First-year coach Steven Mojarro is working his magic for the PCC football program.
Mojarro took over about a month before the season started and after losing their first three games, the Lancers are literally making history.
PCC fell behind two scores early Saturday night in an American Metro League contest with visiting West Los Angeles.
The Lancers, though, went on to score the game’s next 58 points and held on for a 58-22 victory when the Wildcats scored late against PCC’s third-string defense.
PCC is now 2-0 in conference.
Their 58 unanswered points were the most since 1973.
The 58 point total was a Robinson Stadium record, which opened in 1999.
PCC kicker Enrique Lozano’s 8 extra-point attempts made tied a school record.
The Lancers three consecutive victories is their best streak since 2010.
After all of that, though, the only numbers Mojarro and his players care about were 58 to 22.
Mario Bobadilla was outstanding in limited work.
The PCC quarterback completed 7 of 13 passes for 88 yards.
Bobadilla threw for three TD’s and he wasn’t picked off in his two quarters of work.
Bobadilla’s first two completions on Saturday were a 17-yard scoring strike to Kyle Torres and a 1-yard TD to Kaleb Prejean.
He would hook up with Stevie Williams from 13 yards out before taking most of the second half off.
The PCC rushing game saw three different players score TD’s.
Sophomore running back Amad Andrews rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns in PCC's 58-22 rout over West LA Saturday at Robinson Stadium, photo by Richard Quinton.
Amad Andrews had a game-high 107 yards on just 9 carries, and he scored on runs of 2 and 9 yards.
Kevin Thomas gained 77 yards on 12 carries, and that too included a pair of 5-yard TD runs.
James Shaw had a 9-yard rushing TD to give PCC a 44-14 lead with 51 seconds remaining in the first half.
Shaw finished with 57 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Stevie Williams led the PCC receiving core with 4 catches for 61 yards, including his 13-yard scoring connection with Bobadilla.
Matt Terlizzi anchored the defense, as the sophomore linebacker had a team-high 6 tackles for the Lancers in limited time because of the blowout.
The Terlizzi-led defense held West LA out of the end zone for about 45 minutes (of game time) between the second and fourth quarters.
Last but certainly not least is sophomore Yusef Muhhamad.
Last season, Muhammad was PCC’s big-game receiver and special teams playmaker.
Mojarro and his staff moved Muhammad to the other side of the ball to fit his body and what might help him play at the next level.
Instead of pouting, Muhammad accepted his new role and has thrived.
On Saturday, Muhammad picked off West LA’s Markell White.
He also had a 75-yard kickoff return to set up a PCC score and he took a punt 64 yards for a TD that eventually was called back on a block out of bounds.
Muhammad had two kickoff returns for 99 yards.
Josiah Purchase and Tristen Chavarria also picked off West LA.
The Lancers dominated in almost every phase of the game, but perhaps none greater than their 237-33 advantage on the ground.
PCC will have their bye week and the Lancers will host Glendale in two weeks (Oct. 21) at 6 p.m.
PCC coach Steven Mojarro: “We started off slow and there were a lot of factors. They are well coached and we needed to figure them out. It is satisfying to all of us to be this balanced and even though we have a bye week, the coaches will be back watching film tomorrow. We need to clean up penalties and continue to get better.”
PCC quarterback Mario Bobadilla: “We came out and got down early, but the offense picked it up and got done what needed to be done. We understood what we needed to fix and did that. Our running backs did really well and a good team win overall.”
PCC linebacker Matt Terlizzi: “We came out a little flat and then started competing on all sides of the ball. I feel like I’m a more lead by actions kind of guy. Defensively we played pretty sound.”
PCC defensive back-special teams player Yusef Muhammad: “I feel like we came out kind of slow and I always try and do my part and do my assignments. I kind of looked at it like it was God’s plan (to change positions) and just want to do my part in helping us win.”
