returns for a 9.5 average. A track and field performer in the spring, he high jumps 6-10, triple jumps 50 feet and long jumps 23-7.

Baby Broncos: Don’t expect the University of Santa Clara, which last week trampled Cal Lutheran, 51-23, to be tame until at least 1988.

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With sophomore quarterback Greg Calcagno and freshmen running backs Matt Shaw and Bryan Smith the core of an offense that has led Santa Clara to a 3-0 WFC record (6-1 overall), the Broncos are ranked eighth in Division II.

Fourteen starters will return next season for Santa Clara.

CSUN Eclipsed: The Cal State Northridge women’s volleyball team, which was ranked No. 2 in the last Division II rankings, has mysteriously disappeared from the list.

Last weekend, the Matadors won the Air Force Premier Classic in Boulder, Colo., which included six of the top 10 Division II teams.

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Perhaps CSUN is so good, it soared right off the charts.

Besides being beaten last week by Cal Poly, 34-21, CSUN was beaten up.

Linebacker Ray Johnson sprained a knee and will probably play in Saturday’s nonconference game at UC Davis. Wingback Eric Davis, who has a strained thigh muscle, probably will not play. Running back Mike Kane, who sprained his right foot two weeks ago, is expected to play.

Davis, ranked No. 2 in Division II, is attempting to set a national record by winning the Northern California Athletic Conference for a 15th consecutive season. The Aggies (5-1, 3-0) are tied in the record book with Oklahoma, which won 14 straight Big Eight titles in the 1950s and 1960s.

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“We have to play harder against Davis than we did against Cal Poly,” CSUN Coach Tom Keele said. “We have to hitch up our pants and play with intensity.”

Chris Petersen, a junior, is continuing what has been a fine tradition of Aggie quarterbacks. He has completed 88 of 129 passes for 1,331 yards and 10 touchdowns.


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