GLENDALE — Glendale Community College welcomed Chaffey College for the first football game between the schools as members of the American Metro Conference in the Vaqueros’ home conference opener.
Chaffey proved it will be a force to be reckoned with, shutting out Glendale, 37-0, and leaving the Vaqueros still searching for their first win of the season.
“I saw that team as one of the best teams we have seen in many years,” Glendale coach John Rome said.
This is the first season for Chaffey (5-1, 2-0 in conference) in the Vaqueros’ conference, and the game against Glendale (0-6, 0-2) was the Panthers’ first road contest in the American Metro. With Saturday’s win, the Panthers have outscored their two conference opponents, 128-0.
“[Chaffey] petitioned to come in late [to the American Metro] even though they had been a fairly successful team in the Central Conference of the National. Everybody thought it was kind of strange,” Rome said. “There is no way they should be playing Comptons or L.A. Southwests, or Santa Anas, or us.”
The Panthers pulled away in the second half, scoring all three of their offensive touchdowns after the break. After amassing 144 yards in the first half, the visitors finished with 394 for the game. In contrast, Glendale had 75 first-half yards and 182 for the game.
Chaffey quarterback Caleb Arreola finished 21 of 32 for 281 yards and no interceptions. Glendale quarterback Nathan Eldridge finished 10 of 17 for 64 yards and one interception.
“We knew [Chaffey] was going to be a good team, a tough opponent,” Eldridge said. “We had been practicing all week knowing that. Going into the game we tried to come out hungry and I feel like we showed that a little in the beginning.
“The defense was doing a great job holding them, but the offense wasn’t really doing our part. Eventually the defense got tired and [the Panthers] were able to put up more points.”
Chaffey put the foot in football in the first half. The Panthers led, 7-0, after the first quarter, but went into the break up 16-0 on the strength of three field goals off the foot of Nick Lawson. The first came with 7:29 left from 44 yards out to cap a methodical drive that saw the visitors eat up small chunks of yardage starting from the 22-yard line.
The next three points came with 2:55 left, but it could have been more as a Panther receiver dropped a sure touchdown pass after getting behind the defense. The final points of the half came in the final minute of the second when Lawson booted home a 33-yard kick to make it 16-0. All three field-goal drives came after a Glendale drive in which the Vaqueros were unable to record a first down.
The first points of the contest came from the Chaffey defense. Eldridge threw into heavy traffic looking for his tight end, but instead the ball found the hands of Andrew Rodriguez. The linebacker then burst out of the back and returned the ball 40 yards down the left side for the opening points of the game with 3:18 left in the first.
Chaffey finally found the end zone on offense in the second half as the Vaquero defense tired. The opening drive of the half saw the Panthers go 75 yards for the score. The touchdown came on a pass from Caleb Arreola to Javian Lofton-Wilson for 12 yards where the receiver seemed to catch both the ball and an arm of his defender at the same time.
Lofton-Wilson led all receivers with six catches for 70 yards and one score.
Chaffey struck two more times in the fourth quarter. The first was a 10-yard touchdown connection to Isiah Jarrett-Bolding when the receiver came across the field from the right into an open space in the middle of the back of the end zone.
The final touchdown of the contest came with 8:01 left and the ensuing PAT kick by Lawson set the margin margin of 37-0.
Lawson accounted for 13 points in total.
Vaqueros Adayus Robertson led all rushers with 54 yards in 17 carries. The leading rusher for Chaffey was Artis Seymore with 52 yards in nine carries.
Next Saturday Glendale will be on the road at Compton College, which Chaffey College defeated 91-0 in the Panthers’ conference opener.