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Football Trampled By Fullerton In Conference Opener, 56-28

Football Trampled By Fullerton In Conference Opener, 56-28 image

All the fears of playing in the powerful National Southern Conference were realized Saturday night for the Pasadena City College football team. The Lancers first NSC tilt was a forgettable one as they allowed 539 yards and were intercepted five times in a 56-28 loss to Fullerton College at Fullerton District Stadium. 

Pasadena dropped to 4-2 overall while Fullerton upped its overall mark to the same 4-2 mark.

The Hornets were led by running back Kelvin York, who rushed for 134 yards in 26 carries and scored four touchdowns. York often eluded PCC tacklers on first contact and on his final score in the third quarter, a 25-yard jaunt, he broke free from five different Pasadena defenders.

Fullerton quarterback Darius Banks made the most of his completions, passing for three touchdowns and 239 yards on just 9-for-19 throwing. Banks fired TD throws of 25 and 45 yards to receiver Geoff Norwood, and hit Willie Downs for a 68-yard aerial strike.

After falling behind 35-7 by halftime, the Lancers battled back behind the play of reserve quarterback Caleb Fore. Early in the third quarter, Fore raced for a 23-yard TD run. Then with 9:07 left in the period, he connected with receiver Kemonte Bateman for a 21-yard scoring pass. Brian Gonzalez kicked his third of four extra points that cut the score to 35-21.

PCC's comeback would be thwarted on a pair of York touchdowns that increased the Hornets' advantage to 49-21 by the end of the third quarter.

Fore, who completed 12 of 17 passes for 159 yards and one interception, capped PCC's scoring with a 28-yard TD throw to receiver Devance Harris in the fourth quarter. Fore fared better than starter Nick Owens, who was intercepted four times (9-for-21, 51 yards). Owens lone highlight was hitting Reuben Thomas for a 10-yard TD toss in the second quarter.

The Lancers' best offensive player was 5-foot-4 sophomore wide receiver Michael Harrison, who caught a team-high seven passes for 34 yards and broke loose for the longest rushing play by PCC this year, a 53-yard carry that set up the team's lone first-half points. Harrison is PCC's top receiver with 38 receptions in six games. Bateman added 126 all-purpose yards (four receptions for 60 yards, one punt return for 25 yards, and three kick returns for 41 yards).

PCC played most of the game without top running back Telvin McMillian, who was injured after his only touch, a 10-yard pass from Owens. McMillian would eventually return to the field for a late series. Ron Spears carried 12 times for 49 yards in his absence.

Defensively, lineman Manako Tuifua led the Lancers with 13 tackles, and end Charles Tua'au again showed why he is one of the state's most electrifying tacklers with four more takedowns behind the line of scrimmage. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman finished with seven solo tackles, a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry. Tua'au, who was the NSC Defensive Player of the Week in week 5's PCC loss to Ventura, has amassed an impressive 15 tackles for loss (including four quarterback sacks) this year.

Safety Tevin McCaskill added a 36-yard interception return while linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo made seven tackles and blocked a punt. Linebacker Grant Haggard contributed 10 tackles.

The game was marred by penalties for both teams. PCC was whistled for 15 flags for 193 yards while Fullerton was penalized a whopping 18 times for 247 yards. At one point, PCC was cited for three consecutive penalties, all following a Lancers' touchdown. That forced kicker John Ghilarducci to kick off from the team's own 5-yard line.

PCC will try to snap its two-game losing streak Saturday, October 23 when it hosts Saddleback College in a NSC game at Robinson Stadium. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

[Photo--Devance Harris dives into the end zone for PCC's last touchdown in a 56-28 loss at Fullerton College Saturday night, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 10/16/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu