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Davis Hits 11 in Row, but Valley Loses, 30-18

Times Staff Writer

Glendale Coach Jim Sartoris was wearing the kind of smile that people usually reserve for those occasions when they’re trying not to embarrass a friend.

“This was one of the best Valley teams I’ve seen in terms of talent,” Sartoris said. “We thought it would be a close game, and we were right.”

Sartoris’ assessment of the Valley talent pool was probably accurate, but his evaluation of Saturday’s game between Glendale and Valley was stretching it. The Vaqueros, ranked fifth in the nation, fifth in the state and third in the Southland by a variety of junior college polls, overcame a preponderance of errors early in the game to win easily, 30-18, at Glendale High.

“We knew coming in what kind of team that they had,” Valley Coach Chuck Ferrero said. “We had some good spots today, but we also had some real weak spots.”

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The bright spots included the passing of quarterback Josh Davis, who completed 14 of 20 passes--including 11 straight completions--for 130 yards and one touchdown. Others included the defensive play of linebacker Ian Comes, who thwarted a potential Glendale touchdown when he intercepted in the end zone and returned it 15 yards.

Valley’s offense, however, failed to capitalize on two early turnovers and a defensive front that lapsed late in the game.

“We have to have our front seven on defense play hard all the time,” Ferrero said. “We can’t afford to play sporadically.”

Valley rallied from a 17-3 deficit at halftime and trailed, 17-10, after Davis hit James Mathews with a 32-yard touchdown pass with almost nine minutes left in the third quarter.

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Early in the fourth quarter, however, the Valley defense broke down, costing the Monarchs any chance of knocking off the powerful Vaqueros.

With 14 minutes left to play, Glendale running back Gene Harlin broke off left tackle and raced 59 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to make the score 24-10. Harlin, a 5-9 1/2, 170-pound freshman from Marshall High, finished the game with 120 yards on nine carries.

“Harlin has added a new dimension to our program--the breakaway,” Sartoris said. “He turned the game around for us.”

Running back Kevin Sterling was the workhorse during the next Glendale drive. The 6-0, 205-pound sophomore gained 46 of the 55 yards that the Vaqueros traversed for their final touchdown that put the game out of reach--a one-yard quarterback sneak by Rob Huffman with 4 1/2 minutes to go.

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Roman Carter scored for Valley on a 13-yard run with 2 1/2 minutes left, and the ensuing two-point conversion made the score respectable.

“When we start conference play next week, we’re going to have to be a lot more consistent,” said Ferrero, whose team travels to College of the Desert for next week’s Southern California Conference opener. “We need to get better everywhere. That’s all there is to it.”


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