Bell still talk of the town

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 69th year, meets Tuesdays at the Elk's Lodge. The following are odds and ends from the 10th meeting of the year.



Less than a week after the Glendale High and Hoover football teams combined for 104 points — the most in the "Battle for the Victory Bell" contest that began in 1930 — former Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart, who resigned Monday, and Hoover Coach Andrew Policky hadn't forgotten all the touchdowns and highlights that occurred.

Glendale posted a 55-49 victory on Thursday in front of more than 5,000 at Glendale High's Moyse Field to retain possession of the bell for the second season in a row.

"It was a beautiful night and everything we did initially was great," Eberhart said. "We got up, 14-0, then it's 14-6 and then its 42-21 at halftime.

"We knew something in that we couldn't stop Hoover. We go up 48-21 going into the fourth quarter and they score a touchdown to get closer and you can hear the roar in the crowd from their side of the field.

"Then they get it to 55-49 and I'm then thinking we are going to lose 56-55. We were able to get the ball back and run out the clock. Hoover never stopped playing and they kept getting more energy. They didn't believe they were going to lose."

For Policky, it was his first game as head coach against Glendale with the bell at stake.

Despite struggling throughout most of the first half, Policky said he tried to rally his team during the intermission.

"We came out at the start of the game a little shell-shocked," Policky said. "It was 14-0 before we blinked.

"We got it going on offense in the second half. We felt like if we could have had one more chance [after making it 55-49] that we could have won."



Two of the five local high school football teams qualified for the CIF playoffs. Both will be on the road Friday for first-round contests after the CIF office unveiled the playoff matchups Sunday. St. Francis (8-2) will face Paramount (5-5) and Crescenta Valley (6-4) will take on fourth-seeded La Mirada (6-4).

The Golden Knights received an at-large berth after finishing third in the Mission League. The Falcons tied for third in the Pacific League, but will be the league's No. 4 team as a result of a coin flip.

"We went in hoping we'd get a decent draw and we got Paramount," St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said. "We were looking at their schedule and their record and they started out going 1-4, but something clicked and they finished 4-1 in a league that has Dominguez, Downey and Gahr.

"They got the No. 1 [out of league] because of a coin flip and we have our hands full because they run the ball well and they throw a lot of play-action plays."

Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said the Falcons are gearing up for La Mirada, which shared the Suburban League championship.

"They have a huge team," Schilling said. "I like our chances.

"If we can win, then we [might] get a rematch with [Pacific League rival] Arcadia in the second round."

Crescenta Valley suffered a 31-7 loss against Arcadia on Friday.



Justin Watson didn't begin playing football until his junior year at Marshall Fundamental in Pasadena. Watson, who was the guest speaker at Tuesday's meeting, said he couldn't have fathomed a career that would take him to San Diego State and then to the St. Louis Rams, where he helped the Rams win the Super Bowl in 1999 as a running back.

"You have aspirations growing up to someday play professional sports," Watson said. "I played a couple of years at Fundamental and I learned to maximize my potential and ability."

Watson, 36, was recruited by Washington and San Diego State. He received a scholarship to San Diego State and played under Coach Ted Tollner.

"When I got to camp, you found out that you do nothing but breathe, eat and sleep football," Watson said. "I suffered some injuries throughout and I didn't have the college career that I would have liked.

"One day, I was in Tollner's office and he had former San Diego Chargers General Manager Bobby Beathard on the phone and he said he'd like me to come to their camp as a free agent. I started in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and [San Diego quarterback] Ryan Leaf ran a play and I missed an assignment. They took me out of the game. I wasn't paying attention [to the play] and it cost me."

Watson then went to the World League for a brief stint before returning to the NFL when St. Louis developed interest. He arrived at camp and was the eighth running back on a depth chart that included future NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.

"We were able to build a championship team and everybody accepted their roles," Watson said. "I was the No. 2 guy behind Faulk and we won the Super Bowl.

"After the game, [then-St. Louis Coach Dick Vermeil] said to me that we couldn't have done it without you."

Watson finished with 428 yards rushing in 102 carries and four touchdowns with the Rams between 1999-2001. He established a Studio Physique Athletic Club in 2004 in the San Gabriel Valley.

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