Vaqs Get Defensive, Improve to 3-0

Chloe Vignolles-Jeong

There’s nothing better than a nail biting, down to the last second, edge of your seat, good old football game.

Saturday’s 10-7 home victory over the Riverside College Tigers was more than just that for Glendale College. It was filled with penalties, turnovers, and one of the best defensive games the Vaqueros have played so far on the young season.

Those are exactly the types of games they have been a part of the past three Saturday nights. Whether home or away, they have managed to pull through with the victory every game and did the same vs. the Tigers to extend their non-league record to 3-0.

Both teams came up empty at the end of the first half with a total of 14 penalties. Riverside’s offense had to punt the ball three times and threw two interceptions, while Glendale had five punts and no interceptions. Riverside attempted a 32-yard field goal, but was unsuccessful.

At the start of the second half, Glendale’s offense took the field and only managed to complete four plays for 17 yards, which resulted in a 37-yard punt to the Riverside 23-yard line. Riverside’s offense came out but could only come up with 5 plays and 11 yards, which resulted in a 38-yard punt to the Glendale 27-yard line.

The Vaqueros once again could only carry out three plays for 7 yards, and ended their drive with a 50-yard punt to the Riverside 15-yard line. Riverside brought out their offense, and went four plays before the drained Vaquero defense took control of the game.

Defensive back Rene Howard had a forced fumble, which was recovered by linebacker Kalii Robinson for a 42-yard touchdown with 8:57 remaining in the third quarter to put the Vaqs up 7-0. “It feels good, our defense had to score. Somebody had to step up and our defense came through,” said Robinson. “It always feels good to score as a defensive player, because everyone looks for the offense to score, but when the defense scores that’s extra special.”

The Vaquero offense, however, could not catch a break. They received multiple penalties for false starts, personal fouls, and holding. Quarterback Stephen Miller was only able to complete eight passes out of 23 attempted and threw two interceptions. The running game wasn’t effective either, totaling up only 151 yards on 41 carries by three different running backs. Miller had six different receivers, but putting the ball in the air only gave the offense 98 yards.

“We were just out of sync, we weren’t focused. Defense did good, but we just didn’t play today,” said Miller, “We didn’t execute. We didn’t try this week as hard as I thought we should and we didn’t come out and play. Our defense did, we didn’t.”

The only score the offense had was the 30-yard field goal attempt by Garret Hernandez with 9:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, bringing the Vaqs up 10-0.

The Vaqs’ defense built a wall and contained the Tigers, down to the last 2:16 of the fourth quarter when Tigers’ quarterback Nathan Lamonica completed a 10-yard pass to wide receiver Tommy Curry for the Tigers’ only touchdown.

“I’m pleased to be 3-0, it beats the alternative,” said head coach John Rome about the close game. “Last week we relaxed a little bit on the defense, I thought. Their offense [Riverside’s] is very similar to ours. They run a lot of formations like we do, they run similar plays to what we run. When a defense sees those every day at practice and every day all year they get used to it. I knew this was going to be a very difficult game, because their defense would adjust very well to what we did. like we did to them.”

The Vaqueros hit the road this Saturday when they face the Orange Coast Pirates, who are also 3-0, at 6 p.m. in Costa Mesa.