Football seeks to end streaks against familiar foe

By Narciso Thomas Villarreal

Don’t tell people associated with the Pima Community College Aztecs’ football team that seven is a lucky number because they might give you a mean glare.

The Aztecs (2-8, 0-7 Western States Football League) lost their seventh game in a row after they were edged by Eastern Arizona College by one point on Nov. 6 by a score of 14-13.

“It’s frustrating,” head coach Patrick Nugent said. “Nobody expected us to be where we’re at. Hopefully this week we can end that streak.”

In week two, in a non-conference game, Eastern spanked Pima 42-14 in Tucson.

PCC has not won a WSFL game since Oct. 30, 2004 when it beat Arizona Western College 62-20. In 2004, they were called the Pima Storm.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, the Aztecs wrap up the season by hosting Phoenix College (2-7, 2-5) at 1 p.m. at Tucson Electric Park. Pima snapped its 29-game losing streak by beating the Bears in Phoenix to open the season in non-conference play.

Eastern took control of the November game in the first quarter by scoring all of its 14 points.

The Aztecs pulled within seven by halftime to make the score 14-7.

In the third quarter, Pima had a holding penalty called against it that took away a long touchdown run.

In the final two minutes of the game, Pima scored a touchdown to pull within one.

Instead of kicking the extra point after the touchdown and tying the game, Nugent decided to have his offense go for the lead by going for a two-point conversion.

The Aztecs’ attempt was unsuccessful after sophomore tight end Trenton Kamins caught the pass but was called out of bounds.

“There was tension the whole game,” freshman offensive lineman Daniel Ballesteros said. “They called back two touchdowns from bad reffing. At the end of it all, the pass to Kamins was in but the refs called it out.”

In the game, freshman quarterback Zander McKean took charge of the offense. He threw two touchdown passes and had 161 passing yards.

Sophomore receiver Scott Campbell led the team in receiving yards with 79. Sophomore running back Auburá Taylor had Pima’s other receiving touchdown in the game.

On Oct. 30, Pima was able to keep pace with Snow College in the first half but was eventually bullied in the second half. The Aztecs fell to the Badgers in Ephraim, Utah, by a final score of 47-11.

The Aztecs played well in the first half. After the first quarter, the score was 10-7 in favor of the No. 13 Badgers. Snow won the WSFL title by blowing out Phoenix on Nov. 6.

Neither team scored in the second quarter, so Pima still only trailed by three at halftime.

The second half started out well for the Aztecs. They made it 10-9 after forcing a safety.

After that, the fireworks were over for Pima. The team surrendered 37 points to the Badgers in the second half.

Pima just managed to squeeze out two more points for the rest of the game after they returned a blocked field goal attempt by Snow and took it to the end zone for the score.

Freshmen quarterbacks Zach Schira and McKean each threw two interceptions and Pima fumbled the ball three times.

In the game, the Aztecs had 201 total yards of offense with 93 passing yards and 108 rushing yards.

McKean and Schira threw a combined 24 passes in the game and completed 10.

Taylor led the Aztecs’ ground attack with 50 rushing yards on nine carries.

Sophomore running back Ronald Hopper led the team in receiving yards with 39.

Defensively, Pima gave up 288 total offensive yards to Snow. Sophomore defensive back Michael Holloway had the Aztecs’ sole interception of the game.

Zander McKean drops back to pass as his offensive line and Anthony Hughes protect him against Western. Photo by James Kelley

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