Online Extra: Football snaps 29-game losing streak, earns National award

By James Kelley
Photos courtesy Jenny Ottaviano Farmer

Well that didn’t take long.

The Pima Community College football team snapped its 29-game losing streak in its season opener Sept. 4 at Phoenix College, winning 17-14.

Sophomore safety Griffin Ronstadt had a stellar night, intercepting two Phoenix passes, returning one for 53 yards and making three tackles, one for a loss. The National Junior College Athletic Association honored Ronstadt as National Player of the Week.

Sophomore running back Andy Garcia provided the game-winning touchdown on a four-yard run. Garcia had a stellar night, rushing for 80 yards on eight runs.

The Aztecs’ last win was 63-2 over Verde Valley, a semi-pro team, on Aug. 25, 2007.

The win also snapped Pima’s 48-game losing streak to college teams. The Aztecs’ last true win came in the 2004 Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl, over No. 4 Kilgore College.

In the Sept. 4 victory, Pima’s freshmen quarterback combo of Zander McKean and Zach Schira went 7-16 for 76 yards. McKean was 3-7 for 22 yards, while Schira was 4-9 for 54 yards.

Sophomore running back Ronald Hopper scored Pima’s first touchdown, on a one-yard run in the first half. Freshman kicker Adam Valenzuela kicked a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter.

PCC’s offense gained 257 yards, 81 rushing and 76 passing. Freshman running back Damion Bracy had 49 yards on five rushes.

Justin Kitchen, Griffin Ronstadt

Freshman receiver Chris Howard led the Aztecs in the air with four catches for 28 yards. Sophomore receiver Scott Campbell had Pima’s longest reception, 28 yards, on his only catch.

The Aztecs’ home opener is Saturday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. against No. 16 Eastern Arizona College. All Pima home games are at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way.

Tickets are $6, and $4 for students.

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