Though Lancers quarterback Cesar Hernandez accumulated 445 passing yards and four touchdowns, it wasn’t nearly enough as College of the Desert handed PCC its second loss of the season in a non-conference game in Palm Desert on Sept. 24.
The 58-28 loss evens up the Lancers’ record to two wins and two losses on the season.
The Lancers’ rushing game was shut down as freshman running back James Owens was held to 32 yards and no touchdowns, but the Lancers adjusted what they could and focused on passing.
Freshman wide receiver Ian Hamilton posted 106 yards in receptions but it was Owens who scored two of PCC’s four touchdowns on 16-yard and 5-yard receptions in the third quarter.
Head Coach Fred Fimbres said the use of Owens as a short-range receiver was a technique the team used to get past Desert’s aggressive defensive line.
“We had to throw to get chunks of yardage to [get downfield],” Fimbres said. “When [Desert] commits seven or eight guys to the line, it’s not a choice—you have to throw because of the pressure.”
PCC’s other two scores came on receptions from freshman wide receiver Ben Childs and freshmanlinebacker Andrew Medrano.
Childs scored the Lancers’ first touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter on a 12-yard pass from Hernandez and finished the game with eight receptions for 101 yards.
Medrano’s one-yard reception from Hernandez was the final score, coming with 7:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Fimbres said that working on fundamentals will help the Lancers in the future when they face Ventura College and then start getting into conference play.
“If you take away the points that we gave [Desert] off of turnovers, we would have taken 21 points off their game,” he said. “It would’ve been a different game. So it’s just about protecting the ball.”
Fimbres was optimistic that the football team will pull through, though.
“The guys are improving and playing hard,” Fimbres said. “Sometimes you just have games where the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”
The Lancers will have one last chance to work on their game before they start conference play when they travel to Ventura College on Oct. 1 to take on the Pirates.
PCC will then have a bye week after which it will take on Fullerton College in the National Southern Conference opener on Oct. 15 in Robinson Stadium.
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