GLENDALE — Facing East Los Angeles College in its season finale, the Glendale Community College football team had the chance to spoil the Huskies’ shot at the American Metro Conference championship, as well as raising its conference record to .500.
In the end, Glendale was unable to derail the visiting Huskies, falling into a deep hole by halftime en route to a defeat 31-0 at Sartoris Stadium Saturday afternoon to end the season in dissapointing fashion with just two victories.
“We didn’t look like them,” Vaqueros coach John Rome said. “We looked like a junior college team and they looked like a college football team. We’ve got to look that way.”
GCC (2-8, 2-4) was shut out for the second time this season and never really threatened to put points on the board. The Vaqueros gained a mere 108 yards with eight first downs. In contrast, East Los Angeles (7-3, 5-1) rolled up 404 yards and 18 first downs.
“I think the scheme puts us in the right spot,” Rome said. “I would say that offensively we are in the right spots, but we can’t hold a block or we can’t break a tackle or we can’t complete a ball.”
The Vaqueros were also stung by three interceptions and one fumble. The hosts’ four giveaways resulted in 17 points for the Huskies.
“You see the same mistakes over and over,” Rome said. “You try to coach it out of them. It’s just been very difficult.”
Starting quarterback Guy Gibbs, a product of Burbank High, finished seven of 23 for 62 yards and the three picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter, after which GCC trailed 28-0.
“It’s my first year, so I learned [play here] is a lot faster. So in this offseason I’ve got to get better, get bigger and see what happens,” Gibbs said.
East Los Angeles started with the ball and promptly marched down the field 75 yards in seven plays. The drive was capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Huskies quarterback Phillip Tran. On the other hand, Glendale had a false start before the Vaqueros’ first play and Gibbs fumbled away the ball on the third play.
The visitors scored their second touchdown with a four-yard rushing score by Lavell Thompson. Glendale’s second drive resulted in a one-yard net gain before a punt and so it went. Thompson was the game’s leading rusher with 83 yards on seven carries.
Up 14-0 after the first, the Huskies doubled their advantage in the second quarter. Tran was knocked out of the game when he was hit in the backfield. Backup Paul Herrera came in and did not miss a beat. On his second play, he connected with a wide-open Garrison Harris for a 29-yard touchdown. Herrera went the rest of the way for East Los Angeles, finishing nine of 22 with the one score. The freshman was picked off in the end zone by Vaquero Eddie Reyes early in the fourth quarter. Tran finished seven of 11 for 103 yards.
The final touchdown of the contest was scored by the Huskies defense in the final minute before halftime. Deep in his own territory, Gibbs threw an ill-advised pass into the flat that was picked off by Husky Qua’D Cheatham and returned 12 yards for the score. East Los Angeles led 28-0 at the break.
The only points of the second half came with 5:02 left in the third quarter, off the Vaqueros’ fourth and final giveaway. Cheatham got his second pick of the game, which resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Hector Gomez.
With the victory, East Los Angeles took second in conference as Santa Ana defeated Pasadena on Saturday to clinch the title outright. With their season over, the Vaqueros will look to reload for next season.
“Moving forward, we need to improve our talent pool,” Rome said. “That is the bottom line.”