PASADENA —Hancock College never led Pasadena City College in this game — until Jayden Vargas bolted 23 yards for the winning score in overtime.
Vargas' run gave the Bulldogs a stunning 27-21 win over the Lancers at PCC Saturday. The Lancers had the ball first in overtime, but Curtis McDonald helped stop Forest Fajardo two yards short of the first down after he caught a pass from Mario Bobadilla on fourth-and-19 from the Hancock 34.
Hancock kicker Hector Gil-Garcia missed a potential game-winning 42-yard field goal as time ran out in regulation. He did make the pressure-packed extra point to bring the Bulldogs to a 21-21 tie with 3:10 left in regulation.
Hancock won this Pacific League opener and spoiled Pasadena's Homecoming.
The Bulldogs are 5-1, 1-0. The Lancers are 2-4, 0-1. Hancock, which went 5-0 to win the league championship last year in its inaugural campaign in the Pacific League, is unbeaten in six Pacific League games over the past two seasons.
Early on, it appeared that the Hancock Pacific League winning streak would stop at five.
Bobadilla hit Bryan Torres for a five-yard touchdown pass as Pasadena struck first at the 8:39 mark of the first quarter. The Lancers subsequently went 99 yards in 13 plays. The drive ended with a 24-yard Bobadilla touchdown pass to Drew Pendleton.
Pasadena led 14-0 at halftime.
In the first half, The Lancers, who were coming off a bye week, gave up a total of 155 points in their prior three games but they stopped the Bulldogs twice in the red zone in the first half.
David Vardarian forced a Ryheem Skinner fumble after Skinner ran for 12 yards to the 1, and Steven Isip recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Later in the half, the Lancers stopped Vargas for no gain on fourth-and-one from the 6.
The Bulldogs caught a break on a dropped Bobadilla pass on fourth-and-three from the Hancock 11 late in the first half after a five-yard roughing penalty on a punt gave Pasadena a first down.
Seth Mattyse blocked two straight punts in the third quarter to get the Bulldogs back in the game. Jaquez McWilliams scooped up the ball and ran 16 yards for a score on the first one. Mattyse put the Bulldogs in business at the Lancers' 10 with the second, and Vargas scored from the 5 two plays later.
Fajardo caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Bobadilla at the 11:43 mark of the fourth quarter. Fernando Murillo kicked the PAT.
The Bulldogs answered with a nine-yard TD pass from Thomas Carr to Issac Bausley, and Gil-Garcia's PAT kick.
Pasadena's Sultaan Sullivan ran for a game-high 144 yards — slightly less than three times more than Hancock had yielded to its previous two opponents combined.
The Lancers held Skinner, the second-leading junior college rusher in the state, to 46 yards. Vargas, however, ran for a team-leading 83.
Pasadena had the ball for 42:32 in regulation. Hancock had it for 17:28.
The Bulldogs will a Pacific League game at 4 p.m. next Saturday at Santa Monica City College.