PASADENA — Heading into its contest with host Muir High, the Glendale football team knew it had a tough hill to climb.
The Mustangs — the reigning Pacific League champions — had scored a combined 105 points in their last two games and given up just nine, so it should come as no surprise that the Nitros had their hands full.
In addition to the solid play of the Mustangs (4-1, 2-0 Pacific League) on both sides of the ball, the Nitros didn't help themselves, giving up too many big plays and committing three turnovers.
“We just didn't play very well,” Glendale Coach John Tuttle said.
The game got off to a foreboding start for the Nitros, as Muir's Taeon Mason returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
Glendale moved the ball well on its first drive behind the rushing of Daniel Jung. The Nitros put together an eight-minute, 12-play, 47-yard drive only to have it stall on a fourth and three at the Mustangs’ 17 yard line.
That was as close as Glendale would come to threatening until late in the game.
“We just didn't have that spark anymore,” Jung said.
The junior had 19 yards on that first drive, but finished the game with just 23 yards on 17 carries.
The Mustangs scored again late in the second quarter. An interception thrown by Glendale's Kevin Felix gave Muir the ball on the Nitros' 44 yard line. Muir quarterback Dejon Williams then found Ricky Crowder for a 44-yard touchdown strike.
Despite the two big plays, Glendale played Muir tight the rest of the half and the Mustangs only had a 14-0 lead at half time.
The second half was another story. The Mustangs added a field goal early in the third quarter after a blocked punt gave them the ball deep in Nitros territory. Another Felix interception set up shop for Muir, resulting in an easy touchdown.
The Nitros’ third turnover of the game in the form of a fumble put out the welcome mat out for the Muir offense. At the end of three quarters, the Mustangs were up, 34-0.
“Offensively we didn't play very well,” Tuttle said. “We put our defense is bad spots. With that kind of talent, it's hard to do that.”
Glendale's Martin Marin caught four passes for 43 yards.
Williams was 15 for 25 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He added 57 yards on the ground.
Glendale falls to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Pacific League.
“Just work harder in practice, get in the weight room, go over our plays,” Jung said of what his team has to do to get back to winning. “We just have to perform.”