Vaqs Rocked ’em Like a Hurricane!

R.J. Saunders, Staff Writer

It might have been lightly raining, but the Vaqueros poured it on as a team as they defeated the West Los Angeles Wildcats 35-10.

The Vaqueros started the game off strong with a flea flicker that would then turn into a 37-yard completion from Sean Murphy, who passed the ball to William Fennessy. This tactic was something that offensive line coach Tanner Farwell wanted to run against West Los Angeles because he felt the offense could pull it off.

“It had worked all week long in practice and it had also worked against our defense during the two-minute drill in practice,” he said. “It was going to work again, but Sean under threw it. However, Fennessy made a great play and it started off the game right.”

Three plays later, the Vaqueros struck first blood as quarterback Andre Nunez threw a brilliant pass to Tru Jarvis, who then ran 35 yards for the touchdown with 13 minutes and 37 seconds left to go in the first quarter.

However, the Wildcats responded with a quick score of their own about five minutes later as running back Kyle Lewis rushed in for a one-yard score. This score made defensive back coach Carver Russaw unhappy, causing the team to re-strategize.

“They had a good first drive,” he said. “We just made one simple adjustment and the guys did their job.”

Murphy, who replaced Andre Nunez, finished the game strong, going three for eight for 99 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

In the first half of the game, Wildcats quarterback Dallas Lopez and running back Trayviel Boone were the catalysts for their team’s offense. However, in the second half, the Vaqueros stopped the duo’s momentum.

“We didn’t make any adjustments toward them defensively, just after that first series,” said Russaw. “The guys got warmed up and started playing Vaquero football.”

The Wildcats tried to beat the Vaqueros with their running game instead of passing the ball because they feared an interception from Glendale’s new all-time interception leader Dante Shipman.

“If you scout Shipman and you try him enough, you see what happens to the other opponents,” said Russaw. “If you throw four out of six passes at him, he might just pick off three. I think that might have been the reason why they weren’t throwing his way.”

Another bright spot for the Vaqueros was their offensive line. The offensive line created major holes for running backs Marquise McGuire, Robert Jones and Cory Watkins who, combined, covered 287 yards.

“I saw a big improvement from our linemen,” said Jones. “I give all the props to them because I couldn’t do it without them.”

The second half of the game was marked by a dominant performance from the Vaqueros as they stormed out of the gate with amazing defense led by Deron Smith and Kameron Johnson, who both made interceptions, and even better offensive play from quarterback Murphy.

After a 25-yard touchdown by the Vaqueros in the third quarter, making the score 35-10, the game looked to be over and there were no signs of a comeback by the Wildcats. However, although there was no doubt the Vaqueros would win by the end of the game, they continued to play their best and finished strong.

Farwell told his team to  “finish them” because he did not want the players to take their foot off the gas, even with a big lead.

“I’m passionate,” said Farwell. “I’m a guy where we’re going to play four quarters. If a team is  going to blow us out, they’re going to blow us out. However, if we’re going to blow you out, we’re going to blow you out.”

In addition to already being the third best team in the American Pacific Conference and the twenty-third best team in California, the win puts the Vaqueros at 7-1, making them a heavy favorite for achieving their goal of competing in a bowl game. However, even with their victory, the Vaqueros understand that they have a game to win next week against Los Angeles Valley.