Nitros seek better results

GLENDALE — The Glendale High football team will play the same schedule that it did last season. Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart doesn't want the same results.

The Nitros, during Eberhart's first season at the helm, finished 1-9 and 0-7 in the Pacific League en route to finishing in last place in the eight-team league. Eberhart would like nothing more than to head north in the standings and grab some respectability in the process.

It won't take long for Eberhart to see where the Nitros stand when they kick off their season with a nonleague home game at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 against Cathedral, which advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Northwest Division last season.

"You have to play the schedule and it's the one that I inherited," said Eberhart, whose team suffered a 52-13 loss to Cathedral last season on the road. "Hopefully, we will be better than last year and we are going to have a very tough first game.

"They blitzed us heavily last year and they were able to set the tone. We know in that game that we will have to execute and control the ball more."

Glendale, which last qualified for the playoffs in 2003, will then close out the nonleague portion of its schedule with a two-game road trip. The Nitros will meet La Cañada at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 before facing South Pasadena at 7 p.m. Sept. 24.

The Spartans handed Glendale a 35-0 setback, last season but regrouped to earn a 28-21 win against South Pasadena.

"The one thing I do know about La Cañada is that you can't underestimate them," Eberhart said. "I think we should be able to play with them.

"With South Pasadena, we had a good game with them last year. I expect it to be the same again."

Glendale will then jump into league portion of its schedule when it meets rival Crescenta Valley at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at Moyse Field. It will mark the first of three consecutive home league contests for the Nitros.

Eberhart coached the Falcons for parts of 14 seasons, finishing 89-58-1 and guiding Crescenta Valley to five Pacific League championships. Crescenta Valley notched a 56-14 victory last season and reached the second round of the Southeast Division playoffs.

"It's our first league game and it's going to be big for [Crescenta Valley first-year Coach] Paul Schilling," Eberhart said. "I went through it last season and now I'm looking to see if we can play at that high level."

The Nitros then battle visiting Burbank, which shared the league crown with cross-town rival Burroughs last season, at 7 p.m. Oct. 7. The Bulldogs, who picked up a 61-3 win last season against Glendale last season, won their first league title since 1972 before advancing to the second round o the Southeast Division playoffs.

Eberhart said Burbank and Burroughs might be the two tops teams in the league again.

"To me, they are the favorites to win it again," Eberhart said. "We are going to have to get a whole lot better.

"It's going to be a very tough game for us and we know that they are a very good team."

Glendale will then close out its home stand with a game against Pasadena at 7 p.m. Oct. 15. The Bulldogs posted a 48-0 home win last season against the Nitros.

"Pasadena will have a new coach on board and, at that time of the season, we should know how good we are," Eberhart said. "The two teams will either be better or going in different directions."

Things probably won't get any easier for the Nitros when they face host Burroughs at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at Memorial Field. The Indians recorded a 41-3 win last season against the Nitros.

"You know going into that game that Burroughs will run the ball and do their best to pound you," Eberhart said. "The question for us is can we physically compete. It will be a long night if we are not physical."

The Nitros will next meet Muir, which took fourth in league last season and might be the most athletic team in the entire league. That game is slated to start at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Moyse Field.

"They won our summer passing league," said Eberhart, whose team dropped a 34-7 loss to the Mustangs on the road last season. "You never know how they are going to play and you never know what you are going to get."

Glendale will take on Arcadia at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at Arcadia. The Nitros began league play last season with a 34-16 loss against the Apaches.

"Arcadia's going to be real good and we've played them twice this summer in passing league games," Eberhart said. "They might be the best coached team in the league and we know that we'll have our hands full."

Glendale will conclude its regular season at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 with a matchup against cross-town rival Hoover at Moyse Field. It will mark the 82nd time that Glendale and Hoover have met in "The Battle for the Victory Bell."

The Nitros own a 42-30-2 advantage since the game began in 1930. However, Hoover picked up a 15-7 victory in last season's meeting to establish city wide bragging rights.

"That's a game that's great when you are playing for something like a league championship or a playoff spot," said Eberhart, a Glendale graduate. "The game is on TV and there are a lot of extra things to it.

"It's always going to be a fun night because it's a great rivalry and there's a lot of tradition between the two schools."

2010 SCHEDULE

• Sept. 10 vs. Cathedral, 7 p.m.

• Sept. 17 at La Cañada, 7 p.m.

• Sept. 24 at South Pasadena, 7 p.m.

• Oct. 1 vs. Crescenta Valley, 7 p.m.*

• Oct. 7 vs. Burbank, 7 p.m.*

• Oct. 15 vs. Pasadena, 7 p.m.*

• Oct. 22 at Burroughs, 7 p.m.*

• Oct. 29 vs. Muir, 7 p.m.*

• Nov. 5 at Arcadia, 7 p.m.*

• Nov. 12 at Hoover, 7 p.m.*^

*denotes Pacific League game

^Glendale is visiting team at Glendale High.

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