Vaqs set on winning mark

With a victory in either of its final two games, the Glendale Community College football team can record a winning season for the first time since 2007.

For the Vaqueros to achieve a winning mark, they must do so going through the teeth of their schedule.

Glendale will start its journey when it meets host Santa Barbara in a Pacific Conference American Division game at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Should Glendale (5-3, 3-2 in the division) lose to Santa Barbara (6-2, 3-2), it would have one last opportunity against host L.A. Pierce on Nov. 16 to pick up a winning record for the first time since it went 6-4, 5-2 in the Western State Conference South Division.

Regardless of the different scenarios, Glendale sixth-year Coach John Rome isn't looking too far ahead.

“A lot of things are going very well for us right now,” Rome said. “We haven't been in this position in some time and I'm certainly appreciative and thankful to see where we are right now.

“We keep trying to get better each practice and game. It's refreshing to see because you have players coming up to you saying they want to play the game now.”

Glendale, which went a combined 4-26 the previous three seasons, Santa Barbara and Antelope Valley are tied for third in the division. The Vaqueros enter Saturday's contest having won three games in a row, including a 28-11 home division victory against L.A. Valley on Nov. 2. Santa Barbara, which has lost two straight contests, suffered a 38-17 defeat against Santa Monica, which shares first place with Pierce.

Glendale will make the 100-mile trip, its longest of the season, looking to knock off Santa Barbara.

“Santa Barbara is a very good defensive team and they have a lot of sophomores who bring experience,” Rome said. “They are a huge team.

“They like to run a spread offense and we will do our best to try to neutralize it. We are playing very good defense right now and it's a pleasure to see that and get the ball in good field position.”

Santa Barbara has yielded 45.5 points per game over its last two games. Glendale's improved offense, led by freshman quarterback Sean Murphy, will look to continue making things difficult for Santa Barbara.

Murphy threw three touchdown passes, all in the first half, against Valley. Murphy threw a pair of touchdowns to Isaiah Bernard and one to Marquise McGuire. Glendale's defense scored the other touchdown when Noche Nwofer recorded a sack and caused a fumble. Teammate Marcus Tappan scooped up the ball and returned it 28 yards for a score.

On the season, Murphy has completed 164 of 302 passes for 1,911 yards and 19 touchdowns to help rejuvenate Glendale's offense.

Santa Barbara reserve quarterback Josh Martin completed 15 of 31 passes for 277 yards against Santa Monica. He tossed one touchdown and had three interceptions.

Santa Barbara beat Glendale, 36-18, last season.

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