The Lancers football team continued to struggle Saturday, losing 50-19 against the Ventura Pirates despite playing at home.
With a shoulder injury to starting quarterback Dejon Williams, freshman quarterback Trevor Hampton made his first official start of the season for PCC. Hampton and the Lancers got off to a good start on the opening drive but were unable to contain the SoCal No. 5-ranked Pirates.
“Obviously things didn’t go the way we wanted them to,” head coach Fred Fimbres said. “Our defense had a couple of blown assignments, which led to long touchdowns. We have to get back to swarming the ball and tackling better like we did earlier this season. We have to revisit the things that we did that were successful for us.”
With their third consecutive loss, the Lancers fell to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the National Northern Conference, while the Pirates improved to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in conference.
On the opening drive, Hampton put the Lancers on the scoreboard first with an 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Zander Anding. Hampton showed promise in the first quarter by connecting on his first six attempts to give PCC its only lead of the game, 7-0.
“We had a sound game plan that put us in the right position each play but we didn’t execute and the missed tackles cost us,” freshman defensive lineman Patrick Webb said. “If we buckle down and play fundamental football we should be OK.”
After a successful opening drive by PCC, the Pirates would go on to display their superiority over the injury-riddled Lancers, scoring the game’s next 43 points. On the ensuing drive, Pirates running back Aaron Stanton carried the ball six times for 47 yards. The Pirates jumped ahead of PCC, 13-7, on a blocked punt and 53-yard touchdown return with 2:08 left in the first quarter.
“We lost fundamentally,” Webb added. “We weren’t securing tackles which led to big drives and long driving touchdowns.”
For the second consecutive game the Lancers were unable to contain the running game of the opposing team. Pirates’ running backs Aaron Stanton and Paul Harris proved too much to handle for the Lancers as each scored twice in the first half. A 30-yard field goal gave the Pirates a commanding 36-7 lead by halftime.
In the fourth quarter, Hampton hit Anding for a 21-yard touchdown with a little less than five minutes remaining. A successful ensuing onside kick by Franklyn Cervanka allowed PCC to recover the ball near midfield. On the next play, Anding caught a short pass from Hampton and turned it into a 56-yard touchdown down the sideline.
Hampton finished with three touchdowns, all to Anding, connecting on 27 of 50 passes for a career-best 330 yards. Although two of Hampton’s touchdowns came after the game was already out of reach, the 6-foot-3 freshman was much more poised and patient in the pocket, throwing just one interception compared to three interceptions last week.
“He [Hampton] showed a lot of poise out there and he managed the offense well,” offensive coordinator Bill Laslett said. “He’s a pretty tough young man. He’s not as fast as our other quarterbacks, but he’s a big guy and he kind of runs like a fullback.”
Anding tied for the team lead in rushing with 39 yards in 14 carries and he added eight receptions for 107 yards.
Sophomore wide receiver J. Turner Jackson hauled in 11 receptions for 66 yards while receiver Ricky Blair caught five passes for a game-high 123 yards. On defense, sophomore lineman Serge Vita was instrumental for the Lancers with one sack, a forced fumble and five tackles, three resulting in negative yardage. Linebacker Jalyn Williams led PCC with eight tackles.
The Lancers travel to play Moorpark College on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.