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Football Puts Scare In State No. 1-Ranked Mt. SAC, Season Ends In 33-30 Defeat

Football Puts Scare In State No. 1-Ranked Mt. SAC, Season Ends In 33-30 Defeat image

One team was playing for a perfect regular season. The other team was playing for pride. Both teams accomplished their goals Saturday night.

The Pasadena City College football team did everything it could to upset state No. 1-ranked Mt. San Antonio, but Jeremy Brown's 27-yard field goal as time expired gave the Mounties a 33-30 victory at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut.

Mt. SAC finished an undefeated regular season at 10-0, including a 5-0 mark to capture the National Southern Conference title. The Lancers, a team that started the year at 4-0, finished 4-6 and winless in the NSC at 0-5.

PCC stunned Mt. SAC in taking a 27-6 lead in the first half. The Mounties cut it to 27-16 by halftime and caught up to the Lancers, 30-30, by the end of the third quarter. Brown's field goal, his fourth of the game, was the only scoring by either team in the fourth quarter.

Lancers' starting quarterback Caleb Fore, who twice was replaced in the top role during the season, saved his best collegiate game for last for PCC. Fore completed 23 of 43 passes for 361 yards and one touchdown while also leading PCC in rushing with a net 33 yards in 12 attempts. Fore completed a 42-yard TD pass to wide receiver Reuben Thomas III that gave PCC an early 14-0 lead. 

A week after he hauled in four touchdown passes, Thomas again played a spectacular game with 11 receptions for 227 yards. It was the third highest receiving yards total in PCC history. 

Manako Tuifua, who had played mostly nose tackle and offensive line for the Lancers in his two seasons here, scored three short touchdown runs of 2, 1, and 2 yards in the first half. Sophomore kicker-punter Brian Gonzalez, who was 3-for-4 on extra point kicks, boomed a 45-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the third quarter to extend the Lancers lead at that point, 30-23.

PCC transfer wide receiver Michael Harrison added three receptions that gave him 61 catches for the season, third highest in total passes caught for a season in school history.

Defensively, linebacker Cordell Robinson made 10 tackles and his team-leading seventh sack. Safety Tevin McCaskill added eight tackles and intercepted his third pass that allowed him to lead the team in pickoffs in a tie with injured teammate Omar Smith.

"We left everything on the field," said PCC interim head coach Dennis Gossard, who has likely coached his final PCC game after 32 seasons serving as both an assistant and head coach.

"We played the best team in the state and gave them a battle they didn't want. I couldn't be more proud of a team than the effort by our men tonight. The only thing that hurt was the ending. When you go 10-0, you find ways to win and that's what Mt. SAC did."

The Mounties won their final three games all on winning scores in the final seconds. Twice, they won on the final play of the game. Quarterback Nick Lamaison completed 33 of 51 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Among some of PCC's season leaders were freshman linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo, who led the squad in tackles with 79. Thomas again was the team's scoring leader with 10 touchdowns, giving him 25 for his career here. Frosh defensive end Charles Tua'au paced PCC with 17 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries.

PCC's All-NSC selections will be announced later this month on this website.

[Photo--Caleb Fore scrambles for yardage with lineman Penieli Faaso trailing the block during PCC's 33-30, season-ending loss at Mt. San Antonio College Saturday night, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 11/13/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu