By STEVE CHOICE
It’s a year-round proposition for teams these days, and the Pima Community College football program is no different. The squad is always readying itself for the challenges that come on fall Saturdays.
“It’s not possible to compete with anybody if you just work four months a year,” head coach Pat Nugent said.
“We get beat up on a regular basis. If your body’s not strong enough and physical enough, you’re going to run into some serious problems.”
Building up the necessary strength and speed to do battle with other college players requires time and dedication.
“We go about 11 months a year; that’s the reality,” Nugent said. “The speed development, the strength training and the conditioning aspect of athletics are what it’s all about these days.
“The bottom line is you have to be prepared, because you’re fighting for a job from day one.”
By MYLO ERICKSON
Three Pima Community College players received recognition when the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference released its selections for All-ACCAC teams on Nov. 14.
Sophomore defensive back Darius Kelly and offensive lineman Maurice Chavis made the all-conference first team. Freshman wide receiver Denzel Jones was named to the All-ACCAC second team.
Head coach Patrick Nugent was proud of his players.
“This is an unbelievable football league,” Nugent said. “To get an honor like this as the last-place team is pretty special.”
All three student-athletes played high school football in Southern Arizona.
During the 2012 Pima season, Kelly rushed for 72 yards on nine carries with one touchdown run. On the defensive side, he led the team with 55 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble returns and one interception. He also broke up three pass plays.
“I’m glad I received it and I hope I inspired or impacted someone’s life this season,” Kelly said. “That’s really what it’s all about, impacting on and off the field.”
Kelly has verbally committed to Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., but has also received interest from Syracuse University and the University of Arizona.
After Kelly found out about Pima players making the All-ACCAC team, he called up Chavis to tell him, “We made it! We made first team.”
“At first I couldn’t believe it,” Chavis said. “The feeling was great. I felt like I achieved something at Pima.”
Chavis had 26 tackles and two sacks this season. He declined to divulge his university options, saying only that they are all out-of-state offers.
Jones had 34 catches for 514 yards this season.
“It was a good feeling when I found out,” Jones said of his second-team honor. “We didn’t really have a good season, so I didn’t expect to be selected for anything.”
Jones is not sure if he will return to Pima next year.
The football team finished the 2012 season with a 1-10 record.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Pima Community College lost its last football game of the season on Nov. 10, falling 46-26 against the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos.
“Today was a conclusion of what the season was,” head coach Pat Nugent said after the game. “Turnovers, mistakes just led to negative things. That’s how it was all season.”
The defeat extended the team’s losing streak to eight games.
“I love this team; we play hard,” sophomore safety Darius Kelly said. “Things just don’t fall our way sometimes. That’s been the story of the season, but we play hard.”
The Aztecs scored during the first quarter after forcing a fumble. Freshman quarterback Max Shepard scored a touchdown on a one-yard run.
Pima failed on the extra point attempt, but held a 6-0 lead until the second quarter. At halftime the Aztecs were down 7-6.
After the Broncos scored on four consecutive possessions in the third quarter to take a 31-6 lead, the Aztecs answered by scoring on their final two drives of the quarter.
The first play was a nine-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Michael Molina to freshman wide receiver Dominic Moore.
Pima then recovered its onside kick and ended the possession with a 25-yard touchdown run from Kelly.
At the end of the third quarter the Aztecs were down 31-20.
The Aztecs forced the Broncos to fumble and punt in their first two possessions of the fourth quarter. Molina then scored on a two-yard run to bring the Aztecs within five points, 31-26.
Pima’s momentum ended when the Broncos scored on their final two drives of the game.
The Aztecs finished the 2012 season with a record of 1-10. Their only win came in the third week of play, on Sept. 9 against the Air Force Academy JV.
Molina called Pima a stepping stone to the next level.
“It’s a junior college,” he said. “It doesn’t always come out to wins and losses.”
Nugent doesn’t have any definite answers for next season, as he never knows which players will return.
