For most of the 60 minutes Saturday night, College of the Desert quarterback Noah Shoeman riddled the Pasadena City College football team's defense with big-play passes, short and long as he passed for 537 yards and five touchdowns. But all it took was one mistake by Shoeman to give the Lancers the break it needed.
With 5:37 left in the game and Desert leading 38-35, sophomore linebacker Kimani Williams intercepted a Shoeman pass at the PCC 44. It was the only turnover of the game for the Roadrunners. On the ensuing series, letterman quarterback Mario Bobadilla faced a 4th-and-6 before connecting with wide receiver David Telles for a 30-yard completion to the COD 27. Transfer running back Sultaan Sullivan made a few moves and took off 27 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 2:23 left. Cesar Ruiz made his sixth extra point kick (from 25 yards out) that sealed the Lancers' 42-38 SCFA non-league victory. It was PCC's first season-opening win in seven years.
Sullivan put on a show with 150 yards gained in just 14 carries. Fellow transfer redshirt freshman Drake Beasley added 89 yards in only 11 attempts. Another key performer was the freshman Telles, who totaled 155 all-purpose yards on kick returns, a misdirection 27-yard carry and his big reception late in the fourth quarter. PCC's offense accomplished its move-the-chains quickly approach, producing 29 first downs.
The see-saw affair featured eight lead changes. PCC trailed by as much as 20-7 in the second quarter and then 38-28 with 12:05 left in the fourth period. But with 6:26 left, Bobadilla hit transfer wide receiver Hernandel Johnson for a 12-yard TD pass that cut the deficit to three, 38-35.
Bobadilla twice came through on fourth down, also finding letterman receiver Forest Fajardo on a 4th-and-goal, 4-yard TD pass with 3:17 left before halftime that sliced the COD lead to 20-14. To start the third quarter, Sullivan's 2-yard TD run and a Ruiz extra point kick briefly gave the Lancers a 21-20 advantage. Just 21 seconds later, Shoeman fired a 73-yard scoring pass to Jaurice Thomas that allowed the Roadrunners to regain the lead at 26-21. PCC came right back with a 33-yard touchdown jaunt by Beasley for a 28-26 Pasadena lead with 8:39 left in the period. Desert followed with three straight scoring series, including field goals of 22 and 32 yards by Leonel Munguia, sandwiching a 10-yard TD pass from Shoeman to Kerrion Ringo that built up COD's lead to 38-28.
Desert outgained the Lancers in total offense, 600-489. PCC's secondary could not contain Thomas, who totaled 272 yards receiving in 10 catches, nor stop Ringo, who made six receptions for 183 yards. PCC defensive back Jamal Tims did break up two passes and made two tackles for lost yardage while lineman Jasper Iheaso knocked down a pass and made two QB hurries. Freshman linebacker Jason Villa led PCC in tackles with seven.
PCC (1-0) next travels to face Glendale College in a 6 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Lancers Gridiron Notes: PCC held a moment of silence for long-time public address announcer Dale Ruhe, who passed away suddenly back in April. Ruhe was the PCC PA man for football dating back to 1997 and he had announced more than 100 home football games, including every Lancers home game ever played at Robinson Stadium since it opened in 2000...Desert's Shoeman set a Robinson Stadium passing record with his 537 yards, completing 29 of 55 attempts...Fajardo led PCC's receivers with six receptions for 42 yards...Freshman Salman Gurung scored the Lancers first touchdown of the season on an 11-yard scamper with 6:59 left in the first quarter...PCC lost four turnovers, including a first-quarter fumble on a rush just before crossing the goal-line.