Vaqs start season with shock

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — From the coaching standpoint, the Glendale Community College football team was prepared for Saturday's season opener.

But on the intensity level, the Vaqueros were "shocked."

Glendale college allowed three touchdowns in the first 11 minutes and never recovered, losing to Pasadena City College, 41-20, in a nonconference game at Sartoris Field.

"From a speed standpoint, we might have been a little bit shocked," said Vaqueros Coach John Rome, whose team ended its 2009 season with a 38-22 loss to the Lancers.

The Vaqueros, 4-6 a year ago, were no match for the Lancers, who shined in front of Coach Dennis Gossard.

Gossard, who is also Crescenta Valley High's offensive coordinator, took over as interim head coach for his third tour at the helm of the Lancers in his 32nd year of coaching for Pasadena and his 10th as head coach. Former Coach James Kuk was put on administrative leave a day before the start of fall practice. Gossard had no comment for the reasons behind Kuk's dismissal, but he had plenty to say about his team's play in the first half.

The Lancers scored on their first four possessions and limited the Vaqueros' offense to 82 first-half yards, which Rome attributed to his team's inexperience.

"We made a lot of young mistakes," Rome said. "We played like a young football team. We made so many mistakes, we couldn't overcome them. We missed a lot of alignments and we had some defensive structural problems."

Their problems on defense led to the Lancers amassing 469 total yards with a balanced offensive attack.

Pasadena running back Telvin McMillian, a 218-pound sophomore, scored five touchdowns on runs of 2, 8, 2, 8 and 4 yards. He had a game-high 89 rushing yards in 17 carries.

"We executed," said Gossard, who went to Glendale college from 1966-67 and said he'll "of course" continue his responsibilities at CV. "The name of the game is execution. We blocked them well."

The Lancers executed on defense, as well.

Glendale college had miscues on the line, missed wide-open receivers and mustered 265 total yards.

"We have four freshmen offensive line, three freshmen tight ends and four freshmen running backs, so we're young," Rome said. "They played like freshmen."

Sophomore quarterback Steven Batista was eight of 21 for 151 yards and two interceptions. He also threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Eugene Gandera in the first quarter. The score cut Pasadena College's lead to 21-7 before the teams exchanged scores for the remainder of the game.

Lancer wide receiver Michael Harrison — who caused fits for Crescenta Valley when he was at Muir High — caught eight passes for 177 yards and a touchdown.

"If I had been [at Crescenta Valley when Harrison played for Muir], he wouldn't have given them fits," joked Gossard, who is 50-42-1 as a head coach at Pasadena. "But he's quick."

Glendale college performed better in the second half, when Joshua Nakamoto had a touchdown run of two yards and Antonio Bray had a 56-yard touchdown catch from Greg Jimenez.

"The bright spot of this game is that it's one game under our belt," Rome said. "I think we're going to grow from it. I think we'll be a good football team, but you sure wouldn't know it from the way we played."

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