“It’s been a good run, a great group of kids, but unfortunately we didn’t get the W’s we needed,” Nugent said.
At least one player came away with a positive attitude and valued friendships.
“I’m just happy for my boy Darius Kelly. He had a great game,” sophomore defensive lineman Maurice Chavis said. “He’s my best friend, always.”
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team was unable to make a comeback in a 35-17 contest against Glendale Community College on Oct. 20.
Freshman quarterback Max Shepard got the start over sophomore Quinn Rollerson.
“He did a good job last week in the early going,” head coach Patrick Nugent said of Shepard. “Plus it’s nice to be able to go to Rollerson if we have to.”
Sophomore wide receiver Alex Hanover had a 67-yard reception for a touchdown, freshman running back Joe Pizzuto had a 20-yard touchdown run and sophomore kicker Adam Valenzuela made a 25-yard field goal.
Pima cut Glendale’s lead to 11 with 10:34 left in the game. However, the Gauchos reached Pima’s end zone with five minutes remaining, closing the door for the Aztecs.
It was the sixth loss in a row. The team’s season record is 1-8.
In an Oct. 13 game, the Aztecs were unable to collect a victory against the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes. The final score was 44-21.
“Hands down to the defense, they play lights out every game,” Rollerson said.
The Aztecs never led, but tied the score at 7-7 in the first quarter when freshman running back James Colbert had an 11-yard touchdown run.
Colbert also had a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to get Pima within seven points of Scottsdale.
“We’re a strong team first half,” Rollerson said. “One mistake happens and the team collapses.”
The Aztecs got back on the board in the fourth quarter when Shepard scored on a 22-yard run.
“Offense, we are not one unit yet,” Rollerson said. “We haven’t executed that well.”
Valenzuela converted all three of his extra-point attempts.
“We played hard the last couple of weeks,” Nugent said. “If we keep working, maybe good things might happen.”
Pima will have its bye week Oct. 27, then head to Thatcher to take on the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters on Nov. 3.
The team will have two light days of practice and then get the weekend off.
Nugent thinks the time off will be good, as some players need to recover from injuries.
“The players just need to deal with life for a while,” he said.
Nov. 3: @ Eastern Arizona College, Thatcher, 6 p.m.
Nov. 10: New Mexico Military Institute, Kino Stadium, 1:30 p.m.
By STEVE CHOICE
Pima Community College football players Pepa and Peti Fonokalafi both have the laid-back nature and easy smile most people associate with their native Hawaii.
But the defensive linemen also know how to summon “the beast” when they get between the lines.
“In Hawaii, everything is ‘hang loose, relax, chill,’” said Peti, the younger of the two brothers. “But on the football field, your personality has to change. You can’t be that chill person you were off the field.
“Off the field, I’ll hold the door for you. I’ll be a gentleman and respect you, and respect everybody. But on the field, you gotta be a beast. You gotta go out there to destroy somebody.”
Pepa agrees with his “little” brother, who weighs right around the same 292 pounds that he does.
“Most people say, ‘You can’t turn the switch on and off,’ but I’m a naysayer on that,” he said, laughing. “I put my hand down on the line, and I could actually snap.”
Despite the warrior mentality the two brothers adopt on the field, they’re quick with a laugh and a friendly word. They also share a deep and abiding respect for family, whether it be actual blood relations or just other “cousins” who they hang around with in Tucson.
“For us the other Polynesians are family, you know,” said Pepa, who is currently rehabbing a torn medial collateral ligament and is unable to play. “The other ‘Polys’ on the team, we call them cousins.”
Big brother is happy to have his real sibling close to him in Tucson, especially with their mother having health problems back home.
“She’s real sick right now,” said Pepa, who garnered second-team all-ACCAC honors in 2010. “My mom is our main income. So now I’m trying to buckle down and put some money together to support me and my little brother out here.”
Pepa already felt a sense of responsibility for his brother before their mother began to have health problems.
“I told my brother I’d support his decision wherever he went to play after high school,” he said. “But he came here, and I played a very big part in that. Also he understood our family situation.
