The Glendale Vaqueros sailed some rocky waters in their conference opener, as they fell to the Pirates 20-13 on Oct. 3 at Ventura College.
The night was chilly and windy, perfect for a Saturday night football game; however, the Vaqs struggled and dropped their record to 3-2.
The offense racked up 179 yards and had possession of the ball for 30:27. Unfortunately for them it wasn’t enough time.
Early in the first quarter, the defense had a seven-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Rene Howard that put the Vaqs up on the scoreboard 6-3, after the Pirates had scored a field goal on their opening drive.
A fumble by quarterback Steve Miller at the Glendale 11-yard line with 2:08 remaining in the first quarter was recovered by the Pirates, which resulted in a field goal. The score was 6-6 at the end of the quarter.
At the top of the second quarter, the Vaqs had possession. Six plays and 20 yards later, they punted the ball to the Ventura 3-yard line. The Pirates took possession and moved 97 yards to score a touchdown, giving them a 13-6 lead.
Glendale took possession for the last time in the first half at their own 18-yard line. With 50 seconds remaining, Miller threw an interception at the Glendale 30-yard line but offsetting penalties, a holding against Ventura and a personal foul against Glendale, gave the ball back to Vaqueros. They were unable to carry the ball down field, and the first half came to an end.
Ventura began the half on their own 38-yard line. The drive ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown with the extra point good, bringing the Pirates up 20-6.
With 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Vaqs’ defense read the play and stopped what could have possibly been another Pirate touchdown when Josh Harmon intercepted the ball in the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
The Vaqueros once again took possession at their own 20-yard line, but had to punt the ball. Harmon intercepted another pass at the Glendale one-yard line, taking away another possibility for a Pirate touchdown.
Glendale began their drive with 14:05 remaining in the game. Running backs Anthony Dawkins and Joe Wiggan were the leading rushers on the drive. Glendale advanced 85 yards down the field, where Wiggan made a jump above the clashing O-line and D-line to make a one-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 20-13.
The Vaquero defense continued to play until the last second. With 4:05 remaining in the game, defensive back Osa Aikhionbare intercepted the ball at the Ventura 34-yard line. The Vaqs took possession for the last time but with fourth down and eight yards to go, Miller’s incomplete pass to tight end Dylan Ryan turned the ball back over to the Pirates, effectively ending the game.
Wiggan led the rushing offense with 14 carries and 66 yards. Dawkins had 12 carries for 29 yards. Jorge Chaidez had eight carries for 10 yards. Willie Youngblood had four carries for nine yards, but was taken out of the game after an injury in the second quarter.
Brian Williams led the receiving offense with three receptions for 36 yards. Eudell Clayton had one catch for 12 yards. Reinaldo Reyes had one catch for nine yards.
Joey Orlandini led the defense with eight tackles. Harmon had six tackles, and two interceptions for 14 yards. Osa Aikhionbare also had six tackles with one interception.
The Vaqueros had a bye last week, and will resume conference play on Saturday against at Canyons College at 7 p.m.