Pittman's Arm Too Much for Palomar

David Pittman set one school record with 481 yards passing and tied another with 6 touchdown passes as Pasadena (5-0) remained unbeaten with a 54-14 trouncing of previously-undefeated Palomar (4-1) Saturday afternoon at Robinson Stadium. 

Pittman had touchdown tosses of 86 and 87 yards in the first quarter, shattered the school record for passing yards by halftime and left the game after his 6th TD pass with 8:55 left in the third quarter and the Lancers well on their way to a most impressive victory.

It was a dominant performance by the Lancers, who rolled up 30 first downs and 737 yards of offense in the game and also forced 5 Palomar turnovers.  But Pittman was truly the force behind the onslaught, completing 28 of 38 passes and throwing for over 200 yards in each of the game's first two quarters.

Amazingly though, the Lancers failed to score on each of their first two possessions of the game, turning the ball over on downs at the Palomar 14 on the first drive and losing it on a fumble recovered by Palomar's David Motu on the second.  But on the play after the fumble, Ridge Jones intercepted a Hunter Wanket pass, giving Pasadena the ball at its own 14.  Still, the Lancers appeared to be pinned deep in their own territory.

It turned out that the Lancers just had plenty of field in which to operate.  On the very next play, Marcus Anderson got behind the Palomar defense and Pittman lofted a perfect pass that hit him perfectly in stride.  By the time Anderson finished running, he had what was at the time tied for the third-longest touchdown reception in Pasadena City College history, an 86-yard catch that made it 7-0.

When Palomar got the ball back, Donnell Fulford gained 19 yards on a run to get the Comets into Lancer territory.  And though the drive stalled at the Pasadena 43, punter Gerardo Cortez pinned the Lancers deep in their own end at the 7.  Three plays later, Pittman made possibly his only mistake of the game when, as the team's punter, he shanked a kick that went just 14 yards before sailing out of bounds at the 18.

Palomar capitalized on the extraordinary field position, putting together a short 5-play drive for the touchdown, which came on a one-yard run by Fulford.  On the extra point try, holder Kyle Hill couldn't cleanly field a low snap, so he improvised and ran the ball in for the two-point conversion to give the Comets an 8-7 lead.

And then the onslaught began.  On the ensuing kickoff, Anderson fielded the ball at his own 4 and appeared to take it 96 yards for a touchdown.  A penalty, however, negated that score and put the Lancers at their own 13 as the Comets seemed to catch a break.

But on the next play, the Lancers took the lead again.  On a play that looked remarkably similar to the 86-yard touchdown pass, David Reed got behind the Palomar defense and hauled in a perfectly-thrown pass in stride and took it the distance.  This time the play went for 87 yards, and replaced the Lancers' first touchdown of the day as the third-longest in school history.

Still, the score was just 13-8 after the Comets stopped Owen Dixie short of the goal line on Pasadena's attempted two-point conversion.  And after an exchange of punts, Palomar got the ball back at its 26 and quickly moved into Pasadena territory.

Before Palomar could score, however, Pasadena's Terell Carr intercepted Wanket's next pass and returned it 52 yards to the Palomar 28 where only a saving tackle by Wanket prevented a touchdown.  Two plays later Pittman accomplished that feat, throwing a 28-yard scoring pass to Anderson for his third TD toss of the game, making it 20-8.

Palomar nearly got the break it needed to get back in the game later in the quarter.  The Comets were forced to punt, but Pasadena's Anderson was unable to catch the ball after being hit as he tried to make the catch, and Palomar's Bubba Pugh picked up the ball and carried it inside the Lancer 5.  It appeared that a Palomar player had been blocked into Anderson as he tried to make the catch, but the officials ruled it interference on Palomar, and gave Pasadena the ball at the 30.

Then came an 8-play, 70-yard drive that put Pasadena firmly in control of the game.  A 38-yard pass by Pittman to Reed got the Lancers close, and Matt Edwards carried it the final 4 yards for the score to make it 27-8.

Palomar's next possession ended with a punt, and again Cortez pinned the Lancers deep in their own territory after a penalty on the return pushed them back to the 2.  But again Pittman passed them out of the hole, throwing a 35-yard toss to Dixon.  Then he completed a 21-yard pass to Anderson to get into Palomar territory.  Then Pittman again threw to Anderson, who raced 42 yards and into the end zone for the score to make it 34-8.

Though the Lancers didn't score again on their last drive before halftime, Pittman did complete a 20-yard pass to Anderson that gave him 436 yards on the day, breaking the previous record of 433 held by Luke Sniewski (set in 2003 vs. El Camino).  And it wasn't even halftime yet.

Pasadena took the second half kickoff and quickly scored again to make it 41-8.  Two 20-yard runs by Edwards was followed by Pittman's 5th touchdown pass of the day, a 12-yarder to Robert Maxie that extended the Lancer lead to 33 points just 1:01 into the third quarter.

The Lancers got another touchdown just over a minute later when Carr picked up the loose ball after a botched handoff and carried it 44 yards for the score.  It capped a marvelous day for Carr, who also had two interceptions for Pasadena.  That made it 47-8.

Pittman got his sixth touchdown pass of the day on a 14-yard toss to Dixon that capped a 6-play drive with 8:55 left in the third quarter.  At that point, the score was 54-8 and Pittman's record-setting day was finished.

Palomar got its second touchdown midway through the fourth quarter when Andrew Frasier scored on a 17-yard run.  But by then, the outcome of the game had long since been decided.

