The first quarter of Saturday’s game was a seesaw battle with the Lancers scoring first, the Bulldogs’ answering with a touchdown of their own, then Pasadena dodging a bullet by completing a touchdown pass on fourth down.
At that point, the game was getting interesting. Until everything unraveled.
The Lancers’ 62-27 defeat marked the second time in two weeks that the Lancers imploded after opening an early lead.
To start the second quarter, Allan Hancock was held to a field goal and the Lancers returned the kickoff for 64 yards to set up a touchdown pass to sophomore wideout Ricky Blair, who finished the game with seven receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns. There was a lot of game left and Pasadena had to keep their foot on the gas pedal.
With an 11-point advantage and 12 minutes left in the first half, the Lancers’ lead quickly disappeared.
On first down, the Bulldogs ran a trick play that worked for a 79-yard touchdown. The Lancers were unable to answer on the following drive and the Bulldogs ran in another touchdown with 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Lancers were only down by a field goal and could stay in the game before halftime. But the Bulldogs’ defense pressured Even too much for them to get down the field. Pasadena’s punt on fourth down was muffed and gave Hancock field position at the Lancers’ 28-yard line. The next play was a touchdown run by the Bulldogs’ lead rusher Malik Williams, who rushed 19 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Malik Williams had 119 yards with two touchdowns before halftime. Hancock finished the game with 488 yards on the ground, including two backs rushing for more than 100 yards and a third a few yards shy of the mark.
Coming out of the locker room at the half, the Lancers tried to claw their way back into the game but it clearly wasn’t their night. The Lancers’ offense couldn’t move the chains however they tried.
Head coach Thom Kaumeyer is planning to use this offseason to plan and recruit as much as he can, which he was unable to do prior to this season. Since last season the idea of going down a division has been in the air but he said he feels like his team can compete in this division and wouldn’t change divisions. If the decision is made, it would be from athletic director Tony Barbone.
“I think most of it is just mistakes that have really cost us. Whether it’s a fit on defense, protection from pressure on Jett, dropping balls, making simple reads… The difference on defense was they had a big offensive line,” Kaumeyer said. “We just have to be ready to go. I think what we need to take in this last game and push on to next year is the fear of playing fast. Our guys do it in practice, and in game, either try to make the perfect play or try to watch what’s going to happen instead of just reacting. You play good teams [in the conference] towards the end. You can’t keep making those mistakes.”
Sophomore linebacker Jalyn Williams took a beating and went down multiple times during the game. He didn’t return to the game late in the second half with a left shoulder injury. Williams leads the state in solo tackles and overall tackles. He had 13 overall tackles and nine solo tackles against Hancock.
“As a team collectively, we just have to find the glue to make it all stick together. We have the pieces… Coach TK is a good coach and next year they will definitely have the glue,” Williams said. “I’m not taking anything away from them but if we play our assignments, make tackles, and play solid football, [Hancock’s team rushing yards] wouldn’t happen.”
Even finished the game 18 for 31 attempts with 283 yards and four touchdowns. He was also sacked eight times and hurried five times, but he remained calm and didn’t throw any interceptions.
“Offensively, we were moving the ball all right with some screens, but they outplayed us on the line as well as everywhere else,” Even said. “Defensively we couldn’t get an answer and we couldn’t give them an answer on offense either. It was just a tough one tonight.”
The Bulldogs scored six touchdowns before the Lancers were able to get into the end zone late in the third quarter. By then, the Lancers were still down by 25 points.
After a field goal and another touchdown by Hancock, the game came to a quick end.
The Lancers play their final game on the road at Bakersfield College on Nov. 7. Game time is at 4 p.m.