By Narciso Thomas Villarreal
Photo by Ed Adams
The wheels have fallen off for the Pima Community College football team after losing to the team with the worst record in the conference, Mesa Community College.
Mesa defeated Pima 22-21 on Oct. 16 as the Aztecs dropped their second road game in a row and fourth game overall. With the loss, the Aztecs fell to 2-5 overall and remain winless in the Western States Football League at 0-4.
“Mistakes came back and cost us,” head coach Patrick Nugent said. “It was a tough defeat. We played well, put up a lot of numbers offensively and the defense really played a great game.”
Pima had two misplayed snaps that both times went over the punter’s head and led to points for Mesa.
One of the bad snaps put Mesa on the Pima 10-yard line, and Mesa capitalized with a touchdown. The other bad snap resulted in a safety, which gave the Thunderbirds two points in the fourth quarter.
The Aztecs also fumbled the ball five times but lost it only once.
Pima freshman quarterback Zach Schira was picked off before the first half came to an end, and it was taken back 96 yards for a Thunderbirds’ touchdown.
“We outplayed them the whole game,” Nugent said. “We were a better football team than them. If you take away our miscues, we would’ve won that game easily.”
Pima had 359 total offensive yards, with 131 passing yards and 228 rushing yards.
Freshman quarterback Zander McKean started the game and finished 7-18 for 126 passing yards.
McKean’s sole touchdown pass was completed to sophomore running back Auburá Taylor.
Schira completed one pass in three attempts for five passing yards and was intercepted once.
Pima had 228 total rushing yards in 41 total rushing attempts.
Taylor earned both of Pima’s rushing touchdowns in the game as he ran for 81 yards in four carries. He finished with 268 all-purpose yards.
The Thunderbirds gained 201 total offensive yards against the Aztecs’ defense.
Freshman defensive back Adrian Brahler had an interception.
“In reality, the defense only gave up three points all night,” Nugent said. “The defense gave the offense plenty of opportunities to score.”
The New Mexico Military Institute Broncos will travel from Roswell, NM to Tucson Electric Park to face the Aztecs on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
Admission prices are $6 for adults, $4 for students and free for children under 12. Parking is free.
The Broncos have forfeited two games, one non-conference and one WSFL, this season due to a player playing while ineligible.