By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team lost its fourth contest of the season on Sept. 22, against the Phoenix College Bears.
The final score was 21-9. Pima is now 1-4 on the season.
“A loss is a loss,” sophomore quarterback Quinn Rollerson said. “No one’s ever happy after a loss.”
The game was scoreless through the first quarter.
The Bears were first to score in the second quarter, on an interception. However, the Aztecs followed up immediately, by blocking Phoenix’s extra point attempt. Freshman center Mikell Everette returned the ball to the end zone for two points.
“It was very tiring, I’m not going to lie,” Everette said about his return. “It’s just being at the right spot at the right time.”
Pima trailed 6-2 after Everette’s sprint.
After that, the Bears seized control and extended their lead to 18-2 in the third quarter. Pima’s defense began to struggle trying to contain the Bears’ offense.
“I’m tired of hearing excuses!” defensive coordinator Pat Ryden shouted at his group of guys. “Make plays!”
With 6:55 remaining in the half, PCC freshman quarterback Max Shepard scored a touchdown on a 20-yard run.
The Aztecs were unable to make up any more ground, though. They had multiple turnovers and it seemed that the team was not communicating well.
“We need to come together as a unit,” sophomore safety Darius Kelly said.
The Bears have now beaten Pima twice this season. They beat Pima 17-14 in the opening game.
Pima also lost on Sept. 15 to the Arizona Western College Matadors, 32-14.
“They are very good and we need to have a great game,” Nugent said before the game. “We are getting better and will add a few wrinkles to take advantage of the few weaknesses that they may have.”
The Matadors are ranked third in the nation for the NJCAA.
The Aztecs fell behind immediately, as Western scored on its first drive. Pima managed to answer back when sophomore kicker Adam Valenzuela knocked in a pair of field goals — one from 29 yards out and another from 34 yards.
PCC also earned a safety in the first quarter off a fumbled kickoff return.
In the second quarter, Rollerson connected with sophomore tight end Spencer Grijalva on a 30-yard completion to set up a three-yard scoring run for Rollerson.
Pima was leading 14-11 heading into the second half.
However, the Aztecs were unable to hang on to the ball in the second half. They turned the ball over three times and the Matadors scored 21 unanswered points.
Pima was unable to mount any sort of comeback from the 28-point deficit.
The Aztecs will hit the road on Sept. 29 to take on the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds.
Pima will do its best to prepare for the Mesa game and pull out a victory.
“Look forward to hearing about us next week,” Rollerson said. “We’re getting a W.”
Sept. 29: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6: @ Snow College (Utah), Ephraim, Utah, 1:30 p.m.