SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — While unable to completely neutralize the Muir High football team's explosive offense during the first half of Friday night's Pacific League game at Moyse Field, Glendale did a pretty effective job of containing it.
That alone was enough to keep the Nitros in the game after winning the possession battle and holding Muir to two scores in the first half, and over halfway through the third quarter they still faced a manageable three-possession deficit despite failing to score themselves.
But Glendale's scoreless drought persisted until late into the fourth quarter and the Mustangs eventually broke through to secure a 31-6 win.
"As the game went on — we don't have a lot of kids — and they obviously wore us, so now you've got a tired kid trying to tackle speed and it obviously caught up to us," said Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart, whose team dropped to 0-8. "The effort's there and where we're at right now I've got to be happy with that. They're playing as hard as they can play."
The Nitros defense held fast one more time to begin the third quarter, holding Muir to a 33-yard field goal on its first possession of the half to make it 17-0 with 7:42 to play in the quarter.
Hampered by procedural penalties, the Nitros ensuing drive stalled before it could reach midfield.
The Mustangs then drove 82 yards in eight plays and in just under three and a half minutes to take a 24-0 lead on a 19-yard touchdown run by Tairen Owens, who finished with 149 yards and three touchdowns in 10 carries.
After a three-and-out for Glendale's offense, which totaled 169 yards in the game, the Mustangs moved the ball another 82 yards, this time in a blinding-quick three plays, including a 57-yard scoring run by Owens at the 10:39 mark of the fourth quarter.
Glendale trailed, 14-0, at the half, despite controlling the ball for 17:30 and running seven more plays than Muir.
The Mustangs' damage came on a 43-yard run by Owens at the 5:52 mark of the first quarter, followed by a blocked punt return for a score by Destiny Iwuoma with 3:36 left in the first.
Glendale got a team-high 72 yards rushing from Chan Kim and 67 yards on the ground from quarterback Alex Yoon, who scored the Nitros' lone touchdown on a one-yard keeper with 3:38 left in the game.
"It's the sixth game [this season] we've been in the game for at least a half," Eberhart said. "But we just couldn't contain them again. We're blocking better and we're tackling better, but there's a long ways to go.
"I thought overall we played real hard. It got a little out of control at the end, but also we understand that we're playing Muir."