Vaqueros Head to Patriotic Bowl Game

R.J. Saunders, Staff Writer

The Glendale Vaqueros football team has made its way to its first bowl game in nearly eight years after a dominating victory against the Santa Barbara Vaqueros.

As a result, the team, 9-1, will be playing against Palomar College, 6-4, on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Vaqueros’ sophomore running back, Marquise McGuire, contributed 14 carries and rushed for 95 yards, scoring the opening touchdown from 1 yard in a 17-play drive that went 87 yards.

The team scored the first four touchdowns in the first half, leaving Santa Barbara scoreless until the 3:25 mark of the second quarter. Santa Barbara quarterback Brandon Edwards threw a 32-yard pass to Elijah King for thefirst touchdown.

“The way we came out was crazy,” said offensive lineman Austyn Walker. “That was the most turned up I’ve ever seen GCC football.”

However, the Vaqueros turned the ball over and faltered on a lateral pass that was recovered by Santa Barbara with 2:24 left in the first half. The Glendale players redeemed themselves a couple of plays later when freshman defensive back Kev’n Farmer intercepted the ball and returned it for 63 yards. The touchdown put Glendale in the lead with a 30-7 score and only 1:32 left in the first half.

“The highlight of the game, I think, was Kev’n Farmer’s pick six,” said defensive lineman Peyton Lowery-Saunders. “It changed the momentum of the game completely and later helped in our victory.”

In the second half, the Vaqueros continued to dominate as they opened up the game with yet another interception, this one made by sophomore linebacker Chris Riley, who returned the ball for 15 yards with 13:29 left to go in the third quarter, elevating thescore to 37-7. Riley put all of the momentum on Glendale’s side as they made another mark on the board, 37-7.

Santa Barbara did not score again until the 7:56 mark of the third quarter when one of its players, Klye Gasner, completed a 13-yard pass to teammate Royce Finley for the touchdown. However, it did not slow the Vaqueros down as a 38-yard field goal by defensive lineman Oscar Reynoso, and a one-yard run by running back Tru Jarvis, put the Vaqueros up 47-14, securing them for a win.

Even though Saunders believed that Farmer’s interception was the big momentum builder for the team, Cory Watkins said that it was a full team effort.

“It wasn’t necessarily one play that stood out, but it was really the first offensive and defensive drives of the game,” he said. “We received the ball and were able to drive down the field and put points on the board. Then our defense came out and forced Santa Barbara to punt the ball.  I think that really set the tone of the game and we let them know that we weren’t there to play games with them.  We were there for the win and that was it.”

Because the team fell one game short of making a bowl game last year, Watkins said he is proud of them for achieving their goal this year.

“It feels really good because of all the hard work we put in during the off season,” he said. “However, we know that we’re not finished yet. Our goal was to win a bowl game, not just play in one, so we are still really focused on that goal. It would suck to work this hard and not win it all.”

The Patriotic Bowl game will be held at Escondido High School, 1535 N. Broadway, Escondido 92026.