By Narciso Thomas Villarreal
Photo by Ed Adams
Video by James Kelley
The Pima Community College football team overcame an early 14-0 deficit to Scottsdale Community College on Oct. 2 but couldn’t hold on to their brief lead on a rainy night.
The Aztecs (2-3, 0-2 Western States Football League) fell to the Artichokes 26-20 at home. Scottsdale jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
“Another tough loss two weeks in a row,” head coach Patrick Nugent said. “We gave up points early.”
Pima freshman running back Damion Bracy scored a 33-yard rushing touchdown to get Pima on the board in the second quarter.
Scottsdale blocked the extra point attempt and returned the ball 90-plus yards for two points to give the Fighting Artichokes a 16-6 lead.
Scottsdale was driving down the field in the last minute of the first half until sophomore linebacker Justin Kitchen intercepted the ball.
“I just read it and cut across in front of him and picked it off,” Kitchen said. “I tried to return it like Reggie Bush.”
In the third quarter, Pima freshman quarterback Zander McKean threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Scott Campbell. This time the extra point was good, and the third quarter ended with Scottsdale leading 16-13.
“We battled back. It was a great comeback for our guys to get out,” Nugent said.
In the fourth, Pima took its first lead after freshman quarterback Zach Schira threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Ty Minkin. The score was 20-16 after the extra point.
Scottdale came back by scoring a touchdown and a field goal that put them up 26-20.
“We gave up a bad touchdown in the fourth quarter,” Nugent said. “We just can’t figure out a way to find a win. We just got to keep battling.”
In the game, Pima had 277 total offensive yards, with 159 passing yards and 118 rushing yards.
McKean and Schira split time behind the center. McKean went 3-10 for 94 passing yards while Schira went 4-10 for 63 passing yards.
Schira lead the Pima rushing game with 62 yards in eight carries. Bracy finished the game with 37 rushing yards in three carries.
Campbell led Pima in receiving with 99 yards in four catches.
On the defensive end, Pima allowed 415 yards.
Pima’s sophomore defensive back Ricky Solomon had two interceptions and six solo tackles. Kitchen also had four solo tackles.
Pima will host No. 9 Arizona Western College (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at Tucson Electric Park.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students and free for children under 12. Parking is free.