The Pima Community College football team (2-6) gave a scare to the No. 2 ranked team in the country but fell short on the road on Saturday in a non-conference game.
Turnovers doomed the Aztecs in the second half in their 28-23 loss at Arizona Western College (6-0).
Freshman quarterback KC Moore threw three touchdowns but had six interceptions; five coming in the second half. The Aztecs' defense held the Matadors to just seven points in the second half.
Down 28-17 in the fourth quarter, the Aztecs cut the lead to five when Moore connected with sophomore Tiger Geeslin for the 40-yard touchdown reception. The two-point conversion was intercepted but the Aztecs had momentum.
Pima recovered the ensuing onside kick on their own 47-yardline with 1:24 left in the game. Moore found freshman Dylan Holt for a 32-yard reception which put the Aztecs on the Matador 21-yardline. Moore aimed for the endzone on the next play but his pass was picked off with 1:05 left ending the threat.
The Aztecs found themselves behind early after the Matadors took a 14-0 lead on a 70-yard touchdown run and a 53-yard interception return. The Aztecs fought back when Moore threw two touchdown passes in the quarter.
He connected with freshman Bryson Ventura for an 8-yard score with 6:05 left. Moore had runs of 21 and 11 yards and the Aztecs capitalized on two Arizona Western penalties. After the Pima defense forced Arizona Western to punt, the Aztecs scored on the next possession when Moore threw a screen pass and freshman Ronson Young did the rest as he scored on a 68-yard reception to tie it at 14-14 at the 3:34 mark.
The Matadors retook the lead with 12:07 left in the second quarter. Sophomore Coby Oswalt missed a 30-yard field goal with 50 seconds left as the Aztecs trailed 21-14 at halftime.
Freshman Aaron Maddox gave the Aztecs great field position to start the third quarter with a 72 yard kickoff return. The Aztecs cut the Matador lead to 21-17 when Oswalt kicked a 32-yard field goal. The Aztecs turned the ball over on four of their next five possessions.
The Aztecs will get back to WSFL conference play on the road next Saturday when they play at Phoenix College at 7:00 p.m.
PCC 14 0 3 6 23
AWC 14 7 7 0 28