Robinson also deflected a pair of passes in the first half that turned into interceptions deep in Vaquero territory, twice denying Riverside prime scoring opportunities in this juco football matchup. And Glendale also took advantage of a muffed punt, with Joey Orlandini recovering the loose ball at the Tiger 10 yard line to set up the field goal. Then, after Riverside scored its only touchdown of the night, Glendale's Josh Harmon recovered a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff to help the Vaqueros preserve the win.
Otherwise, it was largely a case of Glendale invoking Muhammad Ali's famous Rope-A-Dope strategy. The Vaqueros ended up with just 218 yards of total offense on 67 plays, just 12 first downs and punted the ball away 10 times. But Glendale also had just one turnover, and that came on a deep pass that resulted in Riverside taking over at its 5 yard line. Two other times, Hernandez pinned Riverside inside its own 10 with his punts.
In a scoreless first half, Riverside had the two best scoring opportunities, only to come away empty after interceptions both times. The Tigers drove to the Glendale 7 on their second possession of the night, but Kalii Robinson deflected a Nathan Lamonica pass into the hands of Max Williams to thwart that opportunity. And in the second quarter, Riverside again drove into Vaquero territory only to have K. Robinson again deflect a Lamonica pass, this time into the hands of Rene Howard. Riverside also drove as far as the Glendale 14 on another possession, but came away empty when Chase Griswold missed a 32-yard field goal.
The third quarter saw the key two-play sequence of the game occur with about nine minutes left. First, Lamonica threw a pass to Tommy Curry near the left sideline, and the 6-1 sophomore receiver broke free for an apparent 63-yard touchdown. However, the play was negated by a block in the back penalty near midfield, far from the run. Then on the next play, Jelani Cleghorne took the handoff and ran towards the right side of the line, but lost the ball as he made contact with the defense. K. Williams scooped up the loose ball at the 42 and ran down the left sideline, returning the fumble 42 yards for a touchdown and the game's first points.
Neither team scored again the rest of the quarter, though Glendale finally drove into Riverside territory, reaching the Tiger 12, only to see Hernandez' 29-yard field goal attempt sail wide.
Early in the fourth quarter, Glendale faced a 4th and 22 from its own 41, and Hernandez came on to punt. His kick went towards return man James Calhoun, who stood near his own 15. But Calhoun mishandled the punt for a muff, and Glendale's Orlandini recovered the fumble at the Riverside 10. The Vaquero offense could get no closer - it actually lost a few yards on its three plays - but Hernandez then came on and kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 9:23 left.
Riverside drove to the Glendale 19 on its next drive, but Glendale's Jesse Halberstadt sacked Lamonica on 3rd down back to the 28, forcing Riverside to settle for a 45-yard field goal attempt. Griswold's kick was wide right, leaving the score 10-0 with 7:03 left.
After another Glendale punt - the Vaqueros' 9th punt of the night - Riverside got the ball back one more time at its own 30. This time Lamonica and the Tigers finally put together a scoring drive, helped by a 32-yard pass to Robert Marshall, and scored a touchdown to make it 10-7. Curry hauled in a Lamonica pass in the right corner of the end zone with 2:16 left in the game to bring Riverside within a field goal.
On the ensuing kickoff, Riverside tried a pooch kick, booting the ball just beyond the Glendale "hands" team. But Josh Harmon rushed back and recovered the ball at the Vaquero 30. As the Vaqueros tried to run out the clock, Riverside used its timeouts and at one point Glendale faced a 3rd and 2 from the 38. But Willie Youngblood picked up the first down, breaking a pair of tackles to get 7 yards to the 45. The Vaqueros eventually had to punt the ball away one 10th and final time, but by the time Riverside got the ball back there were just 7 seconds left. Two incomplete passes later, the game was over and Glendale had its third straight victory.
Jorge Chaidez led all rushers, gaining 99 yards on 23 carries for the Vaqueros. Youngblood added 29 yards on 14 carries, including the all-important first down late in the game. Steve Miller was 7 for 23 passing for 90 yards. And Brian Williams led Vaquero receivers with 2 catches for 24 yards. Yet, though the Glendale offense was underwhelming in its productivity, at least it avoided costly mistakes.
