Football's Defense Steps Up In Pacific League-Opening Win

Kyden Bailey makes the stop during PCC's win v. SMC on Saturday (photo by Richard Quinton).
Kyden Bailey makes the stop during PCC's win v. SMC on Saturday (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College football team limited Santa Monica College to a first-quarter field goal and posted a 17-3 victory to open SCFA American Pacific League play at Robinson Stadium Saturday night.

The Lancers (5-1 overall) did just enough offensively to control things against the Corsairs (1-4), but it was the defense that totaled 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including six quarterback sacks. 

Linebackers Adrian Ramirez and Torriq Brumfield each recorded two sacks. Ramirez had six tackles, four for lost yardage while Brumfield made five solo tackles, three backing up the SMC offense. 

When the Corsairs threatened late in the fourth quarter, Ramirez made a big, 4th-down-and-1 tackle for a 7-yard loss on SMC running back Christopher Washington. 

In the second quarter, SMC had a golden opportunity to score after a short punt gave the Corsairs the ball at the PCC 37. Santa Monica drove inside the Lancers 10, but Brumfield, Ramirez and Jose Oliveros made sacks on consecutive plays for 19 lost yards that pushed SMC back to the 27. The drive stalled there with no points on the board.

SMC grabbed the early lead on a 40-yard field goal by John Corum 4:16 into the game. After being pinned at its own 8-yard line on a 36-yard punt by Diego Caldera, the Lancers began an 11-play, 92-yard drive.

Starting quarterback Wyatt Oak raced for long gains of 27 and 22 yards and running back Isaac Glover rambled for 20 yards. Oak hit Daniel Schwam for a 12-yard pass to set up 4th-and-goal from the SMC 3. Oak followed with a 3-yard keeper for the game's first touchdown. Justin Vergara's extra point made it 7-3 with 12:29 left in the second quarter. 

Vergara drilled a 37-yard field goal that extended the PCC lead to 10-3 with 8:30 left in the third quarter. 

A booming 71-yard punt by Caldera forced Pasadena to start possession from its 16 just four minutes into the fourth period.

Kaden Taylor had replaced Oak at quarterback after an injury and the reserve signal caller drove the Lancers downfield. He connected on passes of 12 and 15 yards to receiver Greg Moore, then a 20-yard aerial to Jordan Rodriguez. A 12-yard run by Taylor combined with a personal foul penalty on SMC put the Lancers at the Santa Monica 11. Taylor then found Joshua Barron for an 11-yard TD pass. Nico Razo's extra point gave PCC a commanding 14-point lead with 7:13 left in the game. 

Oak played well by completing 10 of 15 passes for 67 yards and adding 63 net rushing yards in 10 attempts. Taylor also did a good job in relief as he completed 9-for-12 for 76 yards. Glover led the ground game with 80 yards in 14 carries. Moore made four receptions for 42 yards.

"We had a lot of guys out for this game for one reason or another," said PCC Director of Football Operations/Head Coach Robert Tucker. "We knew that we needed to stop the run on defense and I felt like we were able to limit their explosive plays. Our edge pass rushers did a great job of being disruptive all night. There were able to contain the Santa Monica QB and make him step up in the pocket, which limited his opportunities to throw the ball downfield.

"Getting the first win in league is very important. We just need to keep improving each week and continue to play complimentary football."

Kyden Bailey made six tackles and Jachai Pulley added five tackles, a pass knockdown and a hurry. 

The Lancers play at LA Pierce College next Saturday, Oct. 21 in a 2 p.m. league kickoff.