SOUTH PASADENA — A week after a “terrible” loss, the South Pasadena High football team was eager to redeem itself.
Glendale High stood in its way Friday night.
Unlike its humbling performance against Hoover a week earlier, South Pasadena ran over the Nitros, using a speedy running back and a pounding fullback to run away with a 39-7 nonleague victory.
“We hated that [33-28] loss to Hoover,” said South Pasadena senior running back Nathan Lee, who rushed 16 times for 178 yards, including a pair of touchdowns, which matched teammate Rudy Murillo's number of scores from the backfield.
“We wanted to win again. Last week was terrible.”
Lee and Murillo made sure the Tigers won for the second time in three nonleague games.
Of Lee's 16 rushes, seven went for at least 10 yards, including a 51-yard sprint in the third quarter that highlighted a drive that was capped by his 10-yard scoring run.
Murillo provided a tough balance for the Nitros (1-2) to handle, as the 5-foot-7, 161-pound bruiser had 80 yards in 15 carries. Murillo scored two of his team's first three touchdowns, as he rushed in from three and one yard out, as the Tigers raced to a 19-0 lead three minutes into the second quarter.
Lee and Murillo combined to average 8.3 yards per carry.
“We missed that one-two punch last week,” South Pasadena Coach Marty Konrad said. “Nathan does a good job on the sweep and Rudy does good with an inside punch on the run. We got after these guys after last week. These guys responded. They know how to bounce back.”
Glendale couldn't bounce back after a costly, first-quarter penalty.
The Nitros started the game with possession and marched to South Pasadena's 29 on a strong performance from Christian Osorio, who had runs of 20, 11 and 13 yards on the drive.
On a second-down play, quarterback Kevin Felix connected with standout wide out Michael Davis for a what appeared to be a 29-yard score and a 6-0 Nitro lead. But in the midst of the Nitro celebration, a flag on the field nullified the score because of an illegal motion penalty. Another penalty doomed the drive and the Nitros turned the ball over on downs.
Glendale didn't score again until Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards with eight minutes left in the fourth.
“That penalty was huge,” Glendale Coach John Tuttle said. “We were our own worst enemy. We didn't execute on offense. It had more to do with us than them.”
Osorio led the Nitros with 112 yards rushing in 18 carries and Davis caught four passes for 46 yards.
David Madrid attempted just six passes for South Pasadena, but one of those went for a 15-yard scoring strike to Bryan Bednarski.
Hector Fernandez also provided a 14-yard scoring run for a determined South Pasadena squad.
Said Konrad: “Tell Hoover we want a rematch. Do they have a bye week coming up?”