By ARMANDO HARMON
Aztecs fail to upset as the No.1 team takes over in the fourth.
PCC 17, Arizona Western College 34
The Aztecs of Pima Community College (1-2) couldn’t hold it together against the Matadors of Arizona Western College (2-0), the No. 1 team in the nation.
Big plays from the Matadors gave them the edge Sept. 9 at Kino Sports Complex as the Aztecs allowed 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, losing 34-17.
Though the score tells another story, the Aztecs held their own with No. 1.
In the fourth quarter, the score was 20-17. As the Aztecs marched down the field, freshmen quarterback Jordan Mariteragi threw an interception. The Matadors would score on their drive to make it a 27-17 game with 10:18 left.
With momentum on their side, the Matadors’ defense forced the Aztecs to punt and turn the ball over on downs.
The Aztecs tried to come back, but quarterback KC Moore threw an interception that led to a pick 6 by the Madators.
The third quarter was the best for the Aztecs. With a 2-yard run by freshman running back Clayson Conrad and a safety by the defense, the Aztecs were able to rally back from a 20-9 score.
In the first quarter, the Aztecs got on the board when Mariteragi connected with freshmen Ronson Young for a 29-yard touchdown to cut the lead with a 7-6 score.
The Aztecs only led once when kicker Coby Oswalt hit a 24-yard field goal to lead the Matadors 7-9.
There were miscues that ended up haunting the Aztecs, such as a missed kick and the many penalties. Some of those could have been avoided, such as the penalty for excessive celebration.
PCC 21, Scottsdale CC 34
The Pima Community Football team (1-3 overall, 0-2 in WSFL) had its first road game Sept. 16 at Scottsdale Community College.
By halftime, the Aztecs trailed 17-7.
At one point, freshman quarterback Jordan Mariteragi connected with sophomore LeBronze Allen for a 26-yard touchdown catch.
A later punt by the Artichokes shot down momentum for the Aztecs after Mariteragi’s pass was intercepted by Traivon Clayton, who returned it for a 55-yard touchdown. The Aztecs bounced back with a score of their own on the next possession.
With a 91-yard drive, Mariteragi found Rembert for a 47-yard touchdown. Scottsdale was still up 24-21 in the third.
The Artichokes responded with a touchdown of their own with a 70-yard drive. Micah Reed-Campos scored on a 12-yard run extending their lead 31-21 with 15 seconds left in the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Aztecs couldn’t get it together, struggling with turnovers and a punt.
The Aztecs started with a 63-yard drive lasting eight minutes. Sophomore Bryan Ventura had a 11-yard run for a touchdown, and sophomore kicker Coby Oswalt hit the extra point. The Aztecs were leading 7-3 with 2:28 left in the first.
As the Artichokes were driving down the field with two minutes left, sophomore Haki Woods intercepted a pass in the endzone, but fumbled to give Scottsdale the ball on Pima’s 16-yard line.
The Artichokes would capitalize of the miscue from the Aztecs with an 11-yard reception from Devin Neal.
The Aztecs will return to home on Saturday at Kino North Stadium. They will host the Air Force Prep Academy in the Coaches for Charity Aztec Classic. Kickoff is set for noon.
Sept. 21: at Air Force Academy, Kino North Stadium, noon.