Missed opportunities. If this were Jeopardy the answer would be: What was the key to the Glendale loss to College of the Canyons?
The Vaqueros’ winning streak snapped at five games after losing 19-10 at home Saturday night. Glendale, which dropped to 5-2 for the season, played a good game on the defensive side of the ball forcing four turnovers and scoring on a fumble recovery.
The Vaquero sophomore quarterback Michael McDonald started the game after splitting time with back-up Jacob Proctor for much of the season. He completed 10 passes for 80 yards.
Sophomore running back Shaun Kerman carried the load for the Vaqs, rushing for 68 yards, but College of the Canyons keyed on him most of the game and held him scoreless.
Sophomore running back Donald Oliver led the vaqs with 76 yards rushing.
Sophomore defensive end Grant Valentine anchored a strong defense. Valentine had 10 tackles including a fumble recovery for a touchdown that game Glendale the momentum. Linebacker Jason Barbic also had a very gutsy first half performance before being pulled out due to injury. Sophomore safeties John Young and Raymond McDonough also played well in the secondary.
Despite the loss, Young was able to put a positive spin on the effort. “We just took a team that was averaging about 40 points and held them to 19; we just gave up too many big plays,” he said. “We need to fine tune everything for conference. We just gotta come back strong for conference.”
“We knew it was going to be really tough, they are a good football team but we were right there with them,” Head Coach John Cicuto said after the game. “They capitalized on their mistakes and we couldn’t capitalize on our turnovers and that was the difference.”
The first half ended tied at 3, but either team could very well have been up by 21. Penalties hurt both teams, but Glendale was the team that shot itself in the foot, in the red-zone, with both an interception and a missed field goal in the first quarter.
The Canyons offense seemed to confuse the Glendale defense at times. The Cougars ran a spread offense, where any player on the offense could end up with the ball on any play.
Despite the many turnovers and lack of focus Glendale was within striking distance late in the fourth quarter, trailing 16-10. But any hopes of a comeback faded when freshman wide receiver Kenneth Suber dropped a key fourth-down pass deep in Cougars territory.
However, that is just one example of many missed opportunities.
Even after the missed fourth-down conversion, Glendale had one more shot at a comeback.
However the comeback would have had to be made without starting quarterback McDonald, who was taken out with an injury.
So Proctor came in and threw an interception on his first pass attempt. But Coach Cicuto stood behind Proctor saying, “It’s tough for him to go in to that situation, and throw the ball, when we had to throw the ball and they were coming, but it’s a tough situation for any quarterback.”
Glendale is looking forward to getting back on the winning track this week when they travel to Compton College. “Week one we learned from the loss to Chaffey [College], and hopefully we can learn from this loss and carry it on to the next week,” Cicuto said.
“We just got to get ourselves regrouped next week and become a better football team before next week against Compton College.”
Hopefully the team can look forward to fewer missed opportunities.