By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College Aztecs finished their season with a loss, falling 30-12 to the No. 18 Glendale Community College Gauchos on Nov. 12.
The Gauchos controlled the first half, scoring 24 points. Glendale held the Aztecs to three points on a field goal by freshman kicker Jon Mora from 30 yards out.
The second half favored the Aztecs, as they scored nine points to Glendale’s six.
Pima scored all of its points in the fourth quarter, starting with the Aztecs’ only touchdown of the game. Sophomore quarterback Devin Stewart connected with freshman wide receiver Brandon Cradic in the back of the end zone. The Gauchos blocked Pima’s point-after attempt.
The Aztecs finished their scoring with Mora kicking a second field goal from 54 yards out.
Pima’s return game was effective. Freshman cornerback Josh Kimbell set up the first field goal by returning a kick 69 yards. Kimbell also had a 42-yard kick return in the fourth quarter.
Pima finished its season with a 3-8 overall record and a 2-6 Western States Football League record.
Head coach Patrick Nugent expressed disappointment with the season, as he had higher hopes coming in.
“We played hard in the last game, but it was a very disappointing year,” Nugent said. “We had very high expectations, but due to injuries and other things we fell way short of our goals.”
Pima secured the seventh place spot in the league, marking the first time in years that the Aztecs did not finish in ninth place.
The Aztecs’ leading rusher this season was sophomore running back A.J. Willis, who totaled 523 rushing yards on 117 carries.
Willis also had the most rushing touchdowns on the team, with four.
Kimbell lead the team in receiving yards with 360 on 22 catches. Sophomore wide receiver Cameron Gaddis was second with 230 receiving yards on 25 catches.
Both Kimbell and Gaddis had three receiving touchdowns for the season.
Stewart lead Pima in passing yards with 658 on 142 attempts. He also led the team in passing touchdowns with seven. He threw six interceptions.
Mora led the team in point-after touchdown kicks, making 22 of 23. He also led the team in field goals kicked with nine, including the longest field goal of the year from 54 yards out.
On the defensive side, freshman linebacker Clarence Williams led the Aztecs in tackles with 78.
Freshman safety Darius Kelly led Pima in interceptions with three, and in interceptions returned for touchdowns with two.
Freshman cornerback Andrew Fox led the team in sacks with three. Fox also led the Aztecs in fumble returns for touchdowns with two.
Fox and freshman safety Danell Miles tied for most fumble recoveries. Both recovered five.
The Aztecs season was plagued with injuries, and the team lost other players due to resignation and ineligibility.
Pima’s football team started with 92 men on the roster and ended with 76, but only suited up 46 players for the final game.
Nugent hopes to rebound. He enters the off-season ready to find recruits for next year’s team.
“We need to have a great recruiting season, many spots to fill,” Nugent said.