Grossmont Stops Football's 4-Game Win Streak

Lancers receiver Ivan Ostry tries to elude a tackler grabbing his jersey during PCC's loss at Grossmont College on Saturday (photo by Michael Watkins).
Lancers receiver Ivan Ostry tries to elude a tackler grabbing his jersey during PCC's loss at Grossmont College on Saturday (photo by Michael Watkins).

In the first half of the 2021 season, the Pasadena City College football team had been successful thanks in part to keeping turnovers at a minimum (10 in five games) as its offense produced points with efficient drives and quick strikes. On Saturday afternoon, a multitude of offensive mistakes and missed opportunities helped put a stop to the Lancers' 4-game winning streak in a 24-19 loss at Grossmont College.

PCC and Grossmont both are now 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the SCFA American Mountain League while Mt. San Jacinto now leads the league outright at 5-1 and 2-0.

The Lancers made five turnovers, three setting up 17 of the Griffins points, and had a short field goal blocked, missed an extra point kick, failed on a 2-point conversion pass and lost a fumble inside the Grossmont 5. Despite the errors, PCC mounted a late rally. Edward Norton scored his second touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run with 56 seconds remaining. Cristian Contreras' point after kick cut the lead to 5. Contreras tried an onside kick but Grossmont recovered and ran out the clock.

PCC took an early 6-0 lead thanks to a 9-play, 71-yard scoring drive following the game's opening kickoff. Quarterback Kade Wentz raced for 22 yards on a keeper and completed a 21-yard pass to receiver Justen Campbell for the key plays on the drive that culminated with an 8-yard touchdown run by Norton just 4:44 into the contest. The team failed the extra point try. 

A Lancers fumble gave Grossmont the ball at the PCC 35 and helped set up a Griffins TD that left Pasadena behind, 7-6, through one quarter. After quarterback Brady Abt's second of three TD passes extended Grossmont's lead to 14-6, Wentz powered the Lancers downfield on the ensuing series. He completed seven passes during a frantic, 66-yard drive and a pass interference penalty put the Lancers at the Grossmont 1. But a 15-yard ilegal block penalty killed PCC's chance for a TD, then Contreras had a 25-yard FG attempt blocked to end the half.

In the third quarter, PCC's defense came up with a big play as Jordan Monroe intercepted a short pass at the 1, then fumbled only to have teammate Carlos Ramirez recover it in the end zone for a touchdown. The Lancers failed on the ensuing  conversion pass but trailed only 14-12 with 8:46 to go in the period. Later in the quarter, Antwan Walker intercepted a PCC pass and returned it 20 yards deep into Lancers territory. The pickoff set up Abt's third TD pass and a 21-12 Grossmont advantage.

In the fourth quarter, PCC safety Roland "Kea" Rodrigues intercepted an Abt pass at midfield. Pasadena then performed its longest offensive play of the game, a 43-yard bomb pass from Norton to receiver Ivan Ostry to the Grossmont 1. The team momentum of the large gain was negated seconds later as the Lancers fumbled on the next carry, ending the potential scoring drive with 8:25 left in the game. Walker's second interception and 38-yard return would later set up a Griffins field goal. 

The Pasadena defense had some stellar efforts, including four interceptions on Abt, who happens to be the state leader in passing at 318.3 yards per game. Cornerback Kaydon Spens collected his third pickoff of the season, forced a fumble and totaled 11 tackles. 

Linebacker Lucio Rodriguez, the SCFA Defensive Player of the Week #5, again put on a clinic. Rodriguez made a team season-high 14 tackles, five behind the line of scrimmage, one a sack. The sophomore is tied for ninth in the state in tackles per game at 8.2 and tied for fifth among California Community College players with 11.5 tackles for loss. In his last two games, Rodriguez totaled 25 tackles, two sacks, one interception and seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Rodriguez was the SCFA POW in Week #5 v. Desert

PCC GRID NOTES: Wentz had four punts for a 44.4 yards average, including a tremendous 70-yard kick. The boot went 67 yards in the air and after the bounce finally was retrieved by the Grossmont returner at the Griffins 8. From the point of Wentz's kick 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage the ball traveled 82 yards prior to the return. It is the longest punt by a Lancer since Brian Gonzalez boomed a 75-yard punt v. Allan Hancock in 2010. The school record is 77 yards by Damon Martin v. Palomar in 1991...Ostry led receivers with four receptions for 85 yards...Wentz rushed for a team-high 85 yards in 17 carries to go with his 120 yards passing (14-for-26) and Norton totaled 81 yards in 13 attempts. Norton made his two biggest plays from the QB position, faking a pass before racing to the end zone for the last-minute TD and his bomb pass to Ostry ...Pasadena is 6-5 now in the all-time series against Grossmont, but the Griffins have won each of the past five meetings...Rodrigues (Kea) totaled nine tackles...Michelangelo Loretto intercepted a pass, made a sack, and hurried Abt on Rodrigues' pickoff...Ramirez hurried Abt on Loretto's interception, forced a fumble, and collected the 6-pointer on the fumble recovery for a TD...The Lancers welcome back fans to Robinson Stadium at the Homecoming Game next Saturday, Oct. 23 in a 6 p.m. APL kickoff against Compton College. Social distancing and masks are recommended at all outdoor events to respect the public health and safety of those around you...PCC has three players that have earned SCFA Defensive POTW in Spens, Osvaldo Raigosa and Rodriguez.