Strong defense got Glendale College football back on the winning track Sept. 7 as it beat Santa Ana College in a rematch of the Western State Bowl, 27-13.
Despite giving up 373 total yards, the Vaqueros forced four turnovers including three fumbles, one returned for a touchdown, and an interception.
Glendale’s offense struggled at times, but played well enough to pull out the win. Quarterback Jacob Proctor, a sophomore from Alhambra High School, led a balanced Vaquero attack. Proctor completed 14 passes for 102 yards picking up key first downs throughout the game. The running game relied heavily on sophomore standout Shaun Kermah from Hoover High. Kermah led the team with 84 yards and two first-half touchdowns.
Santa Ana’s bright spot was its passing attack. The Dons’ first play from scrimmage was a 71-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Mark Iddins to freshman Matt Cardenas. The pair hooked up again for a three-yard touchdown pass late in the game. However they ran a version of the shotgun offense called “the pistol,” which was effective, but in the long run it seemed that they confused themselves more than once with odd formations.
Glendale had a standout effort on defense from sophomore defensive lineman Grant Valentine who had 3 1/2 sacks and led the team with eight total tackles. “He put pressure on their QB the entire night,” said Head Coach John Cicuto. Valentine was named Western State Conference Player of the Week for his play.
“He has worked hard in the classroom and on the field since the end of last season. If he continues this he is going to have a great sophomore season,” Cicuto added.
James Antaplyan also played well, with six tackles and the lone interception.
Although Santa Ana seemed to be off to a fast start after their opening touchdown, Glendale held tight and didn’t allow the Dons a first down until the second quarter. All the momentum that Santa Ana had ran out on their second drive when they fumbled the ball deep in their own territory to Glendale. Glendale took advantage of the turnover with a field goal by sophomore Estaban Moreno, his first of two in the game.
Glendale’s defense put the brakes on a high-powered Don offense by putting great pressure on Iddins. The offense ran best when Proctor had time to find the open receiver. Proctor was also helped out by great plays made by sophomore tight end Christopher Bryant. Bryant saved a few drives, with big catches on third down. His 6-foot-5 frame caused a mismatch with many Santa Ana defenders.
Wide receiver Mark Burk also played well. Burk had a great diving catch on third down to convert for first down and goal on a scoring drive.
Glendale’s offensive coordinators also threw a bit of a curve ball at Santa Ana on goal line plays by lining Kermah up as a fullback instead of at tailback. Both touchdown runs that Kermah had came while lined up at fullback.
Santa Ana seemed to have a comeback brewing late in the fourth quarter. Cardenas hauled in his second touchdown on a short fourth and goal to bring the score to 20-13. The Don’s however missed the extra point, but they were able to recover an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff.
However any hopes that Santa Ana had of coming back was soon shattered when sophomore defensive lineman Fernando Alonzo recovered a fumble and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown with 12 seconds left.