SOUTH PASADENA — Behind the strength of its offensive line, the South Pasadena High football team was able to do virtually anything it desired Thursday night.
Whether it was creating opportunities for their running backs or giving their quarterback ample time to connect on passes, the Tigers' linemen played a pivotal role in the team's 39-6 nonleague win over visiting Hoover.
"We can't run if they don't block," first-year South Pasadena Coach Marty Konrad said. "Those guys really stepped up and did a good job.
"It's a young group and their best games are ahead of them. And we're just trying to stay positive with those guys. The running backs ran hard and [our] guys blocked hard. Everyone's got to chip in to win a game."
The Tigers (1-1) dominated the running attack with 289 rushing yards to Hoover's 91.
South Pasadena scored on running plays on its first three drives in the first quarter and its defense forced a pair of fumbles, including one that led to a 21-yard scoring pass on the next down, for a 26-0 halftime lead.
But the Tornadoes (0-2), who were already missing offensive/defensive lineman Juan Lomeli due to injury, lost another player up front in 6-foot-1, 250-pound Jeffrey Truong, who hobbled off the field in the second half.
"We're getting pretty thin now," first-year Hoover Coach Andrew Policky said. "We're having guys playing both ways and it just didn't work out well for us.
"The game plan was to mix it up and throw it a little more than we're used to. And we had some success with it. We just couldn't get any chunk yards."
Tornadoes quarterback Alex Rangel completed 16 of 22 passes for 111 yards, but he was unable to connect on any touchdowns.
He did, however, scored on a 1-yard run with 10:15 to play after Ryan Blanks ran for 5, 9 and 1 yards on that drive to slice the deficit to 26-6.
Hoover was led by running back Luke Tabayoyong (45 yards, 10 carries) and Rangel (21 yards, five carries).
The Tigers proved to have more weapons on offense.
Yihai Han (58 rushing yards, six carries) scored a pair of touchdowns, both in the opening quarter to help South Pasadena amass a 14-0 lead.
Harvey Talento led the Tigers in rushing yards (95 in five carries), including a 60-yard scoring run for a 19-0 first-quarter advantage.
And Nathan Lee picked up 83 yards on eight carries.
It was a solid bounce-back after the Tigers lost their opener, 27-10, to San Gabriel.
"We had a good week of practice; the guys were focused," Konrad said. "We're starting to get better at what we're doing. We're starting to click a little bit and guys are picking up their blocks and the backs are hitting holes. Those are all good things."
South Pasadena quarterback Joey Harmon completed 5 of 10 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Hoover, which lost its opener to Glendale, 20-6, extended its losing streak to nine games.