Hoover football stuns Pasadena, 37-8

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — It snapped a 17-game Pacific League losing streak.

It defeated Pasadena for the first time since 1986.

It upended a team in league other than Glendale High for the first time since 1994.

The Hoover High football team did it all against Pasadena on Friday.

The Tornadoes notched a “huge,” if not historic, win against the Bulldogs, upsetting Pasadena with a 37-8 victory at Moyse Field.

“This feels amazing,” said Hoover running back Jesse Pina, who led the Tornadoes with 138 yards rushing and one touchdown in 20 carries.

Pina, a senior, has experienced the Tornadoes' program's frustrating days.

He joined Hoover's varsity squad as a sophomore and did not enjoy his first league win until Friday.

Pina soaked in the joy of the win with plenty of teammates, who provided impressive performances against a Bulldogs squad that was missing starter and University of Arizona-bound quarterback Brandon Cox, who was out with a broken foot.

Pina started the scoring with a nine-yard run in the first quarter, capitalizing on one of Pasadena's four turnovers in the opening seven minutes.

Hoover started three possessions in the first quarter inside the Bulldogs' 40.

Jose Abrina added a score to give Hoover a 15-0 lead with four minutes to play in the quarter. Abrina had 50 yards in five carries, playing a crucial role in the Tornadoes' dominating running back. Hoover averaged five yards per carry, as it ran for 267 yards, with back-up quarterback Se Jun Kim and substitute Colin Roach also scoring rushing touchdowns.

“We were just playing as a team,” Abrina said. “We all just pound the ball down the field. That's our offense.”

Starting quarterback Brendon Kerr took advantage of Pasadena's eight-man box, hitting Patrick Kesachekian with a 16-yard touchdown to give Hoover a 23-0 lead at the half.

“All of our players were big,” Kerr said. “When one player came out, another one stepped up.”

Pasadena Coach Randy Horton, who confirmed the year of his program’s last loss to Hoover, wished he could say the same.

His team had six turnovers, including four fumbles, and had as many first downs (four) as turnovers in the opening half. The Bulldogs (1-6, 1-3 in league) had 153 total yards, with Elijah Trejo's six-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown preventing the Bulldogs from being shut out.

“We didn't come out ready to play,” said Horton, whose team also committed 12 penalties for 76 yards. “We just didn't really want to play. It's disheartening to see your team play the way they did.

“It's focus that we lacked. It's frustrating, but give Hoover credit, they took advantage of all of our mistakes.”

Hoover (3-4, 1-3) kept Pasadena's offense in check by limiting the Bulldogs' big plays, as Pasadena had just three plays of at least 10 yards.

“All week, we emphasized setting the edge and not letting them get to the outside,” said Tornadoes Coach Andrew Policky, whose program last defeated a league team other than Glendale in 1994, when it upset Crescenta Valley.

“We swarmed on defense. It bounced our way tonight.”

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World