Hoover High football begins Matt Andersen-era with romp

GLENDALE — For one magical evening, there couldn’t have been a better debut than the one new Hoover High football Coach Matt Andersen enjoyed Friday.

Andersen’s Tornadoes quickly sent the visiting Blair Vikings toward the basement with a spectacular 65-0 nonleague victory in the zero week opener for both teams at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

PHOTOS: Hoover vs. Blair football

The triumph was the largest for the Tornadoes in more than a decade and eclipsed the team’s 46-0 victory last year versus Blair, as Hoover won its second straight season-opener.

Previously, Hoover’s 48-21 victory over Mark Keppel on Sept. 26, 2002 stood as the high mark for the most points scored by the Tornadoes in any game since at least 2001.

“This is a great way to start it, but it’s also just one game,” said Andersen, who joined his coaches near the scoreboard for a photo immediately following the contest. “You have to give a lot of credit to the defense and coordinator Greg Holsworth, who had a great plan. Our 3-4 defense really did well tonight.”

The game was basically over by halftime, as the second half was mutually agreed to be conducted with a running clock as the Tornadoes led, 34-0, going into the break.

While the offense certainly put up points, it was an aggressive and opportunistic defense that dominated in picking off three passes (four overall in the game) and forcing a couple of turnover on downs, while also giving the offense amazing field position.

Hoover’s Johnny Johnson, Aram Grigoryan and Pierre Dimidjian (two interceptions) set up three scores off interceptions with Dimidjian’s pick leading to a four-yard touchdown run from quarterback Se Jun Kim with 11 minutes left in the second quarter as the Tornadoes led, 28-0.

Previously, Kim (three for five for 50 yards along with five carries for 51 yards) showed off his throwing prowess with a perfectly-lofted 25-yard fade to receiver Ryan Williams for a touchdown set up on an interception by Grigoryan, which put the ball at Blair’s 25.

“Coach told us to be aggressive and to go after the ball and we did that,” Grigoryan said. “The guys up front put pressure all game and we took advantage.”

The half’s first interception came from Johnson in the first quarter and translated into a one-yard plunge from Kim on a fourth and goal with 6:55 left that put Hoover ahead, 14-0.

The contest began disastrously enough for Blair.

The Vikings, who participated with only 20 players, attempted a fake punt on their first possession of the game on a fourth and 21 from their nine and had a potential first-down pass dropped at the 30.

With the ball only nine yards away from the end zone, Hoover punched in a score on the first of two rushing touchdowns for Kenneth Tranquena (six carries for 62 yards and three total touchdowns), who also punched in a 24-yard score off tackle right before the half that gave the home team a 34-0 advantage.

As for the second half, there was no advantage for Blair, which surrendered two safeties on bad snaps from center and allowed four more touchdowns.

One of those touchdowns came immediately after a safety, as Tranquena turned in his final score on a 60-yard free-kick return for a touchdown with 7:29 remaining in the third to give Hoover a 50-0 lead.

Running back Earl Rivera (five carries for 89 yards) also turned in scores of three and 38 yards, which accounted for two touchdowns, while Vaughn Parawan scored on a 15-yard carry to finalize the scoring.

“We expected to win today. We believed that once we took the field, we were going to win and we did,” Kim said. “It felt great to be a part of this and we want to keep this going.”

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