GLENDALE – It had been 10 years since the Glendale Community College football team had matched up with San Bernardino Valley College, which traveled to Sartoris Field Saturday. The Vaqueros may not mind if it's another decade until they meet again after the Wolverines defeated them, 35-0, at Sartoris Field.
San Bernardino's offense vastly outproduced Glendale in the game, as the Wolverines racked up 500 yards of total offense compared to GCC's 54, including 200 to 16 through the air and 300 to 38 on the ground.
Jordan Mixon was the leading rusher in the game for San Bernardino with 139 yards on 19 carries. Glendale’s Dalton Williams ran for a team-high 37 yards on 12 carries, which gave the Vaqueros five other players who logged carries a total of one yard rushing
“It didn’t matter who ran the ball,” GCC Coach John Rome said. “It didn’t matter if Adrian Peterson ran the ball. We weren’t going to generate any sort of yards on the ground. We didn’t block very well up front. It’s what’s up front that counts and I believe in this particular game we didn’t do what it took to move the ball offensively. We didn’t control the line of scrimmage.”
Glendale (1-1) had come into the game riding high after winning their opener on the road last week against El Camino Compton College, 27-10, and looked to take down another member of the Pacific Conference Mountain Division in the Wolverines, who were still looking for their first win after dropping their opener to Antelope Valley. The Wolverines proved to be a much different animal than the Tartars, consistently marching the ball up and down the field as the Vaqueros never managed to a trip to the red zone Saturday. When it was all said and done, San Bernardino finished with 27 first downs compared to Glendale’s three.
“It’s a team game and if the offense can’t generate first downs, if it can’t keep possessions, and it can’t keep the clock moving, then the defense has to be on the field too long,” Rome said.
Glendale’s defense finished with three players who recorded double-digit tackles. Bobby Baker led the way with 14, followed by Dominick Bell’s 12 and A.J. Niu’s 10.
The last time Glendale beat San Bernardino Valley College (1-1) was a 53-10 victory in 1986, and it became obvious early on that it was to remain that way.
The Wolverines ran up a 21-0 lead by halftime with an up-tempo attack that started with a 10-play, 80-yard drive culminating in a eight-yard play-action touchdown pass from Ethan Hillyer to Jacob Ray. Dillon Pretzinger added a second first-quarter touchdown for the Wolverines when he ran the ball in from four yards out with 3:57 left on the clock.
Glendale appeared to catch a break near the end of the first quarter when Jason Barfield recovered a muffed punt by the Wolverines return man, but lost the opportunity when Collin Keoshian fumbled the ball back on the first play of the second quarter.
The Wolverines turned the miscue into points seven plays later when Hillyer connected with Mikhail Welsh in the left corner of the end zone, despite tight coverage by Glendale’s Davion Holloway, for a 33-yard score on fourth down and nine yards. Hillyer completed 18 of 39 passes for 200 yards and two scores, while running for another.
The quarterback position is still a work in progress for Glendale. Justin Blackmon started for the Vaqueros for the second week in a row, but, in a twist, his backup last week Nate Weston, who saw significant action in the second half against Compton, started this week at tailback and also returned kicks.
“(Weston) wanted to contribute. He felt that after his last performance he thought he could contribute more at running back, so we thought, 'OK, we’ll give him a chance to do that,'” Rome said.
Blackmon labored through the first half, going two of eight for 16 yards. Both first-half completions went to sophomore Darren Morrow, and as it turned out there would be no more catches by any Vaquero. On the second play of the second half, Blackmon threw an ill-advised pass into the left flat that was first tipped and then intercepted by Alvis Mahome, who returned the ball 22 yards for a touchdown.
Glendale freshman Isaac Valdez took over at quarterback after that, seeing his first action of his career at GCC. Valdez was unable to complete a pass behind an offensive line that struggled to hold back the Wolverines.
“[Valdez] had to run for his life literally,” Rome said. “He did a good job trying to make plays with his legs as well as his arm.”
Valdez will have to wait for his first official completion until at least next week, when Glendale goes on the road to play San Diego Mesa next Saturday.
“We will improve,” Rome said. “We will get better. This is the second game and I see us improving greatly.”