Santa Monica Takes Down Glendale

Glendale entered the game unbeaten and ranked first in the American Division's Pacific Conference, but host Santa Monica took advantage of some Vaquero mistakes and made most of the big plays in the second half to earn a 48-31 victory Saturday at Corsair field.

Santa Monica (2-2, 2-0) held a modest 21-17 lead at the half, but an interception 90 seconds into the third quarter set up one touchdown and a blocked punt in the last minute of the quarter set up another for the Corsairs. Elliott Valdez scored following the blocked punt and also had two other touchdown runs in the second half as Santa Monica gained the win and a share of first place in the Pacific Division.

Glendale (4-1, 1-1) opened the scoring with a 37-yard field goal by Oscar Reynoso. Sanat Monica answered with a 9-play drive, taking a 7-3 lead on a 1-yard run by Dru Reaves, and pushed its lead to 14-3 when starting quarterback Jake Dashnow connected with Khamren Davenport for a 21-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter.

Glendale put together a 10-play, 86-yard drive to close the gap, with 270-pound defensive lineman/short-yardage back Pauli Finau scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 14-10. Then after a short Santa Monica punt, Glendale drove for another touchdown with Finau against powering the ball in for the final yard. That gave the Vaqueros a 17-14 lead with 11:39 left in the first half.

Santa Monica inserted Christian Smith into the lineup at quarterback for its next drive, and Smith led the Corsairs down he field for another score. His 18-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Jones with 7:17 left in the second quarter gave Santa Monica a 21-17 lead, which is where things stood at the half.

Glendale got the ball to begin the second half, but Santa Monica got it back just 90 seconds later when Kevin Johnson intercepted an Andre Nunez pass and returned it to the Vaquero 44. Six plays later, Roger Jones scored on an 18-yard run to push the Corsair lead to 28-17 just 3:42 into the second half.

Still, Glendale battled back with a grinding 15-play, 71-yard drive that seemed likely to swing the momentum back towards the Vaqueros. Once again, Finau came on to carry the ball the final yard, scoring his third touchdown of the game on another 1-yard run to cap the drive with 5:15 left in the third quarter, making it 28-24.

But Santa Monica anwered right back, putting together a much quicker, 5-play drive, to restore its double-digit lead. Valdez scored on a 7-yard run with 3:26 left in the third quarter to make it 34-24. And the Corsair defense dug in, forcing Glendale into a punting situation near midfield with just under a minute to go in the third quarter.

On that punt play, however, punter John Nunez first fumbled the ball and then, when he retrieved it, kicked the ball off-balance and low, into the line. It was blocked, of course, and Santa Monica recovered at the Vaquero 7. On the very next play, Valdez scored on another 7-yard run to give Santa Monica a 41-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Glendale inserted back-up quarterback Sean Murphy into the game in the fourth quarter, and he led the Vaqueros to their final touchdown. Or at least he threw the ball to Robert Jones along the right sideline. The speedy back burst down the line, then hurdled over a would-be tackler at around the 20 yard-line and sped into the end zone for the most spectacular play of the game and a 46-yard touchdown play that made it a 10-point game with 8:52 left on the clock.

Glendale got the ball back twice more after that, but was unable to put together another scoring threat. Santa Monica drove to the Glendale 19 before turning the ball over on downs with 4:19 left, but the Vaqueros lost 10 yards on three plays before having to punt the ball away. Then they got the ball back again with 2:17 left, but that came after an Edward Stuart punt that was downed at the Glendale 3 yard-line.  Three incomplete passes made it 4th and 10 from the 3. Glendale had no choice but to go for the first down, but the fourth-down play gained only a yard, turning the ball over on downs and basically clinching the win for Santa Monica. Valdez scored his third touchdown on the next play, closing out the game's scoring and ending any doubt.

For Santa  Monica, Dashnaw completed 12 of 16 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown, and Smith was 10-for-12 for 136 yards and a score. Together they completed a tidy 22 of 28 passes (.786) for 291 yards and no interceptions. Smith also rushed for 56 yards on 5 carries. Valdez had 43 yards on 15 carries and 3 touchdowns.

For Glendale, Andre Nunez was 10-for-19 passing for 96 yards and Murphy was 10-for-17 for 86 yards and a touchdown. Cory Watkins led all rushers with 80 yards on 13 carries, and Finau scored 3 touchdowns on short-yardage runs. Jones led all receivers with 5 catches for 73 yards, and he also rushed 7 times for 33 yards.

The win means Santa Monica and Santa Barbara are tied atop the Pacific Conference standings with 2-0 conference records. The Corsairs improve to 2-2 overall which includes a forfeit of what had been a season-opening win against Desert.

