For the first time since 2009, the Glendale Community College football team is in the black.
The Vaqueros rallied from a two-point halftime deficit in defeating host San Diego Mesa College, 31-19, in nonconference action Saturday night.
“This win feels great, especially with the difficulties we’ve had the last couple of years,” Glendale Coach John Rome said. “You teach these young men to go through life’s battles and attack with a plan and that came through tonight.”
Glendale improved to 2-1 before heading into next Saturday’s American Pacific Conference opener at Antelope Valley at 7 p.m.
The triumph marked the first time Glendale has posted a winning record since the Vaqueros started the 2009 season with three straight victories, while the win already matches the program’s win total of the last two seasons.
The game’s outcome wasn’t decided until the final minute, when Glendale sophomore running back Collin Keoshian took a handoff on a third and six from the San Diego 17-yard line and scored.
The game-clinching touchdown, coupled with a successful point after, gave Glendale its 31-19 advantage.
“Collin had a great game,” Rome said. “We had a lot of confidence running the ball.”
Keoshian put up big numbers, carrying the ball 26 times for 326 yards and three touchdowns. His longest run was an 88-yard scoring scamper with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter to give the Vaqueros a 17-12 lead.
Rome said he’s confident that he tested his team’s resolve, going on a fourth-and-inches try late in the fourth quarter with the Vaqueros leading, 24-19, and the ball on their own 20.
“When I called the play on fourth and inches, I kept on thinking, ‘I’m an idiot, I’m an idiot,’” Rome said. “I knew we could get that first down, but it’s always a gamble.”
On the call, Keoshian carried for five yards and a first down for Glendale. The Vaqueros than traveled the next 75 yards before Keoshian dove in for a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining.
Glendale trailed, 12-10, at halftime before Keoshian retook the lead back for the Vaqueros in the third quarter on the 88-yard touchdown blast.
Glendale took a 10-0 advantage before San Diego Mesa rallied with two touchdowns.
The Vaqueros got on the board first after Helio Guerra converted on a 29-yard field goal with 2:19 remaining.
Glendale made it 10-0 at the 11:34 mark of the second quarter when quarterback Nick Blackmon connected with wide receiver Darren Morrow on a nine-yard scoring strike.
Blackmon completed 10 of 16 passes for 66 yards and had one touchdown and one interception.
While Glendale surrendered the touchdowns and the lead, the Vaqueros successfully blocked both extra-point attempts to keep the deficit at two going into halftime.
On defense, the Vaqueros were paced by linebacker Dennis Vaughn, who had eight solo tackles and assisted on two others. In addition, the defense allowed San Diego to convert just two of its nine third-down situations.