“Our family can’t support us in two different places.”
For now, the two brothers have different takes on Tucson.
“I look at Tucson as home,” said Pepa, who hopes to get a scholarship from the University of Arizona. “Everybody back home was joking like, ‘Are you a Tuck City boy now?’
“Everybody’s asking me when I’m going to return, but I actually like it here now.”
And Peti’s initial impression?
“I miss the beach,” said the freshman, who had a sack in a 43-0 loss at Mesa Community College on Sept. 29. “It’s also really hot here.”
For a newly arrived transplant, and one who very recently was basking in the gentle, island breezes of Hawaii, a little homesickness isn’t all that surprising. He’s hoping to make the most of his time in Arizona, though.
“I just have to keep pushing myself to get to the next level,” he said. “It’s like that saying, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent don’t work hard.’
“All you can do is keep working hard and hope for that scholarship.”
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team came out on top in the recruiting battle for running back Mitch Fischer.
“Mitch is a great player and we are very happy about his commitment,” head coach Patrick Nugent said. “We will cross our fingers and hope he is here in August. Anything can happen from now until August.”
Fischer played for Ironwood Ridge High School. He was the Arizona Daily Star’s 2011 Offensive Player of the Year and KVOA News 4’s High School Football Player of the Year.
He stood out by rushing for 2,143 yards and 26 touchdowns last season, which helped his team earn a spot in the Division II state semifinal.
Maxpreps.com ranks Fischer first in his high school’s league, second in his state’s division, ninth in the state overall and 556 nationally in rushing rankings.
In total rankings, he is second in the league, sixth in the state division, 31st in state and 1,293 nationally.
Offers came in from numerous Football Championship Subdivision schools, including South Dakota State. Football Bowl Subdivision school New Mexico State also showed interest.
Besides the FCS schools, Fischer received offers from top two-year colleges across the country.
Fischer chose Pima because he wanted to stay close to home, Nugent said. He also wants to play safety for the Aztecs.
Fischer will not be the only former Ironwood Ridge athlete on Pima’s fall roster. He will be joined by defensive lineman Tyson Otuafi and offensive lineman C.J. Healey.
Thirty-five recruits have committed to Pima, including nine from Tucson. In addition to Fischer, Otuafi and Healey, the other six Tucson players are:
- Defensive back Josh Brown from Canyon Del Oro High School
- Linebacker Nathan Delf, Sabino
- Center Matt Fontes, Cienega
- Offensive lineman Jake Laird, Sabino,
- Offensive lineman Matt Rossi, Sabino,
- Offensive lineman Liam White, Sabino
By LARRY GAURANO
The National Football League’s most prestigious event is less than two weeks away, and excitement is at a fever pitch.
Few events bring so many people together. Even non-football fans are attending Super Bowl parties for the food and to laugh at commercials that companies spend millions to be aired for less than a minute.
For us football fans, the food and commercials come second to the question that perplexes us each year, who will bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy?
Super Bowl XLVI will be a rematch of 2008’s Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The Giants won that match up ending Patriot’s attempt at perfection.
The New York Giants (12-7) will be representing the National Football Conference. They were the NO. 4 seed and went up against the San Francisco 49ers in the conference championship. It was a close game, but the Giants were able to edge out a win in overtime.
The Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning is having a pro bowl season and leads the 8th best offense in the league.
That defense is what helped push them over the 49ers, as they only allowed one 3rd down conversion during regulation.
The number one seed New England Patriots (15-3) will be representing the American Football Conference in the Super Bowl. They went up against the Baltimore Ravens for the conference championship, and although the lead kept changing, the Patriots were able to pull through in the end.
Tom Brady leads the Patriots high potent offense, ranked No. 2 in the league.
The Patriots did struggle some against the Raven’s defense. It was the Ravens inability to capitalize off of the Patriots’ mistakes that cost them in the end.
The biggest downfall of the Patriots is their defense, ranked 31st in the league.
