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Glendale Spurns Gifts in 28-20 Loss

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Glendale College football team was presented with several chances to win Saturday afternoon against Santa Monica, but didn’t take advantage and lost, 28-20, in a Western State Conference interdivisional game at Glendale High.

“We had multiple opportunities to score a lot of points,” Glendale Coach John Cicuto lamented. “We broke down, and this is a team that can’t afford to make mistakes.”

It was the first victory for the Corsairs (1-2, 1-1 in conference play), who got a big lift from quarterback Jorge Blanco. The freshman completed 11 of 17 passes for 289 yards and touchdowns of 99 and 60 yards, both scored by receiver Kory Jones.

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The Vaqueros (1-2, 0-2) turned the ball over in their last three possessions, twice inside the Santa Monica 10-yard line, and wasted a brilliant performance by running back Pathon Rucker.

Rucker, a sophomore from Glendale High, carried 29 times for a game-high 243 yards and one touchdown but it wasn’t enough. He appeared tired late in the game, but still managed to break runs of 41 and 28 yards in the fourth quarter to help raise his season rushing total to 485 yards.

“Pathon ran hard and (Hector) Valencia ran hard, but we have to learn to hold on to the ball in critical situations,” Cicuto said.

Glendale’s offense started to self-destruct early in the fourth quarter.

With 10 minutes 23 seconds remaining in the period, the Vaqueros blew a 24-yard field-goal opportunity on a bad snap.

On their next possession, the Vaqueros marched to the Santa Monica 18 but the drive stalled when Corsair strong safety Kelvin Moore recovered a fumble by Valencia after an 11-yard pass from quarterback Chris Ray.

The play would have given Glendale a first down inside the Santa Monica 10 with 3:59 to play.

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A Corsair fumble two plays later gave Glendale another opening, but defensive back Charles Towns intercepted a second-down pass by Ray intended for Andre Banks in the end zone. Santa Monica then fumbled again, but so did the Vaqueros.

This time Ray did the honors, coughing up the ball while being sacked by tackle Fred Moorehead near the Glendale 30.

Glendale scored first on a 33-yard pass from Ray to Sky Bushey on the last play of the first quarter, then opened a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter on a one-yard sneak by Ray.

Santa Monica came back with two consecutive touchdowns before the half, one on a 26-yard pass from Blanco to Brian Clark and the other on a one-yard run by Mario Mattison.

Rucker put Glendale ahead, 20-14, on a one-yard run in the third quarter (the extra-point attempt was blocked) before Blanco and Jones combined for the two long touchdowns.

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