SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Playing on a gimpy left ankle, Alex Yoon made every yard count for the Glendale High football team on Thursday night.
Forced to sit out a game two weeks ago, Yoon, a standout senior running back, shook off the pain and closed out his career on a winning note.
Yoon rushed for 285 yards in 28 carries and three touchdowns to lift Glendale to a 55-49 Pacific League win against crosstown rival Hoover in the "Battle for the Victory Bell" at Moyse Field.
"I could feel the pain right up until the end, but I knew I was going to fight through it and do it without any regrets," said Yoon, who celebrated with teammates while ringing the bell near midfield. "I don't know how I did it, but I'm just glad we got the win."
Glendale finished its season at 2-8, 1-6 in league. Hoover went 0-10, 0-7 despite nearly completing a valiant comeback late in the fourth quarter.
The teams combined for the most points scored in a game in the series history, which began in 1930.
Hoover senior quarterback Alex Rangel completed 19 of 30 passes for 313 yards. But Yoon stole the spotlight in the rivalry's latest chapter and helped the Nitros improve to 48-33-2 lifetime against the Tornadoes in the battle for the bell.
"We were going to give [Yoon] the ball until we won or lost," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "Our guys wanted this game very badly and they deserved it."
Glendale equaled its record for most points scored against Hoover.
Hoover Coach Andrew Policky said the Tornadoes just fell short.
"It's hard coming up that short," Policky said. "Glendale was a little better than us and they had a few more weapons.
"It was a fun game. We progressed a little every week."
Hoover tailback Luke Tabayoyong rushed for 155 yards in 24 carries and three touchdowns.
Before many of the estimated 5,000 fans warmed their seats, the Nitros scored on a 13-yard run by Yoon with 10:53 left in the opening quarter. Glendale then made it 14-0 on a 19-yard run up the middle by Christian Osorio with 8:24 remain in the opening quarter.
Hoover cut the deficit to 14-6 on a two-yard run by Donovan Malone with 1:59 left in the first quarter. Glendale regained the momentum when receiver Michael Davis caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Evan Norton to make it 21-6 with 1:15 left in the first quarter, but Tabayoyong then scored on a 73-yard run to bring the Tornadoes within 21-12 with 19 seconds left in the period.
The second quarter featured plenty of offense, as well.
Yoon scored on a 32-yard run with 11:17 left to give the Nitros a 28-12 advantage. Osorio then scored on a 25-yard run with 8:30 left to make it 35-12. Tabayoyong pulled Hoover to within 35-18 on a four-yard run with 4:36 left in the first half.
Norton gave Glendale a 42-18 lead on a 15-yard run with 2:13 in the second quarter, but Hoover's Brendon Kerr booted a 22-yard field goal at the buzzer to make it 42-21 at halftime.
After Tabayoyong fumbled at the Glendale 15-yard line with 7:47 left in the third quarter, Glendale used the remainder of the quarter driving and capped it with a one-yard run by Norton at the quarter buzzer to make it 49-21. Glendale's Felipe Arias recovered the fumble.
The teams combined for five touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including four from Hoover. Hoover closed to within 49-28 on a 16-yard pass from Rangel to Malone with 11:34 left. Yoon on the ensuing possession scored on a 44-yard run to make it 55-28 44 seconds later.
Rangel then scored twice on a pair of one-yard runs. His first made it 55-35 with 8:48 left before accomplishing the feat again at the 4:03 mark to make it 55-42.
Tabayoyong closed out the scoring with a five-yard run with 3:31 left.