Some would say that the defense doesn’t matter. But the Green Bay Packers proved a few weeks ago that in order to make it to the championships, the defense must step up.
When you look at things on paper regarding the Giants and the Patriots, it’s rather close. Vegas list the Giants as two and a half point underdogs.
I think that’s exactly how it will play out in the end.
Patriots win, Tom Brady will be named Super Bowl MVP.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College Aztecs finished their season with a loss, falling 30-12 to the No. 18 Glendale Community College Gauchos on Nov. 12.
The Gauchos controlled the first half, scoring 24 points. Glendale held the Aztecs to three points on a field goal by freshman kicker Jon Mora from 30 yards out.
The second half favored the Aztecs, as they scored nine points to Glendale’s six.
Pima scored all of its points in the fourth quarter, starting with the Aztecs’ only touchdown of the game. Sophomore quarterback Devin Stewart connected with freshman wide receiver Brandon Cradic in the back of the end zone. The Gauchos blocked Pima’s point-after attempt.
The Aztecs finished their scoring with Mora kicking a second field goal from 54 yards out.
Pima’s return game was effective. Freshman cornerback Josh Kimbell set up the first field goal by returning a kick 69 yards. Kimbell also had a 42-yard kick return in the fourth quarter.
Pima finished its season with a 3-8 overall record and a 2-6 Western States Football League record.
Head coach Patrick Nugent expressed disappointment with the season, as he had higher hopes coming in.
“We played hard in the last game, but it was a very disappointing year,” Nugent said. “We had very high expectations, but due to injuries and other things we fell way short of our goals.”
Pima secured the seventh place spot in the league, marking the first time in years that the Aztecs did not finish in ninth place.
The Aztecs’ leading rusher this season was sophomore running back A.J. Willis, who totaled 523 rushing yards on 117 carries.
Willis also had the most rushing touchdowns on the team, with four.
Kimbell lead the team in receiving yards with 360 on 22 catches. Sophomore wide receiver Cameron Gaddis was second with 230 receiving yards on 25 catches.
Both Kimbell and Gaddis had three receiving touchdowns for the season.
Stewart lead Pima in passing yards with 658 on 142 attempts. He also led the team in passing touchdowns with seven. He threw six interceptions.
Mora led the team in point-after touchdown kicks, making 22 of 23. He also led the team in field goals kicked with nine, including the longest field goal of the year from 54 yards out.
On the defensive side, freshman linebacker Clarence Williams led the Aztecs in tackles with 78.
Freshman safety Darius Kelly led Pima in interceptions with three, and in interceptions returned for touchdowns with two.
Freshman cornerback Andrew Fox led the team in sacks with three. Fox also led the Aztecs in fumble returns for touchdowns with two.
Fox and freshman safety Danell Miles tied for most fumble recoveries. Both recovered five.
The Aztecs season was plagued with injuries, and the team lost other players due to resignation and ineligibility.
Pima’s football team started with 92 men on the roster and ended with 76, but only suited up 46 players for the final game.
Nugent hopes to rebound. He enters the off-season ready to find recruits for next year’s team.
“We need to have a great recruiting season, many spots to fill,” Nugent said.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team lost its road game Nov. 5 against the No. 9 New Mexico Military Institute Broncos in a game played in Roswell, N.M.
The final score was 42-10.
The New Mexico Broncos dominated the first half, scoring 35 points and holding the Aztecs to zero points.
The Aztecs were in control for the second half, outscoring the Broncos 10 points to seven.
Pima’s defense came through with yet another touchdown carry against the Broncos. Freshman cornerback Andrew Fox returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown.
Freshman kicker Jon Mora finished off the Aztec scoring by kicking his longest field goal of the year, from 53 yards out in the fourth quarter.
Pima’s record is now 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the Western States Football League.
The Aztecs will play their final game of the season Nov. 12 at Kino Stadium against Glendale Community College. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
Bring a student ID to get a discount on admission.
