By ARMANDO HARMON
Even with the dissapointing end to the season, PCC honors 11 players with postseason awards
With the final two games of the season the Aztecs put the fans on the edges of their seats, where they would fall short in a double OT shootout on their home finale in Game 1. Freshman quarterback Caleb Ryden would lead the comeback for the Aztecs at the end of regulation. In Game 2 and the final game in the season, the Aztecs would have a rough start in the first half as they fell to Mesa Community College. Although there was better play in the second half, the grit of the warriors wasn’t enough.
Nov. 11: PCC 17, Mesa 49
The Pima Community College football team closed out the 2017 season on Oct. 11 at Mesa Community College. The Aztecs finished 2-3 overall and 0-7 in WSFL play.
After dominating in the first quarter, the Thunderbirds would beat the Aztecs 49-17. Mesa would score on their first four drives of the game to outscore the Aztecs 28-0 in the first quarter.
With three punts, two turnovers and two turnovers-on-downs in the first half, Mesa was in control. The Aztecs trailed 42-0 at halftime.
The second half would be different for the Aztecs as they played looking for a comeback. They held the Thunderbirds to three straight punts to open the third quarter. With a 11-yard quarterback run, freshmen KC Moore scored to put the Aztecs on the board.
Sophomore Anthony Ries scored on a 9-yard touchdown run early in the fourth. With a 38-yard run by Moore, he was able to get the Aztecs that in the redzone.
The Thunderbirds were forced to punt on the next possession, but sophomore Beau Griego blocked it to put the Aztecs deep into Mesa’s territory. Sophomore Coby Oswalt nailed a 39-yard field goal to end the drive.
The Aztecs outscored the Thunderbirds 17-7 in the second half.
Nov. 11: PCC 30, Glendale 37
The Pima Community College football team (2-8,0-6 in WSFL) fell one short score in its Nov. 3 home finale.
After a rally in the second half to force overtime, the Aztecs eventually lost in a double overtime in a slugfest against Glendale Community College 37-30.
Both quarterbacks Caleb Ryden and KC Moore were sacked on the final two plays of the game to seal the victory for Glendale.
Quarterback Caleb Ryden started in the second half for the Aztecs, and he was able orchestrate the rally.
“The first drive wasn’t very good with that turnover,” Ryden said. “Coach called the plays and we started to get it together.”
Sophomore Tiger Geeslin scored for the Aztecs to take the first lead in overtime with a 14-yard run. The Gauchos of Glendale responded with a three-play drive to even the score at 30-30 and took the lead when quarterback Akil Abdullah hit wide receiver Sinclair Farinholt for a 14-yard score on the first possession of the second overtime.
The Aztecs forced the Gauchos to punt on their next two possessions and cut the lead when Ryden connected with freshmen Ronson Young for the 30-yard touchdown pass. On the Gauchos’ following possession, freshmen Jordan Hightower intercepted Abdullah’s pass as the Aztecs took over on their own 4-yard line with 4:33 left.
With a 47-yard run on the second play thanks to freshmen DeMarco Corbin, Pima was in Glendale territory. Glendale’s defense was able to contain Pima, but the drive was capped by sophomore Coby Oswalt’s 43-yard field goal to tie the game at 23-23 with 1:06 in regulation.
Down 23-7 late in the third quarter, the Aztecs rallied off 16 unanswered points. Geeslin scored a 2-yard touchdown run with seven seconds left in the third to make it 23-14.
The Aztecs were the first to put points on the board when Moore ran it in from 2 yards out, but the Gauchos scored 23 unanswered points and 17 that came off Pima’s turnovers.
“We’ve worked so hard; the kids deserved better than this,” coach Jim Monaco said. “I’m proud of them. I, I don’t know what to say.”
The Western State Football League and the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference released the awards on Nov. 14.
11 Aztec Players honored with postseason awards
Despite the season being cut short, the Pima football team had 11 students making headlines and six being named to represent Aztecs for All-League and All- Conference.
Sophomore defensive back Haki Woods was named for first team All-WSFL and first team All ACCAC. He had 45 tackles with five pass break-ups.
Sophomore punter John Bowers was also selected first team All-WSFL and first team All-ACCAC. He has 59 punts on the season with a total of 2,654 yards (45 yards). He put down 16 inside the 20-yardline.
Freshmen wide receiver Larry Rembert was named first All-WSFL and second team All-ACCAC. Rambert had 37 receptions for 728 yards and led the Aztecs with seven touchdown.
Freshmen Aaron Maddox was also on the list for being named first team All-WSFL. He has 58 tackles with one interception and three pass breakups on the year.
Defensive linemen Sam Moala and Tony Fair were both selected second team All-WSFL and second team All-ACCAC. Moala, a freshmen had 62 tackles and led the Aztecs with a team high 11 tackles for loss. He also had 3.5 sacks, forced four fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one breakup pass. Fair was second on the team with 98 tackles and tackles for loss 15 yards.
Four Aztec players were selected second team All-ACCAC conference. Sophomore Linebacker Francisco Dicochea III was named was on that list as he led Pima with 102 tackles and also had seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Freshmen Keith Brigham was named third team as he finished third on the team with 79 tackles. He lead the Aztecs with six sacks totaling 45 yards and five tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one recovery.
Rondson young was selected second team All-ACCAC conference. He had 40 catches for 467 yards with three touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Bryant Pirtle was the final Aztec to be named second team as he ended the season with 72 tackles. He had six tackles for loss for 21 yards and 3.5 sacks for eight yards.