PCC drops opener; unanswered questions remain for Lancers

Erick Lemus/Courier Jashaad Perry leads the Pasadena City College Lancers into the game against Long Beach City College at Robinson Stadium on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

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The PCC Football team lost their season opener 52-17 to Long Beach on Saturday night, amidst controversy surrounding Head Coach Thomas Maher, who was suspended for undisclosed reasons two weeks ago.

However, Interim Head Coach Steven Mojarro doesn’t seem to think the issues behind the scenes played a part in the Lancers loss.

“I think our assistant coaches did a really good job of making sure they prepared our players. Everything could’ve gone bad for us with the [coaching] situation,” Mojarro said. “But our kids have been through so much adversity in their life before. This is just another thing that they’ve got to overcome,” said Mojarro after the game.

Another concern surrounding the Lancers is the quarterback situation. Sophomore transfer Adam Besana was a high-profile name for the Lancers to land, but his debut was cut short by a wrist injury after one series.

Freshman Ian Brian took his first snap under center as a college player on Saturday and put up a pretty impressive showing, throwing for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns.

“The plan was to have [Besana] … play the first quarter, and [Brian] play the second quarter and then play the hot hand the rest of the way,” said Mojarro. However, the decision going forward has been made. “Our starting quarterback will be Ian Brian.”

Erick Lemus/Courier
Jshoun Wolfe trips up Cedric Byrd during the football game between Pasadena City College and Long Beach City College at Robinson Stadium on Saturday, Septermber 2nd, 2017.

The Lancers kept up with the visiting team early, ending the first quarter tied at 10-10. However, after a scoreless second quarter, Pasadena let the game slip by punting on six consecutive possessions, and allowing three touchdowns, also on consecutive possessions. Though coach Mojarro wasn’t completely disappointed with his players after the game.

“All credit to [PCC], we played hard [and] the score doesn’t show it but … our kids didn’t give up. It’s one of those things that we can build and get better as the season goes on,” said coach Mojarro.

Rather than run out the clock with a 38-17 lead in the 4th quarter, Long Beach decided to throw the ball late, scoring two touchdowns on drives with 30-plus yard passes. Instead of seeing a problem with the opposing coach trying to run up the score, coach Mojarro thinks the problem lies within the ranking system.

“Now with the ranking system … [Long Beach] have got to put up a lot of points because people are gonna vote on that. I’m one of the voters and all you have to look at are the [end] scores a lot of times and you compare scores and opponents,” Mojarro said. “So I don’t blame them or anything like that….I would never do [that] but it’s part of the game.”

Mojarro added that he will look forward next week to “just practicing.” The heat was very bad for the team during the week’s practices. Pasadena experienced highs into the upper 100s, with nighttime lows staying above 80 degrees the entire week. Mojarro and company had to make a lot of adjustments, staying up to 9:45 p.m. on one night. With athletes having to then return to 7:00 a.m. classes, the Lancers were not able to get enough rest.

PCC will head to San Bernardino Valley next Saturday, where the Lancers will look to win their first game this season.

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