ARCADIA – On four different occasions in the first half, the Glendale High football team had Arcadia running backs slip through its would-be tacklers for long touchdown runs.
The Nitros saw a chance at their first Pacific League victory slip through their hands as a result, as the Apaches cruised to a 49-7 rout, building a five-touchdown cushion by halftime.
“Our tackling was not very good tonight compared to the last two weeks,” first-year Glendale Coach John Tuttle said. “We did not play very well tonight. We just came out flat.”
Arcadia's senior running back duo of Jake Medel and Sheldon McKinley enjoyed monster games as a result. All seven of the Apaches touchdowns came from the pair, with Medel rushing for five scores and 202 yards on 13 carries, while McKinley had two touchdowns of 70 and 41 yards as part of 121 yards on five carries.
“Sometimes, yeah [Glendale had trouble tackling], but at the same time me and Sheldon McKinley are hard runners,” Medel said. “We didn't stop moving our feet.”
While the Apaches had little trouble racking up extra yards after contact, their defense gave little to the Nitros (1-6, 0-4 in league), who had 146 total yards in the game (91 rushing, 55 passing).
The Apaches did a good job of wrapping up Glendale standout wide receiver Michael Davis. The senior touched the ball 10 times on the night with many coming on quick out passes, but he had just 34 total yards (41 receiving, negative seven rushing). Nitros running back Christian Osorio had a team-high 17 touches, but had just 33 total yards.
Daniel Jung was the Glendale's most productive offensive player with 58 rushing yards on 11 carries.
All of Jung's carries came in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach. He scored Glendale's only touchdown with 4:32 left in the contest when he broke a nine-yard run to bring the score to 49-7. It capped a nine-play drive in which Jung carried the ball eight times for 59 yards.
“I think it was important [to get some momentum],” Tuttle said. “We hadn't been on the scoreboard with a touchdown in a couple of weeks. Daniel Jung ran really hard with the ball late, too.”
Arcadia (3-4, 3-1) carried the first-half theme of broken tackles over into the second half. McKinley broke a 41-yard run, as he appeared to be stopped for a two-yard gain, but kept his legs moving before escaping the long touchdown run. The score gave the Apaches a 42-0 lead and began a running clock.
Medel ran for his fifth score on the night from 23 yards out with 5:19 left in the third quarter to cap Arcadia's scoring. The senior had a monstrous first half for Arcadia. He broke touchdown runs of 15, three, 40 and 80 yards in the opening 24 minutes to give the Apaches a 35-0 lead by halftime.
Medel's first touchdown from 15 yards out was made possible by a key third-down-and-eight conversion. Apaches quarterback Zachary Lee hit Darius Elliot with a 35-yard pass down the left sideline to keep the drive alive and three plays later Medel ran for the 15-yard score on third and nine with 3:08 left in the first quarter.
“After that fourth down-and-eight play, after that the momentum was all theirs,” Tuttle said.
The Nitros will look to get on the right track and their first league victory when they face Crescenta Valley next Friday.
“I think our kids will be up for that,” Tuttle said. “It's a rivalry so we'll wake up tomorrow morning, look at the film, make the corrections and we've just got to come out with a better effort overall.”