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Quarterback Kiah Reid finished the night with 162 passing yards and 49 rushing yards. Photo by Hugh Cox.
Quarterback Kiah Reid finished the night with 162 passing yards and 49 rushing yards. Photo by Hugh Cox.

Comets show grit in overtime thriller

ESCONDIDO, CA (9/24/2022) -- No. 16 Palomar knocked off No. 12/11 College of the Canyons 31-24 in overtime as the Comets collected their first win over the Cougars in over three decades.

In a big matchup, the Comets delivered showing their grit and playing through adversity. After leading 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter, the Comets allowed the Cougars to score 17 unanswered points to force overtime. Losing the coin toss, the Comets were on offense first. 

With backup quarterback Thomas Fishburne in the game, he completed a 20-yard pass to Ikaika Bell to get the Comets to the Canyons 5-yard line. Following a 1-yard rush and then a 1-yard loss, the Comets were still on the 5-yard line. Fishburne connected with Tajae Brooks for a 4-yard gain. 

A field goal was not an option.

And on fourth down, Palomar was going for it. 

Dorian Richardson punched it in for the touchdown and Landon Ogles sealed the deal with the PAT.

Canyons' turn.

Converting on third and two, the Comet defense proved once again they're not to be messed with this season. Eric Russell had a 7-yard sack to move the Cougars back to the 22-yard line. Following a completed pass to get back to the 15-yard line, the Cougars felt they had the momentum. 

Enter Nate Frankfather.

As the Cougar quarterback scrambled, Frankfather recorded a 17-yard strip-sack to secure the win for the Comets. Shiloh Seau then chased the quarterback out-of-bounds and the game was over. 

The Comet offense came to life in their fourth game this season. Posting 311 total yards, their second-best this season. Starting quarterback Kiah Reid had a season-high 162 passing yards and Brooks finished with seven receptions for 72 yards. 

Down 7-0 in the second quarter, the Comets showed they're not a team who quits. Led by quarterback Kiah Reid, the Comet offense came together as a unit as the passing and running games worked at different points. Palomar charged 92 yards down the field on 16 plays as Reid handed off the ball to sophomore running back Richardson for a 3-yard touchdown run and after an Ogles PAT, the game was tied up. 

But the Comets weren't done yet.

Following a big strip-sack by Syrr Jaydn Barnes and recovery by Ajani Shelton at the Canyons 38-yard line, the Comet offense was back on the field. After a 1-yard rush by freshman Dez Taua, Reid connected with sophomore receiver Tajae Brooks for 13 yards to reach the Canyons 24-yard line. Following a 12-yard pass completion to Richardson and then a 1-yard run by Richardson the very next play, Reid connected with Ka'alei Apana on a textbook-perfect throw and catch for an 11-yard touchdown reception. 

The Comets had all the momentum and when Ogles pinned the Cougars at their 15-yard line following a 24-yard punt in the third quarter, the Comet defense made some noise.

For the fourth consecutive game this season, the Comets recorded an interception, this time it was Marquis Bell. Picked off at the Canyons 25-yard line, Bell returned it 23 yards to the 12-yard line, which set the Comets up for a 28-yard field goal by Ogles to take a 24-7 lead.

In a true team win, the Comet defense recorded 82 total tackles, five sacks for 41 yards, eight tackles-for-loss for 50 yards, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, four pass breakups and one interception for 23 yards. Jalen Ramsey led all Comets with 11 tackles, while Barnes finished with 10, but also tacked on two sacks, two tackles-for-loss and forced two fumbles. 

Palomar moves to 3-1, their best start to a season since 2017, and will head to San Diego County rival San Diego Mesa College on Saturday, Oct. 1 for a 6 p.m. for their final nonconference matchup.