Courtesy of Pima Athletics
(Tucson, AZ). The Pima Community College football team (6-1, 5-0 in WSFL) went out in dramatic fashion in its final home game at Kino North Stadium on Saturday.
The No. 14 Aztecs rallied in the fourth quarter to beat No. 9 Eastern Arizona College 28-26. Freshman Jake Smith (Desert Ridge HS) blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds and the Aztecs downed it as time expired
The Gila Monsters took their first lead of the game when Jamal Benson scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. The Aztecs trailed 26-21 with 7:02 left. Freshman quarterback Marquise Cooper threw an interception on Pima’s next possession but the Aztecs’ defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back with 3:25 left.
Eastern Arizona had three penalties that moved the ball and Cooper redeemed himself with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Diamante Burton with 44 seconds left to give the Aztecs the lead for good.
”This was insane. My legs are still shaking, “Pima football coach Jim Monaco said about the game. “It was emotional and incredible. To see the crowd and those who started the program. I hadn’t seen some of them in a long time. It was unbelievable.”
Cooper had a touchdown reception in the first quarter when freshman Brooks Ringer connected with him on a 32 yard score to give Pima an 11-0 lead.
Freshman Jaime Avila (Marana HS) hit a 40 yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half to put the Aztecs up 21-12 at the break. He connected on an 18 yard field goal in the first quarter. Freshman Jalen Tuivaiave-Olomua scored on a 1-yard run in the first half.
On defense, freshman Tommy Woo had a fumble recovery and Moris Lugo had an interception.
The Aztecs will hit the road next Saturday to play at Snow College in Ephraim, UT. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.