Santa Monica Corsairs  48
Glendale Vaqueros  31

Saturday, October 3, 2014 - 1 pm - Corsair Field, Santa Monica
American Division - Pacific Conference

1st Quarter:  
G - FG Reynoso 37 yds 12:07 (0-3)
SM - Reaves 1 yd run (Stuart kick) 6:18 (7-3)
SM - Davenport 21 yd pass from Dashnaw (Stuart kick) 6:18 (14-3)
G - Finau 1 yd run (Reynoso kick) 2:06 (14-10)

2nd Quarter:
G - Finau 1 yd run (Reynoso kick) 11:39 (14-17)
SM - K.Jones 18 yd pass from Chr.Smith (Stuart kick) 7:17 (21-17)

3rd Quarter:   
SM - R.Jones 18 yd run (Stuart kick) 11:18 (28-17)
G - Finau 1 yd run (Reynoso kick) 5:15 (28-24)
SM - Valdez 7 yd run (kick wide right) 3:26 (34-24)
SM - Valdez 7 yd run (Stuart kick) 0:41.1 (41-24)

4th Quarter:  
G - R.Jones 46 yd pass from Murphy (Reynoso kick) 8:52 (41-31)
SM - Valdez 4 yd run (Stuart kick) 2:12 (48-31)

Team Statistics:

First Downs: Santa Monica 26 (10 rush, 12 pass, 4 penalty), Glendale 19 (10 rush, 7 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:   Santa Monica 45-126, Glendale 48-126
Passing Yds: Santa Monica 291, Glendale 182
Comp-Att-Int: Santa Monica 22-28-0, Glendale 20-36-2
Return Yds: Santa Monica 139, Glendale 218
Sacks-Yds: Santa Monica 6-37, Glendale 4-43
Fumbles-Lost: Santa Monica 3-1, Glendale 1-0
Penalties-Yds: Santa Monica 14-115, Glendale 8-69
Time of Possession: Santa Monica 29:11, Glendale 30:49

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: SM 8-Chr.Smith 5-56, 40-Valdez 15-43, 20-R.Jones 11-34, 9-Meneses 3-14, 23-Reaves 3-1, 25-Greene 1-(-5), 12-Dashnaw 6-(-16), team 1-(-1); G 3-Watkins 13-80, 6-R.Jones 7-33, 14-Lee 3-17, 90-Finau 7-15, 7-Jarvis 2-10, 12-Murphy 2-(-3), 9-A.Nunez 13-(-25), team 1-(-1)
Passing: SM 12-Dashnaw 12-16-0-155, 1 TD; 8-Chr.Smith 10-12-0-136, 1 TD; G 9-A.Nunez 10-19-2-96; 12-Murphy 10-17-0-86, 1 TD
Receiving: SM 18-Wilson 4-21, 11-K.Jones 3-57, 6-Hall 3-40, 81-Kirven 3-23, 9-Meneses 2-29, 15-Young 2-14, 7-Bostick 1-35, 40-Valdez 1-33, 4-Davenport 1-21, 20-R.Jones 1-14, 25-Greene 1-4; G 6-R.Jones 5-73, 81-Mays 4-39, 8-Fennessy 3-31, 4-Clay 3-21, 2-Bernard 2-16, 3-Watkins 2-2
Interceptions-Ret Yds: SM 21-Hasty 1-44, 10-K.Johnson 1-5; G none
Fum Rec-Ret Yds: SM none; G 64-Ortiz 1-0
Sacks-Yds: SM 33-Carter 2-16, 45-A.Gutierrez 1-6, 46-T.Gutierrez 1-5, 71-Tart 1-5, 94-A.Jackson 1-5; G 44-Hurd 1-13, 58-D.Smith 1-13, 28-Lowery-Sanders 1-10, 5-Bell 1-7
Punters: SM 73-Stuart 5-38.4 avg; G 35-J.Nunez 4-37.5 + 1 blk
Kick Returns: SM 1-Lowe 3-51, 6-Hall 1-18, 20-R.Jones 1-16; G 25-Farmer 6-126, 14-Lee 1-52, 6-R.Jones 1-16
Punt Returns: SM 2-Madden 2-5; G 25-Farmer 2-24, 11-Izquierdo 1-0
Missed FG: none

Notes: Santa Monica entered ranked #7 in American Division and improves to 2-2 (includes a forfeit loss) overall and 2-0 conference; Glendale entered ranked #2 in American and falls to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in conference. Dashnaw started at QB for SMC; Smith entered in the 2nd quarter and led SMC's 3rd TD drive and played most of the second half. Nunez started at QB for GCC; Murphy entered in the 4th quarter. R.Jones' TD came after Johnson's interception. On the blocked punt J.Nunez fumbled the snap and kicked the ball low into the line; Valdez' TD came on the next play. Glendale faced a 4th and 10 from its own 3 with 2:17 left and had to go for it but turned the ball over on downs after a 1-yard gain; Valdez' 3rd TD came on the next play. Finau is a 270-lb DL from Dominguez HS but carried the ball on short-yardage situations and scored 3 TDs for Glendale.

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