Rustlers' defense a challenge for Vaqs

After his team's 2011 season opener, Glendale Community College football Coach John Rome said his team made enough mistakes in the game to fill an entire season.

Pasadena City took advantage of enough of the Vaqueros' errors to post a 49-28 victory last week, and today at 7 p.m. at Orange Coast College, Glendale will face a Golden West defense more than capable of forcing mistakes and capitalizing on them to the fullest.

The Rustlers are fresh off a 42-0 drubbing of Long Beach City on Saturday in which their defense did more than just pitch a shutout. Golden West's offense totaled a fairly pedestrian 312 yards of total offense in the game, driving to score twice on short fields of 25 yards or less. But the team scored touchdowns on a 50-yard fumble return (one of three fumble recoveries on the night), a 39-yard interception return (one of three Rustlers picks) and a 46-yard punt return.

"I thought they played very well, they swarmed to the ball, [they're] well-coached," Rome said. "We're going to have to offensively protect the football, we're going to have to limit any offensive penalties that we make and not put ourselves in bad field position because it's going to be very difficult to move the ball consistently."

The Vaqueros took care of the ball reasonably well, as quarterback Kevin Hunter didn't throw an interception in his 21-of-40 passing performance for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But Glendale did fumble the ball away twice, the first one killing a red-zone drive when the game was still close in the first quarter. Some dropped passes and missed routes also lessened Hunter's overall effectiveness.

"I was very impressed with [Hunter's] performance," Rome said. "As a coaching staff, we're very happy with the fact he showed poise, he showed great command of the offense. He knew where players were supposed to line up and he got people in the right positions.

"We thought what hurt his completion percentage was the play of the wide receivers, which needs to improve."

Before the season, Rome vowed to rotate running backs liberally and pound the football and he stuck to his word against the Lancers. Joseph Wiggan (79 yards in 17 carries) was the high man on the ground in the backfield committee that included Omar Barrera-Sanchez (17 carries for 78 yards) and Timothy Broughton (11 carries for 75 yards).

Last week, the Vaqueros had their work cut out containing the arm and scrambling ability of Lancers quarterback Justin Posthuma, who passed for 323 yards and five touchdowns. This week they'll be charged with stopping Raymond Huizar, who threw for 186 yards and two scores against Long Beach City.

"I think they're a balanced football team, I think they do a very good job," Rome said. "They are multiple in their formations, they have a nice blend in their power running game with a very good passing game. They have good skill players, I'm very impressed with them. I think we're in for a real challenge."

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