Despite having a great offensive second half, the PCC football team was unable to overcome a 24-0 onslaught put on by the Citrus College Owls in the first half, which ultimately culminated in the loss on Saturday night. The final score was 34-21.
“There were some execution errors in the first half,” head coach Fred Fimbres said. “But after that, the defense settled down and played great… It’s just tough to come back after being down 21 points after one quarter.”
A bright spot in the game was the Lancers defense in the third and fourth quarters. Besides special teams allowing a punt return that led to 7 points, the PCC defense only allowed 3 points off of a field goal early in the fourth quarter.
“We made a few mistakes in the first,” said linebacker Kevin Tapia, who had three tackles with two assisted tackles. “[We] pretty much shut them down later in the game… We just have to take the momentum from the end of this game and continue it into the next.”
The Lancers started with a running game that just wasn’t working against the Owls defensive line. Citrus read just about every play PCC sent its way in the first half.
“We were trying to make their defense commit to stopping our offense,” Fimbres said. “But they put pressure on our offense and that trickled over to defense.”
Although the Lancers played some very good defense, Citrus had a 72-yard punt returned for a touchdown in the second half that would turn out to be the final nail in the coffin for PCC.
“I feel like the punt return really hurt the momentum we had built,” Defensive Coordinator Carl Lopez said.
Freshman quarterback Darrian Cazarin started off slow in his first college game, but had a strong second half. Cazarin had 206 passing yards, two TD passes, and ran for one TD.
“[Cazarin] did a pretty good job in the second half of the game,” offensive coordinator Joe Biagioni said. “Weâ€™ll look to balance our running and passing game in future games. Our running game just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to on Saturday due to some execution errors.”
PCC will be back in action and looking to bounce back against the Orange Coast College Pirates on Sept. 14 at OCC.
“I liked that we didn’t stop fighting throughout this game,” Fimbres said. “We’ll look to lean on our sophomore players and keep on fighting.”