by STEVEN FOWLER
A late rally came up short as the Pima Community College football team (4-1, 3-1 in ACCAC) suffered its first loss of the season, Sept. 19 against Mesa Community College.
The Aztecs surrendered 20 points in the first quarter and were unable to take the lead resulting in a 41-27 loss in Mesa.
Down 27-3 in the second quarter, the Aztecs scored 17 points to close the deficit going into the half. Freshman Sergeo Hoffman started off with a 14-yard run for a touchdown to make it 27-10. The Aztecs took advantage of two costly fumbles by Mesa and Sophomore running back Deontay Townsend scored on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to 27-17.
With 1:57 remaining in the half, freshman Nathan Farmer kicked a 37-yard field goal. Freshman Brandon Yamamoto and sophomore Lopeti Fonokalafi had fumble recoveries to set up the scores.
On Pima’s first possession of the second half, freshman quarterback Antonio Hinojosa threw a pick six that was returned by Mesa for an 85-yard touchdown bringing the score to 34-20.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Aztecs cut Mesa’s lead back to one possession with 1:28 left in the quarter after Townsend’s second rushing touchdown for 7 yards.
Mesa scored on their next possession early in the fourth quarter. The Aztecs had a turnover on downs and two turnovers on their possessions in the finalquarter.
Hinojosa will be out indefinitely with a head injury after suffering a severe hit to the head according to Coach Jim Monaco.
With Hinojosa out, the Aztecs will turn to last year’s starter, Kian Homme.
The Aztecs will be back at Kino on Saturday, Oct. 3 against Arizona Western College at 7 p.m.