The GNAC champion Cougars celebrate like they did against Simon Fraser on Nov. 9. after their biggest win of the year at the Victory Bowl.
Photo by Steven Mercado

Azusa Pacific football clinched its 10th season win during Saturday’s 67-0 blowout over Division III opponent Greenville College in the National Christian College Athletic Association Victory Bowl hosted in Rome, Ga.

Between nine touchdowns and sophomore kicker Jamie Cacciatore’s pair of field goals, the Cougars posted the largest shutout in school history and the only shutout in the history of the bowl.

Senior quarterback Dasmen Stewart completed 11-of-13 passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns. Stewart hit sophomore wide receiver Tanner Henry for two touchdowns and junior wide receiver Ed Dillihunt for another.

With three touchdowns and 110 rushing yards, junior running back Terrell Watson broke Christian Okoye’s school records for career rushing (3,679) and single-season TDs (23), tacking on to his already-set single-game and single-season records for rushing yards along with TDs.

Senior quarterback Justin McPherson added two rushing touchdowns, including an 8-yard run off a fake field goal attempt in the first quarter. Freshman defensive back Sam Flemming posted an additional touchdown with a 48-yard pick six.

“I just saw a team that competed well and finished well. They played their best football, and that’s what I think you want to see your last game,” said head coach Victor Santa Cruz. “It’s just a great victory to cap off a great season.”

The Cougars held the Panthers to 111 total offensive yards and 4-16 on third-down conversions.

“Whenever you give up zero points, that’s a great job; that’s a phenomenal job,” said defensive coordinator Brian Willmer. “The seniors did an excellent job. We talked the last two weeks about finishing well, and every one of these seniors came out here, they put their stamp and they left their legacy with this team and this program to finish well.”

Among the senior defense class are defensive end Matt Moody and cornerback Silas Goma, who earned All-GNAC first team honors, as well as senior linebackers Jake Henderson and Sean Barber, who earned all-conference second team.

“When you go through tough times together, you really learn to trust the guy next to you and learn to rely on them,” said Barber. “It’s this special bond you don’t really have too many other places.”

The Cougars finished 9-1 in conference and 10-2 overall, claiming their first NCAA Division II title in their second year as members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Azusa Pacific is in its final year of Division II provisional membership and will be eligible for post-season NCAA play in 2014.