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Football Moves To 3-0 Behind New QB Nick Owens

Football Moves To 3-0 Behind New QB Nick Owens image

After totaling just 49 yards passing last week, the Pasadena City College football team made the switch to left-handed throwing freshman quarterback Nick Owens for his first collegiate start. The Westlake High product impressed his coaches as he passed for 249 yards and engineered five scoring drives in the Lancers' 34-17, non-conference victory over Los Angeles Valley College Saturday night. The game was played in front of a Robinson Stadium estimated crowd of more than 700 fans.

The Lancers, ranked No. 12 in the state and No. 27 in the nation, kept their undefeated season going at 3-0. LA Valley dropped to 1-2. PCC has scored points in all 12 quarters of action this year, extending a streak of 19 consecutive scoring quarters going back to last year.

PCC interim head coach Dennis Gossard tied R. Frank Baker (1926-1934)  for most career football coaching wins at the college with 52 each. Baker was then Pasadena Junior College's second head coach following a one-year stint by Ed Laurenson in the inaugural year of football at the college in 1925. Gossard is in his third tour as head coach, but 32nd year of coaching on the PCC gridiron. This is his 10th season in charge, the most of any head coach in school history.

Owens completed 18 of 27 passes, including a 5-yard TD strike to sophomore wide receiver Devance Harris in the third quarter. PCC took a 23-3 lead at that point.

After LAVC stormed back to cut it to 23-17, Owens took the Lancers on an 8-play, 86-yard drive, finished off by a Danny Robinson 9-yard touchdown scamper. Owens showed his mobility as he averted a sack and turned the play into a 15-yard rush into LA Valley territory. He completed 3-for-4 passes for 27 additional yards in the key series. Third-string quarterback Cesar Hernandez ran a bootleg to score on the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt, extending PCC's lead to 31-17.

Kicker-punter Brian Gonzalez added a 35-yard field goal with 2:55 left to put the finishing touches on the victory. The sophomore Gonzalez earlier kicked a 24-yard field goal and he added two extra points. He punted four times for a 38.5 yards average, including a one inside the 10-yard line. 

PCC took a 16-3 halftime lead thanks to a 1-yard TD dive by running back Telvin McMillian, a 53-yard punt return for a score by wide receiver/returner Kemonte Bateman one minute into the second quarter, and Gonzalez' first FG.

McMillian led the Lancers in rushing with 65 yards in 13 carries. His TD was his team-leading and SCFA-leading seventh of the season. Harris, a letterman from Charter Oak High, had a big game with five receptions for 73 yards and two kick returns for 66 yards. Transfer wide receiver Michael Harrison (Pasadena High) led PCC with six receptions for 88 yards. 

Defensively, PCC forced three turnovers on interceptions by cornerback Marcus Graves (Pasadena Muir High) and safety Tevin McCaskill, and a fumble recovery from linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo. Nose tackle Manako Tuifua led the team with nine tackles, but a bigger force was defensive end Charles Tua'au (Leilehua, Hawaii), who made eight tackles, including five behind the line of scrimmage.

Frosh linebacker Grant Haggard (Monrovia HS) tallied eight tackles and sophomore safety Joey Dixon delivered seven tackles and a pass break-up. Tackle Zach Coffin recorded PCC's only sack. 

Pasadena's 3-0 start is the best opening to a season since 2007, a year in which the Lancers began 5-0, but finished 6-4 overall. 

PCC continues its three-game homestand Saturday, Sept. 25 when it faces College of the Desert. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Robinson Stadium.

[Photo--PCC quarterback Nick Owens elevates himself to get off this pass during the Lancers' 34-17 win over LA Valley Saturday night, image by Richard Quinton.] 

Release Date: 09/19/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu