Compton Tames Glendale

Thomas Bonam scored on a 72-yard run early in the fourth quarter, and the defense, led by Ashlee Palmer, made it stand up as the winning score for Compton (1-2) in a 14-7 win over host Glendale (1-2) at Sartoris Field Saturday night. 

Bonam's score came three plays after Glendale had taken its only lead of the night after an 8-minute drive, and put Compton ahead for good.  And Palmer had 2 of Compton's 4 interceptions on the night as the Tartars forced 5 turnovers and allowed the Vaqueros only 9 first downs in the game.

The defenses dominated the game, but it was the Compton defense that really took control of things.  Aside from Glendale's one touchdown drive, the home team managed just 4 first downs and 90 yards of offense.  And after the touchdown, Glendale's final four possessions of the night ended with 3 interceptions and a safety.

The first quarter was dominated by the defenses as the teams combined for 6 punts.  The most important offensive play of the quarter was a 45-yard run by Compton's Thomas Perez, which got the Tartars to the Glendale 23-yard line.  That drive fizzled four plays later when Glendale's Frank Yee sacked Compton QB Eric Willcockson for a 9-yard loss on fourth down, but with the teams' lack of offense Compton held favorable field position for the rest of the quarter.

Finally, on Glendale's fifth possession of the game, the Vaqueros managed to generate a couple of first downs and get the ball near midfield.  But that success was short-lived as the drive stopped at the Glendale 47.  Facing 4th and 1, the Vaqueros lined up to punt.  But the snap sailed high over punter Michael Barrett's head.  Barrett tracked down the ball, but was tackled at his own 15 before he could get a kick away.

That break proved to be what the Tartars needed to take the lead.  After Shane Jackson entered the game at QB, he tossed a 15-yard pass to Devin Stearns to get a 1st-and-goal for Compton.  Then, three plays later, he got the Tartars on the board with a 5-yard TD pass to Timothy Simmons.  Glendale's Mitch Dolfuss blocked the extra point attempt, but Compton had a 6-0 lead.  And that would be the only scoring in the game until the fourth quarter.

In the third quarter, Compton put together a 7-minute drive but came away empty.  Following a fumble by Glendale's Samuel Ledford, which was recovered by Compton's Anthony Atkins at the Vaquero 41, the Tartars slowly marched deeper into Glendale territory.  Compton got as far as the 4, but came away empty when Willcockson was thrown for a 3-yard loss on a keeper on 3rd down and sacked by Jason Bonwell on 4th down.  That gave the Vaqueros the ball on their own 12-yard line.

What followed was Glendale's only successful drive of the night, a 14-play, 88-yard march that chewed up nearly 8 minutes off the clock.  Ledford got it started with runs of 13 and 8 yards, bouncing back nicely from his lost fumble.  A 15-yard penalty on Compton moved the Vaqs to the 43, and a 9-yard pass from Steve Martinez to Darion Donnelly moved them inside the Compton 40.  Then came a 16-yard run by Ledford to get inside the 20.  Gradually, the Vaqueros advanced into Compton territory, gaining 3 or 4 yards on most of their plays.  Finally, Martinez connected with Donnelly for a 9-yard TD play to put the home team on the board.  And when Paul Zuber made the extra point, Glendale held a 7-6 lead despite Compton having had the better of the play all night until the touchdown drive.

But if it took Glendale 8 minutes to score, Compton responded in a matter of seconds.  Just three plays later, Bonam took the handoff on a play that began at the Compton 28-yard line.  The speedy back found a hole and burst through it.  As he headed towards the goal line, he pulled away from Glendale defenders in pursuit, extending his margin of advantage seemingly with each step.  By the time he reached the goal line, he'd gone 72 yards and in just a few seconds put Compton back ahead for good.

Glendale still had several opportunities to respond, but the Tartar defense was too big, too athletic and too tough.  The next Vaquero possession ended after just 4 plays when Palmer grabbed his first interception and returned it to the Vaquero 30.  The Glendale defense managed to hold Compton out of the end zone, stopping Perez on 4th down, giving the Vaquero offense the ball on its own 10.  But on the very next play, the Compton rush overwhelmed Martinez, sacking him in the end zone for a safety.  Larry Hutchinson and Dante Walker got there first, and Brandon Johnson helped finish the play to extend Compton's lead to 14-7.

Even after 4 plays and a punt from the Compton offense, Glendale still had 2:02 left in which to drive for the tying or go-ahead score.  But those thoughts ended abruptly for the home team when Palmer snatched his second interception just two plays later.  After that, the Compton offense ran the clock down to 20 seconds left and forced Glendale to use all of its timeouts.  On fourth down, Compton punter Travon Helair booted the ball deep into Glendale territory.

On the punt return, Glendale return man Gerald Biggers came up with a huge play, giving the Vaqueros one more chance to tie the game.  Taking the kick and heading towards the left sideline, Biggers broke off a 27-yard return and got the ball to the Glendale 46-yard line.  But just 11 seconds remained.  After an incomplete pass on first down, the Vaqs had just one more play left.  Martinez threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone in a desperate attempt to tie the game, but Compton's Atkins came up with a deflected ball for the interception, ending the game and giving the Tartars the victory.

For Compton, Bonam led the way on offense with 128 yards on just 14 carries.  Perez added 96 yards on 19 carries as the Tartars totaled 202 yards on the ground.  Willcockson and Jackson split time at QB and combined for 69 yards passing.  Palmer, with his two fourth-quarter interceptions and Hutchinson, with 1-1/2 sacks, led the defense, which made things miserable for Glendale QB Martinez; he finished 6 of 21 for just 49 yards and 4 interceptions on the night.

For Glendale, Ledford rushed for 79 yards on 14 carries.  Donnelly led all receivers with 3 catches for 28 yards.  Yee led the defense with 2 of the Vaqueros' 4 QB sacks on the night.

With the win, Compton improves to 1-2 while Glendale falls to 1-2, including an 0-2 mark in their beautiful new stadium.

Individual Statistics:

Rushing:  G:  22-Ledford 14-79, 34-Rashad 12-39, 26-McCullough 1-7, 5-Martinez 4-(-1), team 1-(-32) C:  20-Bonam 14-128, 32-Perez 19-96, 10-Mann 2-8, 11-Tate 2-(-3), 5-Jackson 5-(-9), 19-Willcockson 4-(-18)

Passing: G:  5-Martinez 6-21-1-49, 1 TD C:  19-Willcockson 7-13-1-49; 5-Jackson 2-4-0-20, 1 TD

Receiving: G:  80-Donnelly 3-28, 83-Watson 2-21, 34-Rashad 1-0 C:  13-Stearns 2-25, 15-Brown 2-19, 7-Simmons 2-7, 9-Tolliver 1-9, 32-Perez 1-5, 20-Bonam 1-4

Int-Ret Yds: G:  20-Patterson 1-0 C:  1-Palmer 2-28, 8-Simpkins 1-0, 55-Atkins 1-0

Fum R-Ret Yds: G:  none     C:  55-Atkins 1-0

Sacks: G:  51-Yee 2, 33-Bonwell, 78-Bassard ½, 82-Ramirez ½ C:  25-Hutchinson  1½, 99-Walker ½

Punters: G:  40-Barrett 6-32.5 avg C:  3-Helair 7-30.7 avg

Kick Ret: G:  22-Ledford 1-17, 6-Leiphardt 1-6, 34-Rashad 1-10 C:  13-Stearns 1-17, 20-Bonam 1-10, 15-Brown 1-2

Punt Ret: G:  27-Biggers 1-27, 14-Serfozo 1-1 C:  15-Brown 2-10

Missed FG: none

Notes: Both teams are now 1-2.  Willcockson started at QB for Compton; he and Jackson split time beginning in the 2nd quarter.  Compton's 1st TD came after the bad punt snap (32-yd loss).  43-Dolfuss blocked the XPA for Glendale.  Hutchinson and Walker combined on the sack for the safety.  Atkins' interception came on a Hail Mary pass on the game's final play.

Team Statistics: Glendale Compton
First Downs 9 (7 run; 1 pass; 1 penalty) 10 (6 run; 3 pass; 1 penalty)
Rushes – Yards 32-92 46-202
Passing Yards 49 69
Comp - Att – Int 6-21-4 9-17-1
Return Yards 69 67
Sacks – Yards 4-26 2-15
Fumbles – Lost 1-1 4-0
Penalties – Yards 8-62 12-115
Time of Possession 25:35 34:25


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