By ARMANDO HARMON
It’s been rough for Pima football as they lost two straight. Things could turn around, however, as the team hits the road for two consecutive weeks.
Oct. 14: PCC 21, Snow College 37
The Aztecs of Pima Community College football team (2-5, 0-4 in WSFL) put up a fight with 11th-ranked Snow College for the first half, but it was a different story in the third.
Pima ended the game with a loss and once again, surrendering points. This time the Aztecs gave up 23 unanswered points, with being outscored 20-0 in the third quarter Pima lost 37-21 to the Badgers (6-1,4-1) on Saturday at Kino North Stadium.
Freshmen wide receiver Larry Rambert had two touchdowns in the game. In the first quarter, he caught a 15-yard pass from freshman Jordan Mariteragi, and with his efforts the Aztecs were first to strike, leading 7-0. Later in the fourth, Rambert scored a 85-yard touchdown from freshmen K.C. Moore. Rambert broke free and walked into the endzone untouched.
Defense came through big time when sophomore Garius Thompson intercepted the ball from Badgers quarterback Shane Johnson. Thompson was able to give the offense good field position. Down 14-7, the Aztecs evened the score with 7:56 left in the half when freshman Jayden Hall ran free on a 54-yard touchdown run.
“We just got stuck, said head coach Jim Monaco, “The effort is there, but it feels like we aren’t being rewarded.”
The Badger defense forced Pima to turn over the ball four times throughout the game.
“We got two road games, we got to work hard, and we just got to beat people,” Monaco said.
The Aztecs will be on the road Oct. 21 at Arizona Western College in Yuma. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Earlier in the season, Pima gave the No.1 team a run for their money, so this matchup will be for the upset and revenge.
This was the first game for the Aztecs after the death of their teammate, Jordan Waddell.
Oct. 7: PCC 16, Eastern Arizona College 21
PCC had a close matchup on Oct. 7 at Eastern Arizona College, but they couldn’t seal the win. The team gave up 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the third time this season as they fell to the Gila Monsters 21-16.
Pima had a 16-7 lead with 7:30 left in the game, but the Gila Monsters responded on their next possession, connecting with a 89-yard touchdown pass to cut the Aztecs’ lead to put them within one possession with 6:27 left.
The Aztecs showed some signs of life after that touchdown by gaining a couple of first downs as they marched to Eastern Arizona’s 21-yard line. Sophomore Coby Oswalt attempted to kick a 38-yard field goal to call it a game. Oswalt’s kick, however, was short and recovered in the endzone.
After that, it was off to the races when the Gila Monsters returned it for 100 yards to score with 1:17 left.
As time ticked down, the Aztecs were forced to turn over the ball on downs on their possession, and the Gila Monsters emerged the victors.
The Aztecs were down 7-6 to begin the fourth quarter, but they took the lead after Oswalt hit a 21-yard field goal to put Pima up 9-7. On the following possession for the Gila Monsters, there was some confusion in the backfield as they fumbled the pitch. PCC freshmen Sam Moala scooped and scored, as he returned the ball 5 yards for the touchdown to make it 16-7.
The pace of the game was slow for both teams. Oswalt hit a couple of field goals to put the Aztecs ahead 6-0. Eastern Arizona had the advantage going into halftime as they led 7-6.
Because of his efforts on Saturday’s game, Moala was named WSFL Player of the Week. He finished the game with 13 tackles (seven solo) and three forced fumbles, of which one he returned. To add to his performance, he logged five tackles for a loss and has a total of 20 tackles for the season.