The Glendale Community College football team was hoping to carry over the momentum from a season-ending victory last year — its only win of the 2010 campaign — and get off to a faster start this season.
So far the Vaqueros have been stuck in neutral, though, staring at a 0-2 start going into today's 6 p.m. home opener at Sartoris Field against East Los Angeles.
Glendale opened with a 49-28 loss at Pasadena City on Sept. 3, but regressed with a 34-7 road loss to Golden West on Saturday in which it was held scoreless until the 2:38 mark of the fourth quarter.
Golden West was able to effectively limit the Vaqueros' rushing attack, which was held to 72 yards on 26 attempts, something Rome said the team will have to correct if it hopes to bounce back against East L.A.
"We made a lot of mistakes last week with our assignments and in our technique," said Rome, whose top rusher was Joseph Wiggan with 39 yards in 10 carries, while Timothy Broughton ran for 26 yards in six rushes. "[Golden West] did a couple things that were hard for our young [offensive] line to adjust to and we had not expected it. We really worked on making adjustments this week."
Glendale also hurt itself last week by committing four turnovers, including three lost fumbles that brought its season total up to five, and the first interception of the year thrown by quarterback Kevin Hunter (14 for 26 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown against Golden West).
"We have worked very hard this week to work on ball security," Rome said.
East L.A. might not be a bad foe against which to get both the ground and aerial attack back on course, as the Brahmas are a middle-of-the-pack team in defending both among all Southern California teams — 24th against the pass (218.5 yards allowed per game) and 19th against the run (148.5 yards per game) — although Rome isn't reading much into that.
"Defensively, they're very fundamentally sound, they pressure, they can do a lot of things," he said. "We have to be able to handle those things with our offensive line."
Hunter will be minus one reliable target, as leading receiver Eugene Gandara has been declared out for the game after injuring his knee in the loss to Golden West.
The Brahmas also still seek their first win of the campaign, having lost to L.A. Valley, 47-26, on Sept. 3 and Santa Monica, 26-20, in overtime on Saturday.
Ranked 22nd in Southern California in rushing offense (121 yards per game) and 13th in passing offense (231.5 yards per game), the Brahmas will mount an attack led by quarterback Mike Oliver and leading rusher Marquel Booker.
"I think they're a very physical team, I think they're very skilled, as well," Rome said. "They're huge, they're gigantic in size. …Offensively and defensively, they always seem to be prepared, so we're just going to have to stop their passing attack, which they really rely on and, of course, they have a very opportunistic running game that we also have be prepared for."
In last year's meeting with East Los Angeles, Glendale suffered a 33-13 loss on the road.