On Oct. 29, PCC played its best game of the season against the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds, winning the contest 41-10.
Pima’s defense returned three fumble recoveries and one interception for touchdowns.
“Everything just went good for us,” freshman safety Deanthony Easley said.
Sophomore linebacker Andrew Cesarini returned a fumble for 46 yards for the only score of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Thunderbirds answered with their only touchdown pass of the game. Pima’s defense came back out and freshman line backer Clarence Williams returned a fumble 55 yards.
Freshman defensive lineman Maurice Chavis also recovered a fumble in the second quarter, but was unable to return it for a touchdown.
“They threw the ball to the running back and I came up and I just brought the wood to him,” Chavis said about his favorite hit of the game.
Both teams kicked a field goal before the half, with Pima’s Mora making a 40-yard field goal to finish the half with the Aztecs leading 17-10.
In the third quarter, sophomore outside linebacker Devonttay Jones returned a fumble for a touchdown after sophomore safety Adrian Brahler delivered a big hit to a Thunderbird player.
In the fourth quarter, Mora kicked his second field goal of the game from 18 yards out. The final defensive touchdown for the Aztecs came when freshman safety Danell Miles took an interception 21 yards for the touchdown.
“Defense definitely carried us,” freshman cornerback Sam Jones said.
Easley, who was occasionally brought in as a running back, finished the Aztecs’ scoring with an 18-yard run for his first touchdown of the season.
Head coach Patrick Nugent had a positive outlook after his team won.
“I know this is minor, but we’ve guaranteed that we are not going to finish in last place, for the first time in nine years here at Pima,” Nugent said.
The Aztecs planned to concentrate on offensive tactics in preparation for their final two games.
Nugent plans to continue building on his current success in the years to come.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team lost its third game in a row Oct. 15, when Scottsdale Community College defeated the Aztecs 76-24.
The road loss was the season’s largest margin of defeat, and the team’s second loss to Scottsdale this year.
Pima’s overall record is 2-6, with a 1-4 Western States Football League record.
Four Aztec players put points on the board during the Scottsdale game.
Sophomore wide receiver Cameron Gaddis caught a 42-yard pass for a touchdown. Gaddis is first on the team in passes caught with 16 and second for receiving yards with 131. He is tied for second on receiving touchdowns, with two.
Sophomore running back A.J. Willis ran 11 yards for a touchdown. Willis leads the team in carries with 66, rushing yards with 369 and rushing touchdowns with three.
Freshman safety Darius Kelly returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown. Kelly leads the team in interception yards with 59 and has the team’s only interception touchdown.
Freshman kicker Jon Mora made a 36-yard field goal. Mora leads the team in field goals made with three and topped the previous longest field goal of 35 yards.
The Aztecs are enjoying a bye week, with their next game scheduled for Oct. 29.
Head coach Pat Nugent feels the time off will be beneficial.
“Without question, we are really banged up and need a week to recover,” he said.
The Oct. 29 home game against Mesa Community College will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Kino Stadium. Mesa finished last in the league last season, but has been picked to finish just above Pima this year.
Bring a student ID for discounted admission.
By: MYLO ERICKSON
Aztecs vs. Gila Monsters at Tucson High.
By JOEL GANTT
With the Tucson sun beating down on a mid-summer day, more than 70 men kneel on one knee surrounding Pima Community College football coach Pat Nugent.
“The reality is we can only keep a few players,” Nugent says. “Most of you won’t be playing football for Pima this fall.”
The PCC football team is not exactly a powerhouse in the Western States Football League. Pima struggles to win games year after year. That does not mean, however, that any average Joe can play for the Aztecs.
It is easy to sit on the couch, drinking a beer with your friends while watching football on television and say, “I could play football, I’m better than these guys.”
Everybody has friends or relatives who swear they can play college football. In reality, few have what it takes to make a college football roster and Pima is no exception.
In order to make the Pima football team, everyone must try out. Registration costs $20.
The tryout is comparable to the National Football League combine you see on television. Players are separated into groups based on a number received at registration.
