It ain’t easy being quarterback at PCC. Down to its fourth-string quarterback, the injury-riddled PCC squad suffered a 42-13 loss to Grossmont College on Nov. 5, after losing third-string quarterback Zeek Julien.
Julien started the game under center and proved to be a capable signal caller despite his position as third on the depth chart. Julien converted a 4th and 1 via QB sneak, and threw for two touchdowns in only eight passing attempts before leaving the game. The score read Grossmont, 14, to PCC, 13.
That was as good as it got for The Lancers. With Julien out, it appeared he took all of the offense with him. PCC failed to score in the second half and racked up only 197 total yards to the Griffins’ 515. Replacement quarterback Leonardo Vaal threw the ball at the ground more than he did to Lancer receivers, completing only four passes on 25 attempts.
“It’s really hard to keep losing players and compete in this division,” said PCC Athletic Director John Woods, commenting on the team’s injuries. “But they’re playing hard; we’re not giving up.”
PCCs defense looked paper-soft against Griffin running backs, allowing Grossmont to rack up 261 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, Grossmont’s Mike Karls leisurely threw for four touchdowns.
Lancer Head Coach Fred Fimbres acknowledged his defense’s struggles. “As we started to get behind, we tried to be more aggressive in our play-calling, trying to force a fumble, get a big play, and in doing so exposed ourselves to a couple of areas,” he said.
The Lancer defense does have individual bright spots, however, the safety duo of Antoine Morris and Jarron Williams lead the team with 60 and 59 tackles, respectively. And defensive lineman Pone Faleofa continues to fill stat sheets with nine sacks, two forced fumbles, one interception, one blocked kick, and a touchdown for the season.
Additionally, PCC wide receiver Wayne Peters continues to be the Lancers’ most potent, and most consistent offensive weapon, hauling in a state-leading 70 receptions for the season.
“One thing you can tell about a program and the leadership of a program is when things start going poorly [and] you start losing players,” Woods said. “I haven’t seen that. We’re still suiting up 80 guys and staying poised.”
It’s worth to note that Vaal had not taken snaps during practice leading up to the game, a fact not lost on Fimbres.
“There’s a chance [Vaal] could be the starter next week, and we’re going to rally around him and we’re going to expect to be competitive and win the football game,” he said.
“We just have to play in a manner where we play correct. It’s just basic football.”
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