The first time he touched the ball, it resulted in a 2-point conversion run and an 8-7 lead for his Pasadena City College football team late in the first half. When he took over the quarterback reigns in the second half, quarterback Edward Norton drove into high gear and went wild with three touchdowns runs and a TD bomb as the Lancers routed Glendale, 35-7, Saturday night before a large crowd at Robinson Stadium.
The Lancers are on a 4-game winning streak that dates back to last year. It was the 37th victory by a PCC team over Glendale, the most against all Lancers opponents.
The freshman lefty option QB totaled 112 yards in nine carries and passed for 144 (4-for-8) as he accounted for 20 points on his own.
An electrifying fan favorite already at PCC, Norton padded PCC's lead to 15-7 when he broke loose for a 19-yard TD run that capped the team's first series in the third quarter. A quick, 6-play, 70-yard drive included hard runs of 19 and 21 yards by sophomore running back Salman Gurung. Norton had an 11-yard carry before his touchdown.
On the next PCC series starting at the Lancers' 25 yard-line, Norton went to work with a 15-yard pitch pass to David Telles coupled with a 15-yard personal foul penalty to move into Glendale territory. He then lofted a 31-yard aeriel to Jabari Kindle. On a 4th-and-goal from the 2, Norton jogged into the end zone for a 29-7 advantage with 11:44 left in the game.
Again Norton found magic on the next Lancers series. Leaving Glendale tacklers guessing, Norton faked an option pitch, deked twice and then went off to the races for an 83-yard touchdown gallop with 8:17 remaining. The score meant PCC had scored 35 unanswered points after a sluggish scoreless first quarter and a 7-0 Glendale early in the second period.
Norton's run was the 12th longest in school history and the longest Lancers carry in 18 years (PCC Hall of Famer Jonathan Smith, 89 yards v. Riverside in 2001). Coincidentally, the ninth longest run of 86 yards by Blair Lewis occurred on Sept. 11, 1999 v. Santa Ana. It was the very first game in Robinson Stadium and Norton's long-distance dash comes on the 20th anniversary of the stadium's opening and home opener. Of course, no one is going to break the school record (maybe tie it) as it was set by the legendary Jackie Robinson of 99 yards v. CalTech in 1938.
In the first half, it was starting QB Kade Wentz who called his own number for a 6-yard TD carry before Norton tallied his 2-pointer. Wentz capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive that included keeper runs of 8, 7, 6, and 10 yards before his score. Two Glendale penalties aided the Lancers on the series. Wentz twice had TD passes called back due to Lancers offensive penalties that nullified a 6-yard toss to Dyllan Wright and a perfectly thrown 25-yard spiral to Lipscomb.
Kindle had a 70-yard option pitch from Wentz also in the second quarter. However, PCC missed three field goal attempts overall including a 33-yard wide left try by Edson Zamarron that ended the Kindle-made series.
The Lancers netted 350 yards rushing in 37 carries for a 9.5 yards per attempt average. In all, PCC dominated the total offense, a 545-211 advantage in yards.
Defensively, PCC kept the pressure on Glendale quarterbacks with five more sacks to give the team 14 in two games. Outside linebacker Hector Palacios had two sacks, one forcing his second fumble of the year as he finished with six tackles. Safety Andy Reyes made a team-high eight tackles, broke up a pass (and had an interception erased on a pass interference call by another defensive back). Of linebacker Craig Francois' four tackles (one sack), three were behind the line of scrimmage. Francois was a SCFA Defensive Player of the Week for his week #1 4-sack performance v.
Wheeler Smith led PCC receivers with four catches for 25 yards. Jahlique Stephens made his only carry a great one with a 42-yard gallop. Wentz had nine carries for 48 yards and Gurung 48 yards on five attempts.
Jonathan Borashan had a sparkling punting game with four punts for a 39-yard average, showing good hang time and netting all about five yards of returns for his work.
Next week, the Lancers have their work cut out for them as they face Saddleback College on Saturday, Sept. 21 in a 6 p.m. kickoff at Robinson Stadium. The Gauchos are ranked No. 6 in the nation by JCGridiron.com and are coming off of Saturday's big win over #10-rated and state No. 1-ranked Ventura, 48-24. Chance Nolan had five touchdown passes for Saddleback and the team's overall 499 passing yards (Nolan 423) were a school record.
PCC Grid Notes: Francois was a SCFA Defensive Player of the Week for his week #1 4-sack performance v. Desert. He came very close to the PCC record for a single game, 4.5 set by Alonzo Brooks in the team's national championship season of 1977...Palacios (5.5) and Francois (5) figure to be neck-and-neck in QB takedowns the rest of the season. The pair have combined for 16.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage...Of teams that have played two games, PCC is No. 5 in rush defense in the state at 32.5 yards allowed and No. 6 in ball possession at 37 minutes per game. Last year, PCC led the state in that category...At least for this week, the Lancers are on the top of the American Pacific League standings as the only 2-0 team (Allan Hancock is 1-0). The Bulldogs played their season opener on Saturday and romped over LA Valley, 70-3.