First Shutout In 10 Years and Best Defensive Stretch By Football Since 1974

Omar Delgado and Craig Francois bring down a Harbor quarterback during Saturday's Lancers shutout, photo by Michael Watkins.
Omar Delgado and Craig Francois bring down a Harbor quarterback during Saturday's Lancers shutout, photo by Michael Watkins.

You have to go back to the last undefeated Lancers football team in 1974 to find a better defensive stretch of play than the 2019 Pasadena City College squad. PCC recorded its first shutout in a decade and extended a streak of eight straight quarters without allowing a touchdown or field goal in blanking Los Angeles Harbor, 33-0, Saturrday night at Robinson Stadium.

The Lancers have outscored their last two opponents, 63-2, extended their win streak to three, and sealed at least a .500 season at 5-4 overall. Pasadena is in second place by itself in the SCFA American Pacific League at 3-1. It's been 11 years since the program had a winning season (7-4 in 2008) and PCC could do just that in its regular season finale with another win when it hosts Santa Barbara City College on Saturday, Nov. 16. Kickoff for that game is 6 p.m. at Robinson Stadium.

PCC limited Harbor to just 103 total yards and even the Lancers defense outscored the Seahawks (3-6, 2-2) as Kaydon Spens picked off a pass and returned it 19 yards for touchdown interception return for the game's first points late in the first quarter. Safety Darren Meyers blitzed the Harbor quarterback on the play. Each of the Seahawks final four drives of the games ended with PCC stopping them on fourth down and taking over possession. Defensive lineman Robbie Kindle had series-ending tackles on two consecutive drives. Linebacker Craig Francois, who had missed several games due to injury, made two sacks and totaled 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (team-high five overall). 

Quarterback Kade Wentz, who has been overshadowed by the entertaining play of fellow QB Edward Norton, had his best game of the season in a reserve role. Wentz ran for a team-high 63 yards in seven attempts and completed 6-for-7 passes for 107 yards, including a 51-yard TD bomb to a streaking David Telles in the second quarter. Norton added to the fun with two second-half TD passes, a 24-yard strike to Wheeler Smith in the third quarter and a 14-yard spiral to Telles in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter. Norton finished 9-for-12 for 109 yards.

Salman Gurung plowed for a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter. He capped an 8-play, 65-yard drive that was engineered by the running of Wentz. The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder from San Marino High had carries of 12 and then 34 yards for first downs to keep the drive moving.

PCC's offense totaled 403 yards including a pair of trick play passes for first downs on a 15-yard throw by Telles to Wentz and an improvised 24-yard pass by punter Jonathan Borashan to Gary Chew. PCC won the chain-moving war by compiling 19 first downs to just four by Harbor. Telles finished with three catches for 85 yards, but two for TDs. Twelve different players caught passes, 10 players ran the ball, and four completed passes.

Borashan had his best punting night of the season by nailing four kicks for a 40.8 yards average including two inside the 20-yard line. Edson Zamarron, out for several games due to injury, booted two extra points and Cristian Contreras also connected on his extra point kick. 

In the team's five victories this season, the Lancers have allowed only 41 points, three times limiting teams to seven or less points. PCC is 3-1 on its new home turf at Robinson Stadium. While head coach Steven Mojarro directs the entire program, PCC's defense this season has been run by defensive coordinator Marc Paramo. Offensively, PCC and offensive coordinator Fred Fimbres can be proud of the Lancers rushing attack, now #7 in the state at 193.9 yards gained per game. 

For Harbor, Axel Perez averaged an outstanding 43.3 yards per punt on seven kicks, including two high hang-time kicks of 54 yards. Branden Johnson made 10 tackles and had an interception. 

The '74 Lancers had back-to-back shutouts in their JC Grid-Wire national championship regular season, 35-0 over Mt. San Antonio in week #2 and then a 13-0 blanking of Scottsdale, Arizona in week #3. It was the last time a PCC team played two straight games without giving up a touchdown or field goal until this month.

Linebacker Mark Navarro leads PCC in tackles with 60 while outside linebacker Francois now is the club's sack leader with eight (OLB Hector Palacios right behind with 7.5). Safety Andy Reyes has a team-best six pass breakups and cornerback Jeremiah Hartfield leads the team in interceptions with four (Spens right behind with three). Navarro was SCFA Defensive Player of the Week and Reyes the SCFA Special Teams Player of the Week for their performances a week ago v. Santa Monica.