The groups go to different stations, where their statistics are recorded.
One station is a combination of 180-pound bench press and vertical leap. Another station is a shuttle run that tests lateral movement.
Yet another station has you test stops and starts by running around cones while facing one direction. Then there is everyone’s favorite, the 40-yard dash.
If you are 6 feet tall and weigh 190 pounds, complete nine repetitions on the bench press, have a vertical jump of 31 inches and run a 40-yard dash in 5.3 seconds, you won’t make the team.
After the combine-style tryouts, you will be separated into groups based on the position for which you are trying out. These drills don’t show much except who can follow directions and catch a football.
The tryout is performed without pads and helmets. If the coaches do not know who you are, you will need a huge body or be a beast in the combine workouts to impress them.
There will be players trying out that the coaches already know or have recruited. They will have an advantage over an unknown athlete.
Anyone who has played football understands you cannot judge a real football player without him strapping pads on and getting after it in a full-contact scrimmage or football game.
However, this tryout gives coaches and yourself an idea of what you have to bring to a football team.
Maurice Chavis, the starting nose guard for Pima, is currently on a football scholarship. The 6-foot, 275-pound lineman is a rare example of a player who tried out and did make the team.
“There were 100 of us trying out and four guys made the team,” Chavis said. “People think it’s easy to Pima’s football team, but it’s not.”
Pima is 2-5 this season and has been outscored 175 to 57 in their five conference games. If you think you can play college football, the record says PCC is a school that will be easy to make.
If you are that guy who tells his friends and family that you could play college football, there is only one way to find out.
PCC holds an open tryout every summer. You can see if you have what it takes to make the team, or you can do what most people do: talk about what could have been.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College football team lost its second game in a row Oct. 8 when it faced No. 15 Eastern Arizona College.
The Aztecs (2-5, 1-3 Western States Football League) were defeated 49-7 by the Gila Monsters.
PCC used two rookie quarterbacks, sophomore Devin Stewart and freshman Quinn Rollerson, because sophomore starter Zander McKean was out with an injury.
Head coach Patrick Nugent expressed disappointment after the loss. He said his team is working hard and hoped for a better showing.
“We’re a really frustrated offense, we just turn the ball over too much,” Nugent said. “It’s a tough league and we put ourselves in situations that aren’t very good.”
The Aztecs started the game competitively, though they fumbled their first possession. They held the Gila Monsters to one touchdown in the first quarter and blocked the extra point attempt.
Things began to slide for the Aztecs in the second quarter, as they continued turning over the ball and were unable to put any points on the board. The Aztecs ended the half down 35-0.
PCC’s offense was limited to the ground game of sophomore running back A.J. Willis.
Willis scored the Aztecs’ only touchdown in the third quarter with a 9-yard run. Pima finished the third quarter down 42-7.
The Aztec defense caused a few turnovers, but Pima was unable to convert on any of the opportunities.
In the fourth quarter, possession bounced back and forth with turnovers and punts. The Gila Monsters scored one more touchdown.
Willis said he would work on eliminating turnovers during upcoming practices.
“We had seven as a team and I contributed two of those,” Willis said. “You can’t do that as a running back. That’s not helping the team out.”
On Oct. 1, PCC lost a road game in Yuma to No. 3 Arizona Western College, 58-14. Pima won against Phoenix College the week before.
Up next for the Aztecs is an Oct. 15 road trip to Scottsdale Community College to play the Fighting Artichokes in WSFL action. Earlier this season, Scottsdale beat Pima 46-13 in a nonconference game in Tucson.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Photo Courtesy PCC
The Pima Community College football team snapped its three-game losing streak Sept. 24 by beating Phoenix College 37-10 on the road without the starting quarterback.
For the Aztecs (2-3, 1-1 Western States Football League), the victory marked their third win in a row against the Bears.
Sophomore Devin Stewart started at quarterback in place of injured sophomore Zander McKean. Stewart completed 10 of 12 pass attempts for a total of 200 yards and had two touchdown passes.
