GLENDALE — Twice inside its opponent's 30-yard line, the Glendale High football team turned the ball over on downs.
Two more times, it settled for field goals.
The Nitros had chances to upset visiting Arcadia in Thursday's Pacific League game at Moyse Field, but they just couldn't capitalize.
The Apaches stopped the Nitros in critical situations and used a bruising running attack to post a 14-6 victory.
“Our guys played hard for four quarters,” Glendale Coach John Tuttle said. “They played as hard as they could, but we were our own worst enemy. We made mental mistakes and did not make plays when we needed to.”
After the Nitros were unable to score inside Apache territory on their first opportunity, they punted the ball and it rested on Arcadia's one.
The Apaches (4-2, 2-1 in league) responded with a six-minute drive that covered all 99 yards and ended with a four-yard touchdown pass from Joey Harmon to Kevin Luong. Nico Hillier rushed in for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 Apaches lead that was made possible by five third-down conversions on the drive.
Harmon completed just eight passes, as he left it to his teammates to pound the Nitros on the ground.
Joshua Benson had 101 rushing yards in 15 carries and teammate Nico Cantos had 58 rushing yards — including a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter — in 14 carries.
“We were able to run the ball and when you do that, you have a shot,” said Arcadia Coach Andrew Policky, who was Hoover's head coach for the previous two seasons before taking the Apaches job in May.
Even with Arcadia's strength with the ground game, the Nitros still remained close.
With the ball on Arcadia's 19 in the final 18 seconds of the first half, Glendale attempted three passes to Martin Marin in the end zone. Each pass went long and the Nitros settled for a 36-yard field goal from Marin as time expired.
After Arcadia scored to take a 14-3 lead and retook possession following a Nitros punt, Glendale forced a fumble and had the ball on the Apaches' 25 with six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
A three-yard run, a one-yard rush and an incomplete pass forced Glendale to bring on Marin for a 39-yard field goal, which he made.
Glendale (2-4, 0-3) surprised the Apaches and attempted on onside kick, which it recovered.
It drove to Arcadia's 29-yard line and faced a fourth-and-one situation.
The Nitros handed the ball off to Abraham Martinez, who was stuffed at the line with 3:39 remaining. Glendale running backs Daniel Jung (27 yards) and Luis Ruiz (58 yards) had limited rushing lanes, forcing the Nitros to throw more. Quarterback Kevin Felix was 11 of 21 for 75 yards, with Marin hauling in eight passes for 72 yards.
Arcadia converted a third down on the ensuing drive after the Nitros' final failed attempt to score and sealed the win, Policky's first as a head coach against the Nitros after his Tornadoes lost each of the past two years.
“I was tired of them kicking my butt,” he said. “They have a good team over there. They're getting better. They're doing some really good things.”