The Lancer football squad opened up the regular season with a road loss against non-conference opponent Citrus College on Saturday.
PCCs 35-14 loss at the hands of the Owls stemmed from the Lancersâ€™ inability to keep possession of the football, turning the ball over four times on two interceptions and four fumbles.
â€œYouâ€™re not supposed to give them the football,â€ said Head Coach Fred Fimbres.Â â€œItâ€™s turnovers. And when you get some penalties, it makes it difficult to win.â€
And PCC was penalized â€“ over 153 negative yards racked up through penalties, often in the red zone and in third-down conversions. Other than the costly turnovers and untimely penalties, the Lancers played a strong all-around game, especially for a team coming back from a 3-7 record last season. The Lancers saw the return of Quarterback Justin Posthuma who had a season-ending injury last season after he threw for a school record 96-yard touchdown.
This week, Posthuma threw for a healthy 279 yards and two touchdowns on 19-35 passes against the Owl secondary. But he was sacked four times, and threw two picks.
â€œIt was great to play football again but itâ€™s hard to feel good about a loss,â€ Posthuma said. â€œWeâ€™ve got a young team. Maybe a loss is a good thing in the long run.â€
This Lancer team is full of freshmen with only two key players returning on the defensive end (linebacker Mike Sepulveda and defensive lineman Bryan Luna). And the Lancer secondary is young and was exposed during their play against Citrus, often committing pass interference penalties after getting beat on the route.
â€œItâ€™s trial under fire,â€ Fimbres said. â€œWe donâ€™t have a whole bunch of experience there, but weâ€™ll make it work.â€
The Lancers run game looked shaky as they rotated three backs and accumulated only 42 yards. They also fumbled the ball four times, giving it away twice.
The receiving corps looked versatile as seven different players recorded a reception. Chetachi Jackson led the team with six receptions. Jeremiah Andrade put up 113 yards on five receptions, and Tairen Owens recorded 101 yards and a touchdown.
â€œStatistics are great but only one statistic matters â€“ the win column. And we got the wrong end of it,â€ Fimbres said. â€œOur goal is to be playing well when we get to our conference.â€