The Lancers rode into the Homecoming game on a five game high, but were tested by crosstown rivals and defending Champions East Los Angeles College with a humbling loss of 14 – 42 in the last home game of the season.
If the energy felt against LA Southwest last week returns against Santa Ana, they can still leave the season with a Championship. Coach Steve Mojarro said before the game this past Monday that the game against ELAC would be a test for the them.
But whatever was there during the last five games did not show up Saturday night, as the team struggled across the field, with incomplete passes from both starters Mario Bobadilla and Philip Tran, and what was completed quickly lost speed due to penalties that set Pasadena back.
ELAC came in swiftly, scoring two touchdowns with the Lancers sneaking one in before the end of the second half, bringing the game to 7 – 21.
The energy of the crowd felt similar to the LA bars during game seven of the World Series: everyone holding onto the hope for a better second half that wouldn’t come.
The differences between this game and others were clear when looking at the yards. Adam Besana had 88 yards in the air, compared to his season average of 154.
“We didn’t play the game we usually play. We came at it too hot,” PCC tight end KJ Turner said after the game.
The momentum of the game was consistently stalled by call after call from the officials for offsides, personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct, and holding.
ELAC had 13 penalties, whereas PCC had 19 that lost them a net of 210 yards.
Spectators were audibly upset with the way the game was running by booing whenever a penalty would send PCC back, keeping the game from moving forward.
“The referees did a really good job and we just got to make sure we make plays so that we don’t get those kind of penalties and those calls,” Mojarro said, “We lost the game due to a lot of personal fouls and gave a team like East Los Angeles a lot of opportunities.”
ELAC escalated things at the conclusion of the game by continuing unsportsmanlike behavior off the field, shouting at PCC and throwing L’s in the air before their coaches begged them to go inside.
“Guys, you’re better than that. We play for a Championship next week… all of our goals are still in tact,” Mojarro said to the team on the field following the emotional game.
On the sidelines, players were visibly upset by the way the game was running, but according to Mojarro, there’s no sugarcoating it. This was their first big game against reigning champions and they failed but, it is not the end of the world.
Coach Mojarro said he attributed the loss to a poor performance. However, though the Lancers lost the chance at winning their Regional Championship ring in their home stadium – the chance to wear one isn’t lost.
The Lancers face undefeated Santa Ana College next Saturday on Eddie West Field at 1 p.m. in what will be the finale to an amazing season.