It would be hard to imagine the Glendale Community College football team having anywhere to go but up at this point in the season. The Vaqueros have lost five straight and are coming off a game against Los Angeles Valley College in which the previously winless Monarchs set a season-high for points scored in a game by the end of the first quarter en route to a 57-18 win.
“Halloween came early,” Glendale Coach Rome said of the nightmare loss. “They returned an opening kickoff [for a score], on the second play of the game we turned the ball over. ...Third play from scrimmage our center snapped the ball and hit one of our players in motion and they picked it up and ran with it for a touchdown. ...Ten minutes left in the first quarter we were down, 21-0.”
The Vaqueros (2-6, 0-5) figure to be better equipped for Saturday’s 6 p.m. Pacific Conference American Division home game against Santa Barbara City, as they will have standout tailback Collin Keoshian back from a one-game suspension. As the leading rusher in the conference with 132.2 yards per game, he figures to provide an instant boost to Glendale’s flagging offense, which turned the ball over six times on Saturday.
“We need to get back to basics, basically, get back to our fundamentals and the things that we’ve taught,” Rome said. “We need to establish our running game and then build into that the play-action passes to take advantage of them trying to stop the run.”
That will be where freshman quarterback Ki Bae comes in. Rome hopes another week of experience has helped accelerate the former backup’s development after he played through a dislocated finger against Valley.
Santa Barbara (3-5, 2-3), which was the only team the Vaqueros defeated during last year’s 1-9 campaign, comes in riding a three-game skid of its own, having just lost to the top three teams in conference — L.A. Pierce, Santa Monica and Antelope Valley.
“Defensively, they have a bunch of big players,” Rome said, “and I’m looking at their offensive line and it’s 6-[foot]4, 6-6, 6-5, 6-5, 6-4, they’re big kids.”
Santa Barbara scores a nearly identical number of points (24.1) as it gives up (24) behind the direction of quarterback of freshman quarterback Jarred Evans (165.9 yards per game) and the two-pronged backfield attack of Kevin Denis and Jeff Walton.
“They’re a good football team,” Rome said. “I think they’ve improved greatly since last year.
“They’ve changed their offense. They’re more of a spread team than they’ve been in the past.”