West LA: 14-0-0-8-(22)
WLA: Markell White 4 run (John Riggs kick)
WLA: Jordan King 15 pass from Markell White (John Riggs kick)
PCC: Kyle Torres 17 pass from Mario Bobadilla (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Kaleb Prejean 1 pass from Mario Bobadilla (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Amad Andrews 2 run (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Stevie Williams 13 pass from Mario Bobadilla (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Kevin Thomas 5 run (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Team Safety
PCC: James Shaw 9 run (Enrique Lozano kick)
PCC: Kevin Thomas 5 run (Enrique Lozano kick)
WLA: Vincent Rankin 59 pass from Zachary Cloutier (Cloutier 2 Point Conversion Good)
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Matt Terlizzi has very little in common with many of today’s junior college football players from across the country.
The PCC linebacker is quiet, does well in class, allows his play to do his talking and he’s got a team-first attitude.
To be fair to JC football players, though, the scene they find themselves in is a weekly audition for scouts and coaches at the next level who might be watching, and in the hopes of continuing their careers at a division 1, 2 or 3 school.
But that’s exactly what makes Terlizzi so special.
He wants desperately to play somewhere at the next level, and ideally out of state so he can experience new things and places.
But he’s all about his team and program first, he isn’t going to cost you undisciplined or lazy personal fouls by popping off and you won’t see him showing up an opponent, all of which are far too common in today’s JC football world.
Terlizzi is a 20-year old tackling machine.
At Bishop Amat in 2014 and 2015, he was second in tackles his junior year with 104 and then led the Lancers with 129 his senior season.
Amat went to the CIF-SS semifinals in both of the years, but they fell short to current powerhouses, St. John Bosco, and Corona Centennial.
Terlizzi made a decision early that he was willing to make the drive from his San Dimas home to La Puente each day, because he knew the level in which Amat plays and the competition they play against is at a much higher level than almost any other local high school.
It also, he believes, prepared him to play anywhere and against any competition.
At 6-foot and 220 pounds, he isn’t someone that will intimidate you at first glance.
But his work ethic, character, determination and football IQ all have led Terlizzi to an elite status among college football linebackers.
His football days date all the way back to age 5, when he played flag football.
By age 7, Terlizzi was playing Junior All-American ball for both Charter Oak and Duarte.
He began tackle football as a defensive end, but when coaches saw his knack for being at the right place and at the right time, as well as his speed and strength, they moved a young Matt Terlizzi to linebacker.
And he’s been there ever since.
In 2014, Terlizzi found himself at PCC, and he finished his freshman campaign with exactly 70 tackles, which was third best.
His 30 tackles this season has him second, behind his buddy Jasper Chavez on the Lancers team.
But if he weren’t respectable and respectful enough as a person and a humble player, Terlizzi shines even brighter in the classroom than anything he’s ever done on a football field.
He is scheduled to graduate in a year and half’s time (this December) in Social and Behavioral Sciences, and will have done so with the same 3.3 grade-point average he had at Bishop Amat.
Terlizzi didn’t do that by accident.
He wanted to be able to join any football program at the next level in the spring and not have to wait until the summer.
“In community college football, it takes a very strong, dedicated and very courageous person to play the sport of football and Matt Terlizzi is that player,” first year coach Steven Mojarro said. “Matt is one of those players that has a bright future in the sport. He is great in the classroom, and is able to graduate in a year and a half.
He’s also been nothing but great for our program, and is a leader in our program. Trying to build the Pasadena City College football program, we cannot find a better example of the player that it takes to do this in Matt Terlizzi. He is very quiet, not outspoken and he does his talking on the field. He works extremely hard and has never misses a day of practice ever at Pasadena City College in his year and a half.”
Mojarro, who’s done an incredible job under tough circumstances is someone Terlizzi says backs his players 100 percent, but he also expects much of them, and there are consequences to pay if you break team rules.