Freshman Josh Kimbell had five catches for 149 yards with two touchdown catches. Sophomore defensive lineman Clinton Gray returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown.
“We really played well on both sides of the ball,” head coach Patrick Nugent said.
The next opponent for Pima is WSFL power, No. 3 Arizona Western College. The Aztecs travel to Yuma on Oct. 1.
Nugent’s plan is to give his quarterbacks as many reps as they can handle and try to keep the team in a winning frame of mind.
“We need to keep momentum going after a big win,” Nugent said. “We face Arizona Western and it will be tough.”
On Sept. 17, PCC lost its third straight game, 35-14, to No. 7 Snow College. It was the first game played at Kino Stadium this year.
Snow scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. Pima answered early in the second quarter with a touchdown.
Pima was able to hold Snow in the second quarter, thanks to some deep kicks and the defense maintaining its composure.
Snow was able to pull away late though, with two third quarter touchdowns and one in the fourth.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Photos and video by JAMES KELLEY
The Pima Community College football team’s home opener came Sept. 10, when the Aztecs hosted Scottsdale Community College in their final non-conference game, but their woes continued.
The Aztecs (1-2) and Fighting Artichokes played at Tucson High School in a non-conference game between Western States Football League rivals, with Scottsdale winning 46-13.
PCC is not having much luck on the football field. Their opponents have been uncontested in their past two games.
“We’re just really disappointed the last two weeks,” head coach Pat Nugent said. “We’re just shell shocked right now.”
The game was delayed an hour and 25 minutes because of rain.
The Aztecs suffered a couple of injuries in the game, adding injury to insult. In the first half sophomore offensive lineman Jordan Christianson went down and Nugent was not sure as to his likelihood of returning.
Another injury came in the fourth quarter when freshman defensive lineman Maurice Chavis was assisted off the field.
Pima’s points mostly came from two field goals by freshman kicker Jon Mora. Their lone touchdown came when sophomore quarterback Zander McKean threw a seven-yard pass to freshman tight-end Spencer Grijalva for a touchdown.
Nugents coaching staff and players had confidence this season in their offense and defense, even though their defense is a bit small.
Special teams were a bright spot on the evening, blocking three Fighing Artichoke extra points and returning a few kick offs to midfield. A pessimistic Nugent thought it might have been because they had so much practice returning kick offs.
The Aztecs are dominating the WSFL’s kickoff return stats, with freshman safety Darius Kelly in second, freshman cornerback Josh Kimball in third and freshman running back Cody Woody in fifth. Kelly has 177 yards on six returns.
The defense did manage a few turnovers in the second half, however the offense was unable to convert them into points.
“To sum it all up, we just need to play like a team,” said sophomore safety Adrian Brahler. “We’ve done that in the past and we’re kind of drifting away from it.”
Brahler also feels that the team just needs to pick each other up and not let themselves get down after mistakes or bad plays.
The upcoming practices for the Aztecs are going to be a re-evaluation for the team as they are going to have to break everything down and build it back up.
“Not a thing has worked for us, so we’re going to have to re-evaluate as coaches where we’re at, break it down a little bit and get better,” Nugent said. “We still got some talent out there.”
The Aztecs traveled to No. 19 Glendale Community College on Sept. 3, losing 35-0 in another non-conference game against a WSFL team.
The blowouts came after Pima beat Sonoran Institute of Technology 59-0 in the season opener in Douglas, Ariz.
The Aztecs have failed to repeat their first endeavor.
The Aztecs next game will be played at Kino Stadium against No. 7 Snow College on Saturday Sept. 17. Snow College is located in Ephraim, Utah.
Kick off is at 7 p.m. and admission is $7 general and $5 for students, so make sure to bring those IDs.
Follow us on Twitter for Aztec sports news and scores
Sept. 17: vs. Snow College,
7 p.m. (at Kino Stadium)
Sept. 24: @ Phoenix
College, 7 p.m.