GLENDALE — He says his team has been working on its tackling issues all season.
It just hasn’t been able to fix its problems.
Glendale Community College football Coach John Rome was left searching for answers to his team’s defensive woes after a 48-17 nonconference loss to East Los Angeles College on Saturday at Sartoris Field.
“It’s very apparent we have a very difficult time tackling,” said Rome, whose team dropped to 0-3 and has surrendered an average of 43.6 points per game in the process.
“We allow teams to make plays and extend yardage.”
East L.A. (1-2) had plenty of yards Saturday.
The Huskies gained 596 yards of total offense in 83 plays, averaging a gain of 7.2 yards per play. They entered the game averaging 352 yards per game.
Rome was left mesmerized at the Huskies’ offensive statistics and his team’s struggles.
East L.A. had 35 first downs to the Vaqueros’ 10. The Huskies also had 41 minutes of possession to Glendale College’s 18, running 39 more plays than the Vaqueros.
“We didn’t have the ball enough,” Rome said. “We had 45 plays. Are you kidding me? A high school team has more plays than that.”
The Huskies’ offense stayed on the field longer largely because of its ability to convert on third and fourth downs.
East L.A. was 10 of 16 on third-down conversions and three for three on fourth-down plays, including a pair of fourth-down touchdowns on a fake punt in the second quarter and a 28-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter.
“We don’t tackle very well,” Rome said. “It’s not that we don’t work on it. We practice it on a daily basis.
“They extended drives. We have to get better defensively.”
The Huskies scored on their first eight possessions and punted just once, and that came with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Glendale College took a 3-0 lead on Helio Guerra’s 18-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the first quarter, but the Huskies responded with 34 unanswered points to end the Vaqueros’ hopes of a victory.
East L.A. used 12 running backs and three quarterbacks in its offensive onslaught. Quarterback Mike Oliver, who played the third quarter and parts of the fourth, threw three touchdowns, including two to Luther Walker, who had five receptions for 74 yards. Running back Louis Oneal led the way on the ground with 58 yards rushing.
“It’s been an emphasis of ours to run the perfect play and run the perfect series,” said East L.A. Coach Lynn Cain, a starting fullback for USC in 1979 when the Trojans won the national championship.
“The emphasis has been to get our guys to compete. We played well.”
Running back Joe Wiggan, a Burroughs High graduate, led the Vaqueros with 87 yards rushing in nine carries. He scored both of the Vaqueros’ touchdowns, with the first coming on a three-yard run in the third quarter and the other one on a 50-yard scamper in the fourth. Vaquero quarterback, and Burbank High grad, Kevin Hunter was 11 of 22 for 137 yards and wide receiver Darren Morrow had six receptions for 74 yards.
“Offensively, I feel very good about us,” Rome said. “We just don’t have the ball enough.”
The Vaqueros’ season might not get any easier this week. They’ll meet Allan Hanock at 6 p.m. on Saturday at home. Allan Hancock defeated Pasadena City College, 55-21, on Sept. 10. Glendale College lost to Pasadena City College, 49-28, to open the season.