The Pasadena City College football team outscored state No. 2 Long Beach City College, 7-6, in the second half of its 2016 season opener Saturday. Unfortunately for the Lancers, the first half was all Long Beach as PCC fell, 41-14, at LBCC Veterans Stadium.
The Lancers were burned by five touchdown passes in the first half thrown by Long Beach quarterback Jake Meier, who connected with five different Vikings receivers. The Vikings scored twice in the final 1:01 of the half to take a 35-7 halftime lead.
For PCC, redshirt freshman quarterback Jesse Hanckel withstood a tough pass rush and engineered both of the team's scoring drives. He hit a diving Yusef Muhammad for a 6-yard TD pass just 11 seconds into the second quarter. Enrique Lozano's extra point cut the LBCC lead at that point to 14-7. The big play on the 8-play, 94-yard drive was a 45-yard loft pass to tight end Jordan Bruner.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hanckel made a spectacular play as he broke through four LBCC tacklers and spun in for a 4-yard touchdown run. In the series, Hanckel rifled a 20-yard pass to fellow quarterback and sophomore Jett Even, who played some of the game at wide receiver, and a 31-yard spiral to Brayon Williams.
Hanckel completed 15 of 27 passes for 218 yards. Meier had a bigger night, completing 22 of 39 throws for 312 yards and his five scores. In all, LBCC's two quarterbacks (Grant Lowery played much of the second half) combined for 428 passing yards and six TDs.
Defensively, the Lancers were paced by safety Kendell Jefferson, who made a game-high 12 tackles and had the hit of the evening in a punishing breakup of a pass intended for receiver Ryan Augello.
Lozano missed three field goal attempts, but his longest, a 45-yard boot hit the left upright.
PCC returns to Robinson Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 10 when the Lancers host San Bernardino Valley in a 6 p.m. SCFA non-conference kickoff.
[Photo--Lancer Jordan Bruner pulls in a long pass during PCC's game at Long Beach City College Saturday evening, image by Richard Quinton.]