Pasadena is Ready to Make Title Run

Pasadena has been right in the thick of Mission Conference title chases the past several seasons. It should be no different in 2003 with exciting quarterback Darnell LoVett leading the offense. Will head coach Tom Maher's eighth season be a charm?

TEAM PREVIEW

2002 RECORD: 8-3
HEAD COACH: Tom Maher,  8th season

2002 RECAP:  "We had some coaching problems," admitted Maher. who was not happy with his team's three losses. "Some were mine, some were my assistants. Basically we just lost our motivation. The kids did not want to play." This mostly occurred after Riverside stopped off in Pasadena and administered a 55-41 thumping.  "Their coach, Bill Brown, and all of their players said they couldn't believe how well they played."  The Lancers bounced back from that loss and stood at 8-1 before Long Beach eked out a 50-47 victory and then Moorpark put a 55-28 thumping on them in the Potato Bowl. QB John Rattay, who had bounced back from the University of Arizona, went down for the season in the 5th game vs. Orange Coast and it was left to untried Darnell LoVett to stay the course.

2003 OUTLOOK: LoVett learned quickly, displaying dazzling feet and a strong arm while leading the Lancers to an average of 458 yards per game. The sophomore from Wayne, Indiana is back and rarin' to go after drawing comparisons to Warren Moon when he was playing at West L.A. back in 1974.  "He has a tendency to run over and through people," said Maher. LoVett totaled 570 yards rushing, surpassing the combined totals of 13 QBs in the Mission Conference. And then there is Jerome Harrison, the 5-10, 185-pound running back, who sat out the first three games waiting for proper transfer points from Eastern Michigan University, and then rushed for 790 yards and 9 TDs on just 100 carries. Against a solid Moorpark defense Harrison ran for 243 yards on 21 carries.

"We have a very solid team," continued Maher. "Luke Sniewski, our 6-6, 220-pound backup QB would be a starter for just about anyone. Tight end Randy Misch is a real tough kid with great hands and feet. We have a transfer from U Mass, Matt Kier, who looks like a mountain at guard.  He's 6-5 and 312 and was a true freshman starter for them in 2000. He's maybe the most impressive offensive linemen I have ever had. Another transfer, Danny Nichols from Mendocino, runs a 4.4 and is 6-1 and 240. He'll be a nice contrast to Harrison."

Pasadena will play the Miami Hurricane Multiple 40 defense and has the likes of DL Mario Hill, who was 4th in the JC shot put, Josh White, a 6-4, 350-pounder, and 6-4, 280-pound Mike Black to make it work.

Maher has brought in new coaches, including Bob Moran, who coached the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL to help with the QBs. Things should be looking up for the Lancers who figure to improve on their 22nd place in last year's J.C. Grid-Wire final rankings.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lovett, Harrison, Kier and Misch.

FIRST GAME: Canyons, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. on Lancer Field.


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