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Football Season Opens: Mistakes Contribute To 35-14 Loss At Citrus

Football Season Opens: Mistakes Contribute To 35-14 Loss At Citrus image

Pasadena City College head football coach Fred Fimbres learned what life is like with more than 70 freshmen during the Lancers' season-opening 35-14 loss at Citrus College Saturday afternoon. The youth factor became apparent in a combination of penalties (12), fumbles (four), total turnovers (four), and a missed field goal.

Fimbres explained how a season opener can be the toughest game of the year for incoming freshmen.

"We had a lot of guys with the jitters that have some growing up to do, but we are going to be okay." Fimbres said. "I was concerned with some poor choices we made with some illegal blocks that killed a few nice punt and kick returns. The most important thing we learned today is that we have to get right back on that practice field and work on a number of areas. We did have a few players that stepped up and showed the coaches they are game ready."

One of those was late frosh add-on Tairen Owens, an All-CIF Southeast Division offensive talent from Pasadena John Muir High. Owens had originally committed to attend UCLA, but ended up enrolling at PCC a week before the start of the season.

Owens caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Posthuma with 25 seconds left in the first half, making a spin move to elude a tackler down the sideline. Earlier in the quarter, Owens had a spectacular 73-yard punt return for a TD called back on an illegal block and then had it happen again on a 33-yard return (not for a score) that was nullified by penalty.

Overall, Owens made four catches for 101 yards and added 40 return yards net. Another player who made an impression was wide receiver Jeremiah Andrade (from Hawaii), who caught five passes for a team-high 113 yards.

Posthuma (St. Francis High), playing for the first time since being injured in the second game of the 2011 season, completed all eight of his passes in the first half and finished with 19 completions in 35 attempts for 279 yards and two interceptions. Posthuma briefly gave PCC a 7-6 lead on a 6-yard scoring pass in the back of the end zone to a leaping tight end Lance Tongakilo, a freshman who played rugby and football in his homeland of Queensland, Australia. Martin Magana's (Lincoln High) first of two extra points gave the Lancers their only lead with 4:28 left in the first half.

The Lancers' rushing game struggled against a hard-hitting Citrus defense, netting 42 yards in 29 attempts (including four quarterback sacks).

Playing PCC for the first time in 39 years, Citrus used an efficient passing attack led by quarterback Bernard Porter, who was 18-for-28 for 221 yards and three touchdown passes. Porter also scored a TD on a bootleg keeper.

PCC's defense was paced by returning all-conference sophomore linebacker Mike Sepulveda who made 10 tackles and freshman linebacker Tyree Marshall (Dorsey High)  with nine takedowns. Sophomore transfer linebacker Gary London and freshman linebacker Egberto Foster (San Pedro High) each tallied a sack and a hurry.

Next Saturday, Sept. 8, the Lancers begin their home schedule with a 6 p.m. non-conference game against Orange Coast College.

PCC Gridiron Notes: Nick Posthuma, an All-Big West Conference soccer player who graduated from Cal State Fullerton, decided to come to PCC and play "the other" football with his younger brother Justin. The Posthuma brothers hooked up for a 5-yard pass in the third quarter, then the elder Posthuma used the old soccer technique of trying to convince the referee he was pulled down on a pass play in Citrus territory. Posthuma's dramatic dive and gestures to the officials worked as Citrus was flagged for a 15-yard pass interference penalty...The Lancers have lost five straight games going back to last season...Frosh punter Manny Meza (Sante Fe High) kicked for a 37.4 yards average in five attempts, but showed tremendous hang time, including a long of 47 yards...Fimbres indicated that some numbers that PCC will need to improve on are third down conversions where the Lancers converted only three times in 12 opportunities. The team was 0-for-2 on fourth down attempts, both deep in Citrus territory late in the game. In the red zone, PCC was 1-for-4 while the Owls scored on all four of their chances.

[Photo--PCC freshman Tairen Owens makes the finishing steps for his first collegiate touchdown in the Lancers' 35-14 loss at Citrus College Saturday afternoon, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 09/02/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu