For Seth Ellis, it was one year in the making.
For Pima, it was 11 years.
Saturday, the Aztecs beat Snow College — historically one of the top junior college football programs in the country — 21-14.
The last time Pima beat Snow, they weren’t even the Aztecs. It was 2002, and they were the Pima Storm when they beat Snow 48-20 for their fifth straight win.
Since, the Aztecs have gone 17-76 with four 0-10 seasons.
Some perspective: In 2002, Aztecs head coach Pat Nugent was in his fourth season as Canyon del Oro High School’s head honcho.
Ellis was 9 years old.
“When you play a powerhouse like that it’s an uphill battle,” Nugent said. “One hard thing about winning is learning how to win. We said, you know what? We just took a lead against one of the best teams around and I think that confidence was huge for us and that’s what it takes and unfortunately it’s taken us too long to win.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster.”
With Saturday’s win, the Aztecs moved to 2-2 on the year, doubling last year’s win total.
And they have Ellis to thank for their latest victory.
Ellis, a sophomore transfer from Scottsdale CC, ran for 92 yards and scored all three Pima touchdowns, including a game-winning 11-yard scamper with 1:26 left in the fourth quarter.
“Coach told me right before I ran for that touchdown, he told me ‘Come on Seth, we need this from you, we need this touchdown.’ I said ‘All right, coach,’” Ellis said. “Everybody was excited. They were shocked that we all got together and beat Snow. It was just an amazing moment.”
For Ellis, it was redemption of sorts. Last year he went to Scottsdale with a promise of playing time, which he didn’t get. He finished 2012 with 99 rushing yards, which he nearly eclipsed in one game with Pima.
“I came to Pima because at Scottsdale they promised me a whole lot of things that they didn’t go through with,” Ellis said. “It’s way better at Pima than it is in Scottsdale.
“I wanted to open up everybody’s eyes to what kind of athletic ability god blessed me with, and I got that opportunity,” against Snow.
Nugent recruited Ellis out of Coolidge High School, and said he was ecstatic when Ellis decided to come to Pima after all.
It’s understandable — Ellis is as athletic as they come at the JC level. In high school, he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and had a 44-inch vertical.
This weekend, Ellis will get a chance to show his old school what it’s missing — the Aztecs will play at Scottsdale on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“I tied my touchdown ratio from Scottsdale in one game at Pima,” Ellis said, laughing. “So, like, I don’t know, I can’t wait to play Scottsdale. I just can’t wait.”
• The men’s soccer team’s three-game winning streak ended with losses over the weekend against Phoenix College and Arizona Western. The Aztecs were outscored 5-0 as they dropped to 3-3 on the year.
• In women’s soccer, Pima fared better. The Aztecs tied Phoenix 2-2 on Thursday and beat Arizona Western 1-0 on Saturday.
• The Pima women’s volleyball team is 6-5 after going 3-1 at the Scottsdale CC Classic on Friday and Saturday. Pima went 2-1 on Friday and then beat Williston State on Saturday.