PCC started the season 0-3, but currently find themselves on a three-game win streak and they’ll enter Saturday’s home game with winless Glendale as favorites to win a fourth in a row.
Mojarro and Terlizzi himself credit his parents, Debbie and Michael for raising such a quality young man.
Terlizzi’s older brother, Michael, 23, is serving our country in the United States Army.
“My parents work so hard and raised me right that I always feel the necessity to represent them and our family in a way that would make them proud,” Terlizzi said. “I never got into talking trash or disrespecting people, because that says a lot about who you are and your character. I’ve always been about being the best son, brother, teammate, player and person that I can be.”
Terlizzi said that when PCC is winning, it’s no one out there playing just for themselves, doing their assignments and he said everything falls into place like a puzzle.
But when PCC is at their worst, his boys are not in the right gaps, late for meetings and talk back to coaches.
He’d like to be a husband and a father one day, but not until his education and career are solidified.
Terlizzi has a lot of confidence in this year’s team, and he said that he and the rest of his teammates they can win out for the final four weeks.
He is very thankful to have coaches like Mojarro and his staff, and he says that they always look in on their players as people and students, not just as athletes.
Ideally, Terlizzi said he thinks he’d be a good fit in the Mountain West Conference at the next level, but he’s not closing the doors on any future program or location.
When asked what he hoped younger players might think when he is gone and they hear his name, Terlizzi said he hoped it was just about a guy who showed up every day, busted his butt to become better daily and was the kind of teammate that would do anything to help the program win games.
One thing is for certain, and that is that any school who gets Matt Terlizzi after this season is adding an even better person than the solid player we see on Saturday nights.
And what program doesn’t need more of those?
Terlizzi and the Lancers face Glendale on Saturday, and then finish off the season with games with Southwest, East LA and Santa Ana.
PCC coach Steven Mojarro: “We are very excited to have a player like Matt on our team because it gives us a lot of flexibility in the various positions that he plays. Matt is one of those players that as a coach if you have any children you would want them to grow up and just be like Matt Terlizzi.”
PCC sophomore Jasper Chavez: “Matt is one of the most athletic players I’ve ever played with along with a terrific work ethic. He has an incredible ability to lead by example and creates big plays for our defense in key moments. It’s a pleasure to play along side of him and I wish him the best wherever his journey takes him.”
PCC sophomore Tristen Chavarria: “Matt is a big playmaker on the field. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen or play with. I know he can secure tackles very well and as much as he can secure that, he can also cover guys on pass routes. I feel confident playing next to him because I know he is very aware of his assignment and executes it to the fullest. He’s a very positive player. His ambition to keep moving forward every play motivates me to play with more heart. He understands that this game is played with all your heart. He never talks down upon anyone and he’s very disciplined about himself. As a person he’s a great guy and cares for the people he’s got love for. He’s not only a close friend to me but a brother. He’s been there to hear me out in my problems and has been there to make jokes. He’s a funny guy and can makes those around him laugh. Other than that he’s a great role model because he takes care of business on and off the field, also in the classroom. He’s a well rounded athlete and a brother. I wish him the absolute best with his path I pray that God watches over him throughout his life.”
Getting To Know Matt Terlizzi:
Favorite Team: Steelers
Favorite Athlete: Lebron James
Favorite Movie: Coming to America
Favorite Musical Artist: Drake
Artist People Might Be Surprised I Like: Thomas Rhett
Famous Person: Jesus Christ
PCC 2017 Schedule-Results:
September 2: Long Beach 52, PCC 17
September 9: San Bernardino 33, PCC 26
September 16: Allan Hancock 37, PCC 26
September 23: PCC 38, Southwestern 34
September 30: PCC 30, Compton 20
October 7: PCC 58, West LA 22
October 21: Glendale at PCC at 6
October 28: PCC at Southwest at 6
November 4: East LA at PCC at 6
November 11: PCC at Santa Ana at 1
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