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Football Defense Records 3 Interceptions For TDs, But Mt. SAC Wins, 35-30

Football Defense Records 3 Interceptions For TDs, But Mt. SAC Wins, 35-30 image

Despite returning a Pasadena City College football record three interceptions for touchdowns, the Lancers’ defense couldn’t prevent Mt. San Antonio from scoring a TD with 1:16 left in a season-opening, 35-30 defeat Saturday afternoon at Mt. SAC’s Hilmer Lodge Stadium.

Sophomore Nick Luevano gave PCC the lead, 30-28, on a 30-yard field goal with 4:16 remaining. Freshman quarterback Nate Montana, who came off the bench to start the second half, marched the Lancers into field goal range with a 20-yard pass to freshman receiver Kemonte Bateman combined with 4 carries for 17 yards by sophomore running back Anthony Pines.

Mt. SAC responded with an 8-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by Burton Iosefa’s 3-yard TD run. The last-minute, 6-pointer was followed by kicker Jeremy Brown’s fifth extra point.

The Lancers last drive was indicative of the team’s struggle on offense the whole afternoon against the nation’s No. 2-ranked team. With an inexperienced offensive line in front of him, Montana was forced into a short 5-yard pass to frosh wide receiver Devance Harris, two incompletions, and a bad shotgun snap that resulted in a 5-yard loss. PCC was also whistled for its 20th penalty of the game on a false start as PCC could not get past its own 26-yard line.

PCC’s defense compensated for the team’s lack of offense (just 150 total yards) by creating 3 touchdowns thanks to a 21-yard interception return by safety Kevin Ayers in the second quarter, a 51-yard, perfectly-timed pickoff and return by sophomore cornerback Taurus D’Antignac in the third quarter, and a spectacular 62-yard return down the sideline by frosh cornerback Davionne Amie with 9:39 left in the game.

The Lancers finished with 5 interceptions, including 1 each by sophomore middle linebacker/team captain Jeremy Aguilar and All-National Northern Conference safety Julius Harris (Aguilar tipped the pass resulting in that pickoff). PCC also totaled 158 return yards on the interceptions.

The roll call on defense was led by Ayers, from Lynwood High, with a game-high 10 tackles, a forced fumble, a 15-yard sack on a blitz, and his TD return that gave PCC an brief 13-7 lead with 3:32 to go in the first half. D’Antignac added 8 tackles and sophomore safety Daniel Bernal 7 tackles. Aguilar did most of his damage in the first half with all 6 of his tackles and the three Mt. SAC turnovers that he personally forced (2 on passes, one on a forced fumble).

PCC's most productive player on offense may have been freshman utility player Reuben Thomas, who pulled in a 47-yard TD bomb from starting quarterback Jonathan Troast early in the second quarter. Thomas had 3 receptions for 57 yards at wide receiver, and 2 carries for 4 yards slotted at quarterback. Pines led PCC in rushing with 49 yards in 11 carries. Harris had a team-high 4 receptions for 31 yards.

Luevano was 3-for-3 on extra points to go with his clutch field goal.

Overall, Mt. SAC totaled 465 yards with quarterback Matt Faulkner passing for 341 yards (23-for-38) and 4 touchdowns. Troast was 7-for-17 for 104 yards in his only half of action. Montana finished 6-for-15 for 61 yards.

The Lancers will host El Camino College-Compton Center Saturday, Sept. 12 in their home opener. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Robinson Stadium.

[Photo--PCC linebacker Jeremy Aguilar (30 in middle) makes one of the team's 5 interceptions in the Lancers' 35-30 season-opening loss at Mt. San Antonio College Saturday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 09/05/09
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu