GCC hoping not to get run over by San Bernardino

Edgar Melik-Stepanyan

An injured quarterback who struggled in his first start will step

in as the starter.

A receiver will be converted into a starting running back, as will


a cornerback.

A linebacker will become a starting offensive lineman.

And two tight ends will be sidelined with injuries that have

plagued an inexperienced team.


This wasn’t the formula for success that Glendale Community

College Coach John Cicuto was looking for.

The Vaqueros -- who lost to host Pasadena City College, 55-14, on

Sept. 14. in their season opener -- will try to rebounded from a

devastating loss when it faces San Bernardino Valley College at 1

p.m. today at Moyse Field.

“We’ll hopefully get squared away by conference time,” said GCC

Coach John Cicuto, whose team starts Western State Conference


Mountain Division play against visiting Citrus on Sept. 28.

Which means, don’t be surprised if the Vaqueros lose again.

The Vaqueros are hurting.

Starting quarterback J.D. Ziska has bruised kidneys, but will

still play, starting running backs Kartrell Clayton and Tyrone

Burwell both have knee problems and won’t play, starting tight end

Oscar Giangrasso will miss the game because of a groin injury and

reserve tight end Ulisis Ceja won’t play because of an ankle injury.


“We have no control over injuries and when that hits you, it

knocks you back,” Cicuto said.

GCC is also inexperienced with 67 new players.

“We’re still trying to find the best 22 players to put on the

field,” Cicuto said. "[Our game against PCC] showed the freshmen what

this level is all about.”

And the Vaqueros are still adjusting their offense.

Receiver David Catchings -- who caught two passes for nine yards

against the Lancers -- will share time with converted cornerback

Willie Latham in the backfield.

Converted linebacker Mike Ruiz will move to the center position on

the offensive line, replacing Joe Comaianni, who switches to tackle.

The Vaqueros will try anything to improve on a lackluster

first-game effort.

GCC had just 117 yards of total offense against PCC.

The Lancers racked up 357 rushing yards and 182 passing yards

against a poor-tackling unit.

"[Football] is not that hard,” Cicuto said. “It’s about blocking

and tackling. We missed so many easy opportunities to tackle [PCC’s]

running backs and we didn’t do it.

“We’ve worked a lot on fundamentals. We’ve tried to keep things a

little simpler.

“We have to improve on the little things to have success.”

San Bernardino Valley lost to Riverside Community College, 27-17,

on Sept. 14. Wolverine starting quarterback Cody Fisher was just five

for 25 for 90 yards and an interception.

Donte Jackson led the rushing core with a paltry 65 yards. Cedrick

Baker contributed 57 yards on the ground.

This much is certain for GCC.

“This is a better match-up for us than PCC,” Cicuto said.

Which can only be a good thing.