Coming off a blowout loss to budding rival Allan Hancock, PCC answered its critics with a convincing 39-9 victory on the road over LA Valley College on Sept. 17.
With the news that quarterback Justin Posthuma would miss the game due to injury, freshman Cesar Hernandez got the start under center and stepped up in a big way—throwing for three touchdowns, and running for two more.
“I didn’t really look at my stats,” Hernandez said. “As long as we get that W.” Hernandez then made sure to acknowledge his teammates.
“I did good and felt good because my linemen and receivers did their jobs,” he said.
The Lancers’ offense showed off an effortless efficiency not present in their loss last week. Running back James Owens kept the offense moving by running for 106 yards on 18 carries. The Lancers’ leading receiver Wayne Peters put up 113 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. And wide receiver Jose Rodriguez proved himself to be a red zone threat by catching two touchdowns on four receptions.
Any other day, the five-touchdown effort by backup quarterback Hernandez would have been the lead story, but the game ball really belonged to the Lancer defense.
After looking helpless against the run last week, PCC’s defense looked revamped and out for blood against LA Valley. The Lancer defensive line filled up all the running lanes and held the Monarch rushing attack to only 78 yards.
“We don’t prepare any differently, we just watched the mistakes from last game and adjusted accordingly,” Head Coach Fred Fimbres said. “I’m encouraged by how our guys bounced back after last week’s disappointment.”
PCCs defense also made life miserable for LA Valley quarterback Dan Owen, who was sacked five times and picked off twice—both times by defensive back Jarron Williams, whose first interception was run back all the way for a touchdown.
“We had good coverage,” Williams said in a post-game interview, “the D-line, and the linebackers had good penetration, and good blitzes. You know, it’s a team effort.”
It wasn’t just defensive efficiency; the game saw hard hit after hard hit, with the Monarchs on the receiving end. “We always hope to hit them hard,” Fimbres said, commenting on his defense’s big hits and forced fumbles.
PCC forced five, highlight-reel fumbles. Defensive lineman Pone Faleofa generated groans of terror from the home crowd when he leveled quarterback Owen in a thundering hit that separated man from ball.
The Monarchs looked downright scared of the Lancer defense as they were always in the backfield hitting either the quarterback, the running back or anyone else without a Lancer uniform. At the end of the game, the Monarchs only accumulated 182 yards to the Lancers 471.
The Lancers total team effort was only held back by its abundance of penalties. PCC was penalized 19 times for 186 yards which included many holding calls and personal fouls.
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