Vaqueros Lose to Lancers in Season Finale

Aris Allahverdian

The Vaqueros football team fought hard but couldn’t pull out a win Nov. 14 against local rivals, the PCC Lancers, 38-22, in the final game of the season at Sartoris Field.

The Vaqueros were fresh off a huge home game win the previous week verses the Moorpark Raiders. Going into this game, the Vaqueros and the Lancers had the same record of 4-5, which added to the excitement, as the bleachers were crowded with GCC and PCC fans.

Glendale’s head Coach John Rome said he was disappointed afterward, adding, “We made mistakes of aggression, missed plays we should have not missed . dropped easy catches and missed tackles.”

The Lancers attacked quickly and managed to score a touchdown within the first 42 seconds of the game on only two plays passing the ball deep. The Vaqueros’ first offensive drive turned into a quick three and out, but the defense redeemed its early slip up as linebacker Marcus Mullins stuffed Lancers quarterback Nick Ponce for a safety.

Trailing throughout the entire game, the Vaqueros had a challenge up against them as quarterback Steve Miller struggled to get any big plays executed through the passing game. Miller completed 12 passes on 33 attempts for a total of 162 yards and one touchdown, with only one interception.

Miller did briefly display his ability to scan the field by successfully hitting each Vaquero starting receiver for multiple completions in the game. Each receiver managed to complete the game with double-digit yardage, the longest of which was a 34-yard pass to regular target Reinaldo Reyes. The only touchdown catch of the game was from Euedell Clayton, who had a total of 39 yards on 3 receptions, and managed to find the end zone in the fourth.

The Vaqueros’ offensive line was clearly troubled by PCC’s blitz packages. The o-line struggled to stay intact as Miller was caught off guard scrambling from the pocket, forcing him to throw the ball away or get sacked. Pasadena sacked Miller five times for a total loss of 26 yards.

Glendale’s dual running backs, Willie Youngblood and Anthony Dawkins, also had trouble finding daylight in between gaps, as both backs fought vigorously for yards. The explosive Youngblood managed to carry the ball for 101 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown, with an average of 3.9 yards per carry. His longest was a run for 20 yards which he followed with a touchdown run on the next play.

Dawkins, who is normally utilized in red zone situations, wasn’t much of an impact, as he was reduced to only two carries for negative one yard. Glendale tried to fight back but was unsuccessful, converting two out of four chances in the red zone.

Glendale’s defense also contributed to the scoreboard, as Osa Aikhionbare intercepted a pass from Ponce and zigzagged across the field to set up a 45-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Glendale’s new focus is on next season and getting players for its depleted roster. “We just had 45 players tonight and the minimum is 65,” Rome said. “So we need more players in this program and that would cure a lot of our problems with injuries and depth.”

A few notable starters that won’t be coming back next season due to completion of the football program are Miller, Youngblood and Dawkins, wide receiver Brian Williams, linebacker Kalii Robinsion, defensive back Max Williams and defensive lineman Danny Valdez.