GLENDALE — It’s now four consecutive wins against Hoover High for a Glendale football team that has turned a rivalry between two programs in the same city into a one-sided domination.
For the 11th time since 2000, the Nitros rang the “Victory Bell,” the annual trophy awarded to the winner of the Glendale-Hoover game, and celebrated with their teammates following a 49-6 Nitros victory on Friday at Moyse Field in the Pacific League and regular season finale for both teams.
“We wanted to keep the bell,” said Glendale quarterback Kevin Felix, a senior who helped his team notch a 44-13 win last year. “Everything is about this game.”
In the past three years, Michael Davis — now at BYU — and quarterback Alex Yoon shined in the big game, allowing the Nitros the end their season with a victory.
This time, Felix, Daniel Jung, Luis Ruiz and Martin Marin, among others, helped send the Tornadoes into the offseason with another bitter loss.
It was a Hoover loss that seemed inevitable by halftime. Glendale had a 42-6 lead en route to the blowout win, which marked the 10th time since 2000 that the Nitros defeated the Tornadoes by double figures, including lopsided wins in 2002 (31-0), 2008 (55-7) and 2010 (54-19).
Jung and Ruiz each had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the opening half and Marin had two receiving touchdowns, including an 82-yard touchdown reception on a third-and-19 play. All three players rested for much of the second half and allowed their teammates to get carries, including Nicolas Lopez, who had a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Jung finished with 173 rushing yards in 19 carries, Ruiz had 140 yards on the ground in 12 carries and Marin caught four passes for 130 yards. Felix was seven of 11 for 136 yards. Most of their yards came in the first half, when the Nitros had 379 yards of total offense to Hoover’s 89.
“We came out and we executed,” said Glendale Coach John Tuttle, whose team owns a 50-33-2 advantage in the rivalry, which began in 1930, including wins in 19 of the 24 contests since 1990.
“The kids definitely had confidence going against Hoover.”
Jung, who played with various injuries throughout the season, helped Glendale get to an early and comfortable advantage.
Jung, who had an impressive debut against Hoover a year ago, when he scored three total touchdowns, took the handoff on each of his team’s five plays in its opening drive, culminating the drive with a one-yard scoring run.
“Our linemen work so hard,” Jung said. “We just try to hit the hole hard.”
The first drive was a glimpse of how hard it would be for the Tornadoes to stop the Nitros, as Glendale (4-6, 2-5 in league) went on to add 28 points in just the second quarter.
The only time Hoover (2-8. 0-7) seemed to threaten Glendale was when Andres Perez hauled in a flea-flicker pass from James Ruvalcaba for a 71-yard score that cut the Nitros’ lead to 21-6 with nine minutes left in the second quarter. Glendale was not fazed, as it scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points on a total of six plays.
“We start games so slow,” Hoover Coach Matt Andersen said. “We dig ourselves in a hole.
“We could compete against that team, we just didn’t.”
Andersen also added that he will give his team a week off before begin offseason workouts to prepare for next year.
Tuttle will welcome back a few of his stars from this year’s team, including Jung and Ruiz — who’ll both be seniors — in the Nitros’ quest for a successful season and a fifth consecutive win in the rivalry against Hoover.