Jeremiah Hartfield scored four touchdowns and Kaydon Spens put on a defensive clinic at cornerback as the Pasadena City College football team delivered Robert Tucker his first victory as Lancers head coach over visiting Los Angeles Valley College, 58-30, on Saturday night.
Tucker, who coached LA Valley to an impressive 20-2 record in his two seasons there in 2015-2016, watched his PCC squad score the most points by a Lancers team since 2017 and put up the ninth highest total ever by the program. PCC evened its record to 1-1. LA Valley fell to 0-2
"I'm very happy for the team's first win of the season," Tucker said. "We have a great coaching staff and I'm very proud of every player for being 'ALL IN' since our first day together on June 21st. The heart and character of this team is impressive. I look forward to seeing our growth and development throughout the season."
After a scoreless first quarter, PCC went wild in the second period. Wentz fired a 28-yard pass to Justen Campbell that set up a 3-yard TD pitch to Hartfield. Cristian Contreras kicked the first of seven extra points for a 7-0 lead just 51 seconds into the second quarter. Miles Anderson had a 26-yard carry earlier in the series.
Spens, an All-State selection in 2019, blocked a punt to end the ensuing LAVC series as PCC's Jordan Monroe recovered. A sideline interference penalty was added against the Monarchs to give PCC the ball on the Valley 12. Back-up quarterback Edward Norton ran for nine yards, then slithered into the end zone for a 3-yard TD. Pasadena had increased the lead to 14-0 in a span of just 74 seconds.
Spens dropped an 8-yard sack of LAVC quarterback Zachary Chevalier and the Lancers got the ball back again with good field position following a poor punt. Wentz launched a 35-yard touchdown bomb to Hartfield for a 21-0 advantage. Following a Monarchs' touchdown, Campbell bolted for a 30-yard kick return near midfield. Wentz then connected on a 51-yard touchdown bomb to Hartfield for a 28-6 advantage.
In the final minute of the first half, it was Spens again coming up with a big play. The letterman made his second interception in as many weeks, returning a pickoff 37 yards that was coupled with a LAVC sideline interference penalty. That gave PCC the ball on the Valley 33. After a couple of incompletions, the half appeared over but the referees ruled that two seconds be added back to the game clock. Wentz fired to the end zone and Campbell some how made the catch rolling over a Monarchs defensive back for a 33-yard TD. Contreras' extra point sealed a 35-point, second period and a commanding 35-6 halftime lead.
While the second half proved sloppy at times with second and third string players entering the game for both teams, PCC kept the big plays coming to open the third quarter. Tight end Kegan Duff, the team's tallest player at 6-foot-6, hauled in a sideline pass by Wentz for a 32-yard reception that set up an 11-yard TD run by Wentz.
Early in the fourth quarter, Edson Zamarron made a 29-yard field goal. After LA Valley started a mini comeback to cut the score to 45-24, the Lancers starting offense returned to play. The Wentz-Hartfield combo did it again as Hartfield got loose for a 33-yard TD reception with 9:33 left. The second string took the queue to make its own big play and it resulted in the lefty Norton hitting receiver Daniel Phillips for a 27-yard scoring strike, the fifth passing touchdown by the Lancers to close out the PCC scoring.
Hartfield, who played exclusively defensive back in 2019, had five receptions for 129 yards and with his rushing TD scored his four 6-pointers on just six touches. Wentz completed 12 of 19 passes for 278 yards and accounted for five TDs, four in the air. Norton tied Anderson for PCC's high rusher honors on 39 yards in seven carries (Anderson five attempts) and now has TD throws in both of PCC's games this season. Campbell caught two passes for 61 yards and added 31 yards in kick returns. Contreras was 7-for-7 on extra point kicks, one short of the PCC single-game record held by three players.
Defensively, Spens put together a season's highlight reel into 60 minutes as he totaled four tackles, a sack, an interception, a blocked punt and had two pass break-ups. Freshman defensive end Michelangelo Loretto accounted for three of the team's six QB sacks and added seven tackles while linebacker Lucio Rodriguez made a team-high eight tackles. Linebackers Jaylon McGee and Jordan Monroe, each from Charter Oak High, each had six tackles and a sack.
PCC next visits Santa Monica College next Saturday, Sept. 18 in a 1 p.m. afternoon kickoff.
PCC GRID NOTES: After profiling all four of the Lancers team captains (picked by teammates) on social media, the four--Spens, Wentz, Campbell and Loretto--all had big performances in the home opener...It was just the fourth time in the 2000s that a PCC team reached 58 points or more--59 v. Golden West in 2002, 64 v. Santa Ana in 2007, and 58 v. West LA in 2017. The most points ever scored by a PCC team was 76 v. Sterling (Colorado) in 1949...PCC totaled 416 yards offense in just 50 plays, but with eight touchdowns that meant the Lancers made it to the end zone every 6.25 plays--off-the-charts efficiency...Zamarron showed a strong leg on six kickoffs including one for a touchback...The school held a moment of silence and flew the American flag at half-staff in a short tribute to "9/11" on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 that resulted in 3,000 deaths.
Kaydon Spens set to cover a LA Valley receiver
Jeremiah Hartfield is okay with the spotlight after scoring four touchdowns
Michelangelo Loretto had three sacks and makes a tackle here