The Pasadena City College defense intercepted a total of eight passes in the Lancers' first two games.
When Pasadena played at Hancock College on a windy Saturday, the Hancock defense had all the picks — five of them.
The fourth was the biggest. Mystikal Wilson grabbed Pasadena quarterback Mario Bobadilla's second-down pass and ran 30 yards for the last score in Hancock's 37-26 non-league win.
"They had run that play a lot to try to get a first down," Hancock coach Kris Dutra said. "Mystikal was ready for it."
Indeed, Wilson was. After Bobadilla rolled right and delivered the pass, Wilson jumped the route, grabbed the ball near the Hancock sideline and raced into the end zone.
Hancock moved to 2-1. Pasadena is 0-3. The Lancers came within 30-26 in the fourth quarter after trailing 23-3 early in the second but never could tie or go back ahead after leading 3-0 on an early Enrique Lozano field goal.
Bobadilla, a first-time starter, threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns but the Lancers couldn't overcome those five interceptions.
With the Lancers trying to rally after the Wilson interception and score, Hancock defensive back Domanic Chapa snared a Bobadilla pass at the Hancock 10 with 1:40 left for the fifth, and last, Bulldog pick.
Wilson and Chapa did for Hancock what the offense couldn't do late. They put the game away.
The Bulldogs couldn't get anything between the tackles down the stretch with their usually reliable running game, and the Bulldogs had just one first down in their final six possessions before the Chapa interception.
After not being able to stop much of anything in Pasadena's first two games, the Pasadena defense dug in as the Bulldogs were trying to milk some clock down the stretch.
"Give them some credit. They have some good guys on defense," said Dutra.
"We have a way to go on offense. We've had a lot of injuries. It's been difficult, to say the least. Hopefully we can get healthy by conference time."
Hancock's league opener is Oct. 21 at home against defending Pacific League champion Los Angeles Valley College. The Vikings ran the table last year, going 11-0. L.A. Valley was the only unbeaten California junior college football team last year.
Though the Bulldogs' offense struggled in the second half, the unit put up enough points in the first to help Hancock win. The Bulldogs led 23-10 at halftime.
Hancock sophomore quarterback Jimmy Kelleher hit Markese Jackson in full stride at the Pasadena 40, and Jackson went in to complete a 61-yard scoring play.
Vetravious Gamle touchdown runs of 7 and 15 yards were sandwiched in between the big Kelleher touchdown pass. Jordan Pollard tied the game for Hancock at 3-3 with a 22-yard field goal. Gamble put the Bulldogs ahead for good with his 7-yard scoring run at the 4:13 mark of the first quarter.
"We have a long way to go on offense, but the progress we've made from week one to now is incredible," Kelleher, a sophomore from Levittown, New York, said after he went 19-for-41 passing for 266 yards.
Kelleher, who was Hancock's leading rusher with 36 yards, put the Bulldogs ahead 30-16 when he capped off a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run at the six-minute mark of the third quarter.
James Shaw gave Pasadena a lot of tough, productive running inside. He was the leading rusher with 94 yards.Teammate Kyle Torres was the leading receiver, with five catches for 105 yards.
Stevie Williams, who had 90 yards in receptions last week, had six catches for 86 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass from Bobadilla, Saturday.
Michael Ferraro was the leading Hancock receiver, with seven catches for 99 yards. Jackson had four for 90, and Nipomo graduate Nick Kimball had 67.
For the second straight week, the Bulldogs hurt themselves a lot. A roughing the punter penalty, after Hancock had elected to make the Lancers punt again instead of taking the ball on its 8 after a Pasadena personal foul, gave the Lancers a first down and Bobadilla ultimately hit Williams with a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Chapa dropped a potential interception later, and Lozano kicked a 30-yard field goal to bring the Lancers within 30-26.
Still, for all that, the Bulldogs won again. "It feels good to have two wins under our belt," said Kelleher.
Hancock will play at Santa Ana at 2 p.m. next Saturday.