For Pasadena, there were several huge performances in support of and in addition to Pittman.  Reed led all receivers with 8 catches for 196 yards, including the 87-yard reception.  Anderson had nearly as big a day with 7 catches for 166 yards and an 86-yard reception.  Edwards had a strong game running the ball with 89 yards and a touchdown.  And Carr led the defense, having grabbed a pair of interceptions and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

For Palomar, it was nothing if not a long day.  Wanket finished 6 of 17 passing for 56 yards while backup Joey Erickson, who entered the game in the second quarter, was 3 of 9 for 35 yards; each had a pair of interceptions.  Fulford led Comet rushers with 78 yards on 17 carries.  John Roberson led Palomar receivers with 3 catches for 50 yards.

With the win, Pasadena improves to 5-0 on the season, its best start since the glory days of 2001 & 2002 when the Lancers challenged for the Southern California championship.  Pasadena's next test is in two weeks when it hosts Mt. San Antonio at Robinson Stadium, and JCFootball.com will be there.

Pasadena Lancers 54

Palomar Comets 14

Saturday, September 29, 2007 – 1 pm – Robinson Stadium - Pasadena
Mission Conference – Crossover Game

1st Quarter:    
Pasadena – Anderson 86 yd pass from Pittman (Tuata kick) 5:57 (7-0)
Palomar – Fulford 1 yd run (Hill run) 1:41 (7-8)
Pasadena – Reed 87 yd pass from Pittman (pass failed) 1:15 (13-8)

2nd Quarter:   
Pasadena – Anderson 28 yd pass from Pittman (Tuata kick) 10:00 (20-8)
Pasadena – Edwards 4 yd run (Tuata kick) 6:10 (27-8)
Pasadena – Reed 42 yd pass from Pittman (Tuata kick) 2:17 (34-8)

3rd Quarter:   
Pasadena – Maxie 12 yd pass from Pittman (Tuata kick) 13:59 (41-8)
Pasadena – Carr 44 yd fumble return (kick wide right) 12:44 (47-8)
Pasadena – Dixon 14 yd pass from Pittman (Tuata kick) 8:55 (54-8)

4th Quarter:
Palomar – Frasier 17 yd run (kick blocked) 5:43 (54-14)

Team Statistics:
First Downs:  Pasadena 30 (11 rush, 18 pass, 1 penalty), Palomar 13 (5 rush, 5 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:  Pasadena 41-206, Palomar 42-110
Passing Yds:  Pasadena 531, Palomar 91
Comp-Att-Int:  Pasadena 33-45-0, Palomar 9-26-4
Return Yds:  Pasadena 125, Palomar 190
Sacks-Yds:  Pasadena 5-30, Palomar 1-7
Fumbles-Lost:  Pasadena 3-1, Palomar 1-1
Penalties-Yds:  Pasadena 16-165, Palomar 13-120
Time of Possession:  Pasadena 30:27, Palomar 29:33

Individual Statistics:
Rushing:  Pasadena 32-Edwards 10-89, 20-Morgan 6-43, 34-Avery 6-24, 6-Douglas 3-18, 18-Nicholas 6-18, 17-Pittman 1-11, 27-Daniels 1-7, 29-Tuata 1-4, 22-Beaudoin 6-(1-), team 1-(-7);
Palomar 28-Fulford 17-78, 22-Frasier 11-39, 8-Wanket 3-10, 17-Cortez 1-3, 33-Leauma 1-1, 4-Myers 4-0, 16-Erickson 5-(-21)
Passing:   Pasadena 17-Pittman 28-38-0-481, 6 TDs; 18-Nicholas 5-6-0-50; 29-Tuata 0-1-0-0;
Palomar 8-Wanket 6-17-2-56; 16-Erickson 3-9-2-35
Receiving:   Pasadena 2-Reed 8-196, 10-Anderson 7-166, 7-Maxie 4-21, 1-Dixon 3-54, 29-Tuata 2-27, 22-Beaudoin 2-25, 6-Douglas 2-16, 32-Edwards 2-1, 82-Strickland 1-10, 80-Harris 1-9, 85-Herman 1-6; Palomar 3-Roberson 3-50, 1-Shanks 2-28, 15-Hill 2-7, 2-Melton 1-5, 28-Fulford 1-1
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  Pasadena 11-Carr 2-76, 5-Jones 1-2, 26-Hale 1-0
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds:  Pasadena 11-Carr 1-44; Palomar 54-Motu 1-0
Sacks:  Pasadena 4-Scott 1-1/2, 97-Onosai, 98-Falldorf, 99-E.Williams, 55-Allen 1/2;
Palomar 58-Powell
Punters:   Pasadena 17-Pittman 2-30.5 avg, 12-Haines 1-43; Palomar 17-Cortez 6-40.8 avg
Kick Returns:  Pasadena 6-Douglas 2-29, 10-Anderson 1-21;
Palomar 15-Hill 4-108, 22-Frasier 2-44, 35-Kumba 2-26, 41-Pugh 1-12
Punt Returns:  Pasadena 29-Tuata 1-2, 10-Anderson 1-(-5); Palomar none
Notes:  Both teams entered 4-0.  Palomar was ranked #3 in the South (COA) and #9 in the nation (JC Grid-Wire) while Pasadena was ranked #5 in the South and #15 in the nation.  Pittman set a new PCC school record for passing yards and tied the school record for TD passes.  Pasadena's 1st TD came one play after Jones' interception.  Anderson had an apparent 96-yard kickoff return for a TD negated by a penalty one play before Reed's 87-yd TD catch, which is the third-longest in school history.  Pasadena's 3rd TD came two plays after Carr's 1st interception and 52-yard return.  Pittman had 451 yards passing at halftime and left the game after his 6th TD pass.  This is the most points Pasadena has ever scored against Palomar in a game.

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