Costly penalties, turnovers and an inconsistent running game turned out to be the downfall for Pierce College on the road at Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012.
Pierce lost the game 44-30, where the Brahmas came up short in a second half comeback after trailing 24-7 at halftime.
“I was a little disappointed with our effort,” assistant head coach Jason Sabolic said. “Our effort in practice was just like that, how it was in the game.”
Last week’s leading receiver from the season opening win against Victor Valley, Jaelen Strong, was affected by the flu.
Strong was listed as probable before the start of the game when he let the coaches know he had the flu.
Strong did play in the game though, where he caught five passes for 44 yards.
“We all know Jaelen is a warrior,” said Sabolic.
In Pierce’s 42-26 season-opening win last week, Strong had a solid stat line of 10 catches for 250 yards and three touchdowns.
“His performance was affected by him being sick as he’s an every down player,” said Sabolic.
Sophomore Leland Smith stepped up in Strong’s absence with six catches for 108 yards.
For the second game in a row, Pierce was penalized over 10 times.
Pierce was penalized 14 times for 121 yards, but they improved from last week’s game where they had the penalty flag thrown at them 21 times for 226 yards.
“The penalty situation was at least better than last week… stupid penalties like roughing the passer, roughing the punter, offsides,” said Sabolic.
In the loss, Pierce ran the ball 22 times for only 3 yards.
This is the second week where Pierce failed to get over 100 yards.
“Without a running game you can’t be successful through the air,” said Sabolic.
Starting quarterback Nick Arbuckle had 288 yards passing and two touchdown passes, but was benched when he threw his second interception in the game.
Sophomore Anthony Neyer took over at quarterback for Arbuckle.
Sabolic said the team is aiming for 100 to 150 yards rushing a game.
“I think with the week off we can fix the running game,” said Sabolic.
Pierce will be off this week with a bye.
The team’s next game will be at home in Shepard Stadium against Los Angeles Southwest College at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 22.
Stay current on the team at www.theroundupnews.com.