PCC football pulled off their first win under first-year head coach Thom Kaumeyer, 27-16, against East Los Angeles College on Saturday night, ending an 11-game losing streak dating back to last year.
Despite being bombarded with a total of 19 penalties for a loss of 185 yards, the Lancers still managed to lock down on the defensive end, denying the Huskies twice in the fourth quarter with interceptions from freshman Caleb Devine and freshman Luis Luna in the end zone.
Freshman quarterback Jett Even was back under center after missing Pasadena’s last two games following his arrest. Even finished the game completing 24 passes out of 37 attempts, throwing for 285 yards. He connected on four touchdowns and tossed two interceptions, one of which came late in the fourth quarter as the Lancers were trying to run down the clock. Even also fumbled early in the game, which resulted in the first points on the board coming in the air from the Huskies.
Even was happy to be back on the field and it was at the right time since sophomore back-up Marc Peart sat out with a concussion.
“It’s the best thing to be back out here with my family. I just come out here and try to do my best and help the team out as much as I can,” Even said. “It’s not about me, just getting the win. We just had to get that first win. I’m glad we were able to get it.”
Just before the end of the first quarter, freshman Trensten Spragling received the kickoff after the Huskies touchdown and returned it for 48 yards—finishing the game with three returns for 103 yards. Pasadena drove to the end zone in nine plays, finishing with a touchdown pass to freshman Rasheem Whitfield.
After a series of punts, the Huskies were able to get the chains moving with the help of two roughing the passer penalties and one unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that totaled 28 yards. The Huskies scored their second touchdown with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Coming into the second half, Pasadena needed to stay alert and keep the pressure. The Lancers did just that despite penalty flags flying around. As ELAC was attempting a field goal on fourth down, Pasadena was called for a roughing the kicker penalty that took the pigskin half the distance to the goal and gave the Huskies an automatic first down at the 8-yard line. The Lancers maintained their composure and held the Huskies to another field goal attempt.
“It was a tough battle. East LA was good. We watched them on film and they were 2-2 coming in. It was one of those games where we were battling injuries and everybody made a commitment to go 60 minutes,” Kaumeyer said. “We’ve been playing good in spurts and I told them that we can commit to 60 minutes and play hard this half … it worked out well. Offense did a fantastic job and really set the tempo.”
Jett Even and the Lancers’ offense were in the zone, literally, in the second half as they went 69 yards in one minute and a half to score on a throw to sophomore Ricky Blair, his fifth touchdown in four games. Blair ended the game with 10 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. With less than eight minutes left in the third quarter, Pasadena was still down by a field goal.
The Lancers played good defense on the Huskies’ drive and denied them on fourth down to take the ball at their own 26 yard line. Pasadena took the ball to the end zone in less than one minute and capped the drive with a touchdown pass to sophomore Justin Carroll, who had 49 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards.
Pasadena’s defense didn’t want to ease off on the gas and didn’t allow the Huskies to get down the field. ELAC’s last score of the game came early in the third quarter and they couldn’t find any more chances.
With a little over 12 minutes left in the game, the Lancers went 68 yards down the field and scored their fourth and final touchdown. This time the ball went to freshman Adrian Fonoimoana-Hall, who finished the game with two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown.
The Lancers were able to dominate on both sides of the ball. Pasadena totaled 100 yards rushing with the workload mainly on Carroll’s back. The Lancers defense was on fire, with sophomore linebacker Jalyn Williams leading the pack with nine solo tackles and six hurries on the night.
Williams was happy after the win. He was named Southern California Football Association’s National Northern Conference Defensive Player of the Week last week and will be considered for the award with his performance on Saturday.
“The last couple of weeks we didn’t come out victorious but I still tried to do my best. This week I didn’t do the same numbers as last week but we got a team win and that’s all that matters,” Williams said. “Before the game we had a team talk and we wanted to do this for our coach. We feel like we have been letting him down all year. He has been giving us his all… we just had to finish and execute. This week we finally did it.”
Sophomore linebacker Terry Wilson said the team was feeling relieved after the win and thinks the Lancers still have time to do great things with their season.
“We’re just going to savor this win and get ready for Ventura on Monday. This is a new feeling so we are going to enjoy it,” Wilson said. “We just have to build on it and hopefully keep it going.”
Pasadena travels to Ventura College on Saturday Oct. 17 in search of their first conference win. Ventura is 1-1 in conference play and 3-3 overall while Pasadena is 0-2 in their conference and 1-5 overall.