SOUTH PASADENA — Unfortunately for the Glendale High football team, its game on Friday night at Solari Stadium in South Pasadena had all the makings of another long night for the Nitros.
South Pasadena easily got out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter and it looked like the Nitros were going to get steamrolled for the second week in a row.
Glendale went down swinging though as it came down to the last minute, as the Tigers won 27-21.
It was an emotional night for the Nitros coaching staff, who were all close with former Crescenta Valley Coach Gordy Warnock, who died on Wednesday. A photo of Warnock sat on the bottom of the coaches' playcards.
"It was a rough night," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "We played tonight with a heavy heart as coaches. I think the kids saw that and gave us some extra effort tonight because of it."
Their effort first came through when they blocked a Tigers field-goal attempt, which was scooped up in stride by senior Alex Maravilla who took it 82 yards for a touchdown, giving Glendale their shot of life in the second quarter to cut the score to 14-7.
The Nitros then turned to their senior fullback, Chan Kim, entering the second half down by just one score.
"We really couldn't establish our offense in the first half, so only being down 14-7 we just decided to run our plays in the second half," Eberhart said. "We tried to establish the run and did that really well."
Kim, who finished the game with 59 yards rushing, carried the ball six times for 42 yards on Glendale's opening, nine-play drive of the third quarter. Once the Tigers loaded the box waiting for Kim, senior quarterback Alex Yoon faked the handoff to him and ran it 12 yards to South Pasadena's one-yard line. Senior running back Alex Manukian finished off the 80-yard drive on a sweep for a one-yard touchdown.
The Nitros still trailed 14-13 after missing the extra point, however.
South Pasadena turned to its workhorse, senior running back Patrick Martin, who eventually took one into the end zone from five yards out, putting the Tigers up 21-13.
Glendale responded with a broken down passing play that Yoon turned into an 82-yard scramble for a touchdown. The Nitros punched in the two-point conversion to tie it up at 21.
The Nitros lost their momentum when senior Linden Anderson opted not to catch a punt, after fumbling the previous one, to pin the Nitros all the way back at their own four-yard line.
Four plays later, the Nitros were forced to punt from their own end zone, which gave the Tigers great field position at Glendale's 44-yard line with 2:52 left on the clock.
Conor Bednarski, South Pasadena's senior quarterback, took advantage of the field position, connecting with Matt Nelson on a 28-yard touchdown reception for the game-winner.
"I'm proud of the effort, but when you keep losing games effort is just a word," Eberhart said. "It'd be nice for these kids to win a game."