In 1967, the Pasadena City College football team defeated Glendale College, 24-7. There was nothing particularly unusual about the game. No fights, no crowd riots, no charges from the losers that the winners were pouring it on.
The only thing odd about the whole event is what transpired between the teams the following season and for 18 seasons after that.
For almost two decades, the two schools--located about 15 miles apart--were like neighbors who never spoke.
"The scheduling just never worked out," Pasadena Coach Bill Sandstrom said. "A lot of things figured into it."
Those things included previous contractual commitments and scheduling by state committee. Other factors were more apparent to the average fan.
"In the late '60s, football at this school kind of dropped off," Glendale Coach Jim Sartoris said. "Before kids were allowed to transfer between districts, we just didn't have the players and we couldn't compete."
Times have changed.
This season Glendale has 96 players. The Vaqueros (2-0) are ranked 11th in the nation, fourth in the state and second in the Southland by a variety of junior college polls. On Saturday night, they will travel to Pasadena to play the Lancers for the first time in 19 years.
"Pasadena has a good team and we can't afford to look past them," said Sartoris, whose team opens conference play next week against Santa Monica. "It's been a long time since we played them. It's going to be fun."
For a number of reasons.
Sandstrom, who used to be head coach at Glendale, hired Sartoris as an assistant in 1967 before leaving for Pasadena the following season.
Saturday night's game will be the first time Sartoris will coach against his former mentor.
"He gave me my first job and he taught me a lot about coaching," Sartoris said. "I just hope he doesn't teach me too much more on Saturday."
Pasadena, with a record of 22-11-1, leads the series that began in 1928. But Glendale could make a real dent in that mark if the series continues beyond next season's game at Glendale.
"There was a day a long time ago when Pasadena dominated Glendale," Sandstrom said. "But that's not the case anymore."
The Vaqueros have benefited in recent years from the "18-year-old rule," which overturned restrictions that forced students to attend the community college in the district where their parents lived. The new rule, adopted in 1980, allows students 18 and over to play at any community college. The rule, coupled with cancellation of several community college football programs, has helped Glendale attract better athletes from all parts of Southern California.
This is Sartoris' 15th season as head coach at Glendale. He has a career record of 87-57-1 and his teams have won five Western State Conference titles. Last season the Vaqueros were 10-1, won the conference and beat Taft in the Potato Bowl, 30-24.
This season's Glendale team figures to be among the school's best ever despite the loss of All-American linebacker Bill Stokes and offensive lineman Robert Dos Remedios, tight end Dan Waters and kicker Ken Arlt.
The Vaqueros, averaging 371 yards and 22 points a game, are led on offense by a trio of talented tailbacks who have alternated during the first two games. Sophomore Kevin Sterling and freshmen Gene Harlin and Donnel Pumphrey give the team three breakaway threats.
"It's better if we have three kids who are fresh rather than just one guy who does all the work," Sartoris said. "All want to carry the ball, but they've been good about having to split time. As long as we're successful, we'll continue to alternate them."
The 6-0, 205-pound Sterling rushed for 827 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. This season he has 14 carries for 59 yards.
"Kevin started every game for us last year," Sartoris said. "We knew some of the young guys were talented, but we didn't know how they would adjust to the college game, so we were glad to have Kevin back. He can do some things the other kids can't because of his experience."
Harlin (5-9 1/2, 170) has 19 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown--a 59-yard run that broke open last week's 30-18 victory over Valley.
"I'm a scatback," said Harlin, who did not attend school last season after graduating from Marshall High in 1985. "The coaches at Glendale called me and asked me if I wanted to play here this season. I felt kind of rusty at first, but I'm getting more and more comfortable."
Pumphrey (5-7, 170) was a fullback at Dorsey High. This season he has 16 carries for 86 yards running from the I-back position.
"He's kind of a cross between the other two tailbacks," Sartoris said. "He's a slashing type of runner who's never played tailback before. He has a lot of potential."
Quarterback Rob Huffman, a 6-3, 200-pound sophomore from Verdugo Hills, is off to a good start after passing for 1,682 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Huffman has completed 19 of 36 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns this season.