The Pima Community College football team (1-2) gave the No. 1 ranked team in the NJCAA a run for its money on Saturday but fell short in the end.
The Aztecs gave up 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in their 34-17 loss against No. 1 Arizona Western College at Kino North Stadium.
Down 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, Pima quarterback Jordan Mariteragi threw an interception and the Matadors capitalized on their next possession with a touchdown to make it 27-17 with 10:18 left. The Aztecs punted and turned the ball over on downs on their next two possessions. The Matadors picked off quarterback KC Moore and returned it for the score with 2:25 left.
The Aztecs rallied in the third quarter down 20-9 when freshman running back Clayson Conrad scored on a 2-yard run. The Aztecs tacked on two more points after a miscue by the Matadors on special teams led to a safety.
The Aztecs got on the board in the first quarter when Mariteragi found freshman Ronson Young for a 29-yard touchdown reception to cut Arizona Western's lead to 7-6. The Aztecs took the lead on their next possession when sophomore Coby Oswalt hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 9-7. The Matadors scored 13 unanswered points to retake the lead for good.
The Aztecs will play at Scottsdale Community College next Saturday at 7:00 p.m.