For Riverside, Lamonica finished 9 for 27 passing for 150 yards and a touchdown, but he also had 3 interceptions. Cleghorne had a team-best 37 yards rushing on 11 carries, but also had the costly fumble. And Curry had a very strong game with 6 catches for 116 yards and a TD, but also had the other touchdown called back (not through any fault of his, of course) in the sequence that ultimately decided the game.
The win improves Glendale's record to 3-0 on the season, and the Vaqueros travel to Orange Coast College next week for a 6 pm meeting with the Pirates. Riverside, meanwhile, drops to 1-2 and will host Pasadena next Saturday, also at 6 pm.
Glendale Vaqueros 10
Riverside Tigers 7
Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 6 pm - Sartoris Field - Glendale
G - K.Robinson 42 yd fumble return (Hernandez kick) 8:57 (7-0)
G - FG Hernandez 30 yds 9:23 (10-0)
R - Curry 10 yd pass from Lamonica (Dobson kick) 2:16 (10-7)
First Downs: Glendale 12 (6 rush, 4 pass, 2 penalty), Riverside 13 (5 rush, 7 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Glendale 44-128, Riverside 37-94
Passing Yds: Glendale 90, Riverside 187
Comp-Att-Int: Glendale 7-23-1, Riverside 12-33-3
Return Yds: Glendale 71, Riverside 53
Sacks-Yds: Glendale 1-9, Riverside 1-6
Fumbles-Lost: Glendale 0-0, Riverside 2-2
Penalties-Yds: Glendale 13-123, Riverside 8-87
Time of Possession: Glendale 33:47, Riverside 26:13
Rushing: Glendale 25-Chaidez 23-99, 33-Youngblood 14-29, 20-Dawkins 4-10, 17-S.Miller 3-(-10); Riverside 27-Cleghorne 11-37, 3-Foster 15-31, 6-Lamonica 6-19, 8-White 1-5, 7-Mitchell 2-2, 2-Calhoun 2-0
Passing: Glendale 17-S.Miller 7-23-1-90; Riverside 6-Lamonica 9-27-3-150, 1TD; 7-Mitchell 3-4-0-37; 2-Calhoun 0-2-0-0
Receiving: Glendale 2-B.Williams 2-24, 15-Batista 1-41, 32-Bryant 1-14, 25-Chaidez 1-8, 6-Clayton 1-5, 20-Dawkins 1-(-2); Riverside 19-Curry 6-116, 5-Stip 2-16, 18-Marshall 1-32, 2-Calhoun 1-15, 17-Salgado 1-14, 27-Cleghorne 1-(-6)
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Glendale 44-Harmon 1-12, 22-Howard 1-7, 14-M.Williams 1-4; Riverside 2-Calhoun 1-0
Sacks-Yds: Glendale 40-Halberstadt 1-9; Riverside 45-Lopez 1-6
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: Glendale 9-K.Robinson 1-42, 46-Orlandini 1-0; Riverside none
Punters: Glendale 27-Hernandez 10-35.2 avg; Riverside 43-Alvarez 6-40.3 avg
Kick Returns: Glendale 7-D.Robinson 1-15; Riverside 9-Bryant 1-18, 2-Calhoun 1-13, 17-Salgado 1-2
Punt Returns: Glendale 18-Reyes 4-(-9); Riverside 2-Calhound 4-20
Missed FG: Glendale 27-Hernandez 29 yds (wide right); Riverside 66-Griswold 32 yds (short), 45 yds (wide right)
Notes: Glendale improves to 3-0 while Riverside falls to 1-2. K.Robinson deflected passes that ended up as interceptions by M.Williams and Howard in the 1st half. The key sequence came in the 3rd quarter when a penalty wiped out a 63-yard touchdown pass to Curry, and on the next play Cleghorne fumbled; K.Robinson picked up the ball and returned it for the TD. Glendale's FG came three plays after Calhoun muffed a punt and Orlandini recovered at the Riverside 10. Riverside tried a pooch kick after the TD but Harmon recovered for Glendale at the 30. Glendale then ran out all but the last 7 seconds, leaving Riverside too little time to try to tie or take the lead at the end of the game.