The Pasadena City College football team executed in a variety of ways in winning its SCFA Metro League opener Saturday night, defeating host Compton College, 30-20. The Lancers improved to 2-3 and joined Santa Ana and West Los Angeles as the early leaders in the Metro title race, all at 1-0.
One week after being inspired by the play of fourth starting quarterback Isaia Ah-Hing, the Lancers went back to door No. 3 in Mario Bobadilla after a sluggish first half that saw PCC trail 14-10. Starting the second half, Bobadilla came off the bench to pass for three touchdowns, two to wide receiver Kyle Torres as he completed 11 of 17 throws for 158 yards.
With 10:15 left in the third quarter, Bobadilla rolled out to his right, eluding a few Compton pass rushers, and delivered a 22-yard TD pass to Torres in the front right corner of the end zone. Punter-kicker extraordinaire Enrique Lozano's second of three extra point kicks gave PCC the lead for good at 17-14. Bobabilla engineered a 10-play, 71-yard drive, extending it on a 4th-and-1 connection for 14 yards to running back Amad Andrews for a first down that set up the TD.
With Compton driving late in the third quarter, PCC lineman Jasper Iheaso picked up his second fumble recovery as he dove on a fumbled snap by Tartars QB Da'jon Dinkins at the Lancers' 22. Iheaso, from Muir High, had a big night to lead the defense with five tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles, and two hurries.
Andrews had carries of 8, 6 and 14 yards and Bobabilla bombed a 39-yard TD to a streaking Stevie Williams, who made a brilliant catch over his left shoulder. The scoring pass extended PCC's lead to 23-14 with 1:52 left in the third period.
On PCC's next series, the Lancers marched up field as Kevin Thomas carried five times for 24 yards. On 4th-and-7 from the Compton 37, Bobadilla completed a throw to Torres at the 20, but the talented sophomore transfer wide spun off a tackler and darted the rest of the way for his second touchdown reception of the game. Torres made six catches for 76 yards and added two kick returns for 78 yards to total 154 all-purpose yards.
Letterman All-SCFA selection Yusef Muhammad had his biggest game of the season. In the first half, he returned a punt 72 yards for the game's first touchdown 4:24 into the second quarter. Converted from wide receiver last year, Muhammad was outstanding at cornerback as he broke up three passes, twice preventing potential Compton touchdowns. He added three tackles.
Lozano continued to show why he is one of the state's best all-around punter-kickers. The sophomore tied PCC's school record for longest field goal as he drilled a 49-yard boot high through the center of the uprights in the second quarter. He tied the previous record of Nick Luevano, who also made his 49-yarder v. Compton in a 2009 game.
Lozano, who drilled three kickoffs for touchbacks, had his best punting game of the year. He averaged 43.8 yards on five punts with 4-year university level hang time.
PCC's running game was solid as the Lancers received good efforts by Andrews (11 carries, 86 yards) and sophomore James Shaw (17 attempts. 63 yards). The offensive line of Art Rios, Demarcus Gilmore, Juan Perez, Juan De La Torre, and Jashaad Perry along with the blocking of tight ends Jordan Bruner and Kaleb Prejean opened up some holes for the Lancers' backs.
Pasadena finally snapped a 14-game losing streak on the road that dated back to 2014.
Next Saturday, Oct. 7, PCC hosts West LA (1-4 overall), a 21-13 winner over Glendale in its Metro opener.
LANCERS GRIDIRON NOTES: Ah-Hing passed for 37 yards (6-for-10) in the first half, but had one attempt deflected and turned into a 70-yard interception return for a Compton TD by Shephered Grant late in the second quarter...The Lancers defense limited the Tartars to just 56 rushing yards in 27 attempts...PCC won the total yardage game, 324-284...The Lancers have made only one turnover in their two victories.