PCC Football Clinches SCFA American Pacific League Title

Torriq Brumfield nearly recorded a safety sack on this play during PCC's win v. Glendale (photo by Richard Quinton).
Torriq Brumfield nearly recorded a safety sack on this play during PCC's win v. Glendale (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College football team clinched at least a tie for the SCFA American Pacific League championship with a 37-0 win over Glendale at Robinson Stadium on Saturday night. PCC is 8-1 overall and 4-0 in league play with one game remaining v. 1-3 Los Angeles Valley.

It's the Lancers second title in three seasons under Director of Football Operations/Head Coach Robert Tucker, who ran his PCC record to 22-8 and his overall community college record to 52-11.

A win next week at LAVC (1 p.m. kickoff) would prevent any tie for the title as PCC would have the only perfect 5-0 mark of any of the six teams in the Pacific League. PCC will likely face Metro League champion Chaffey (9-0) for the American Bowl title, but the Panthers will also need to finalize that by defeating Victor Valley next week in their league finale. PCC's only loss this year came at the hands of Chaffey in week #5, 31-21. 

A season that started with the offense putting up some gaudy numbers, including 70 points in a win over West Los Angeles, turned into year where the defense became a mighty unit during league play. Glendale was flying high on a 5-game winning streak and a 3-0 mark in the APL before running into the PCC D Machine. The Lancers limited the Vaqueros to just 70 total offensive yards and only three first downs.

In four league games, the Lancers have limited opponents to just 26 points and the only two touchdowns scored were literally v. the PCC offense on a pair of interception returns v. LA Pierce in week #7.

It was the program's first shutout since the 2019 season when that squad closed the year with back-to-back blankings over LA Harbor and Santa Barbara City College under then interim head coach Steve Mojarro, still an important part of the Coach Tucker's staff now as offensive line coach.

Against Glendale, the most electriying play was turned in by sophomore running back Isaac Glover, who somehow eluded about 6 different Glendale tacklers to race in for a 41-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Glover finished with 15 carries for 98 yards and two TDs.

Glover's team-leading 11 touchdowns are the most by a PCC RB since Hall of Famer Jonathan Smith's school-record 22 TDs in 2001. Glover is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and his 688 rushing yards are tied for the most by a PCC RB in the last 15 seasons (Sultaan Sullivan in 2018). With likely two games left to play, he has an opportunity to become the first 1,000-yard rusher in a single season since Joshua Morgan performed the feat in 2008. 

"Isaac has great leadership qualities and his long run for a TD v. Glendale shows how relentless he is to use his agility to manuever through tacklers," Tucker said. "We've been fortunate to have a go-to running back for his two seasons here."

Lefty freshman quarterback Kekahi Graham was mistake-free and completed 22 of 30 passes for 225 yards, completing a 5-yard TD pass to Jordan Rodriguez and scoring himself on a 1-yard keeper. Reserve QB Wyatt Oak added a 5-yard TD run (4-for-5 passing for 55 yards) and kicker Justin Vergara added a 23-yard field goal and was 3-for-3 on extra point kicks.

Twelve different PCC receivers caught passes, including a game-high nine for 84 yards by Rodriguez. Damien Gonzales pulled in the longest catch of the night on a 49-yard bomb from Graham in the third quarter that set up the Rodrigeuz TD pass.

The defense forced Glendale into punting 11 times as the Vaqueros punter Jeremiah Calvin if anything was the busiest player on special teams for either team. 

Linebacker Michael Prappas led PCC with eight tackles and a half-sack, and both defensive ends Israel Duncan and Ceasar Ramirez recorded solo sacks. Linebacker Torriq Brumfield added five tackles (two for loss) and a quarterback hurry while linebacker Jachai Pulley added to his team-leading tackles total with now with 52. In all, the defense made 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for 66 negative yards. 

"Our first-string defense has executed at a high level all season," Tucker said. "I think in pre-conference play our offense sort of stole the spotlight because of some high-scoring games for us. It's our defense that has been a big catalyst toward our success from our secondary to the linebackers to the defensive line. The defense has taken it upon themselves to just refuse to let opponents reach the end zone. Super proud of those guys and really the entire team including the offense and special teams have learned their roles and how each contributes to our winning."

PCC GRID NOTES: In the 99-year history of PCC football, the Lancers have more wins v. Glendale, now at 38, than any other opposing program...Vergara, who didn't kick a few games due to injury, is 7-for-8 on field goal attempts and a perfect 20-for-20 on extra point kicks. He added to his touchback total on kickoffs to 19. Second kicker Nico Razo actually has more extra point kicks, making 24-for-25 and made his only a field goal attempt, meaning the two kickers have combined for 68 points...The Lancers are #5 in the state in points allowed at 14.7 per game and #9 in offense at 40.7 points scored...Graham has a chance to join Kade Wentz (2021) and Jett Even (2015) as the only Lancers quarterbacks to reach the 2,000-yards passing mark in a season over the last 15 years. The freshman lefty from Hawaii has completed 156 of 239 throws for 1,737 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is seventh in the state in pass completion percentage at .653...Rodriguez leads PCC receivers with 39 catches for 380 yards...Idrique Carmichael is tied for second in the state in interceptions with six, the most by a PCC player since Julius Harris recorded six pickoffs in 2008...Defensive lineman Julius Ray leads the team in sacks with 7.5 and his 40 tackles is third on the team while Brumfield is second in tackles with 45. The team has 29 total sacks and a remarkable 83 tackles this year behind the line of scrimmage for a minus-369 yards...PCC is 13-5 in its all-time series v. week #10 opponent LA Valley. The Lancers last beat the Monarchs, 58-30, in 2021.