Occidental College Coach Dale Widolff had to like to way the Tigers came back Saturday to push their game with Claremont-Mudd into overtime.
Trailing, 24-10, entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored two touchdowns.
Occidental eventually lost, 33-30, and Widolff didn't like that.
"Our game plan wasn't as good as we had expected," Widolff said. "And they played excellent defense. That's as good a defense as we're going to see in the regular season. I'm disappointed in our inability to run the ball."
But passing wasn't a problem. Tiger quarterback Mark Krajnik completed 10 of 13 passes, including six in a row, in Occidental's fourth-quarter fury. His favorite target, Rick Freeman, made seven catches for 122 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown.
Occidental (1-1-1) will play host to Menlo College at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Add Tigers: Nobody knew what to expect when Mike Sandlin was converted from defensive back to tailback to help shore up Occidental's running game this season.
"We were a little unsure of him," Widolff said.
But in three games, Sandlin has rushed 79 times for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Said Widolff: "He's a little better than we thought he'd be. We have stronger and faster guys but none with his running ability."
Gunning for Glendale: Who would have thought that Glendale College, winner of 20 games in the past two seasons, would be 0-3? Certainly not Coach Jim Sartoris.
"We're used to winning," he said. "With four championships in the last five years, you'd expect to win. But we haven't played well and don't deserve to win."
Sartoris said two things have caused the early season collapse: poor execution and a tough schedule.
Of his team's 31-28 loss to Pasadena on Saturday, Sartoris said: "By this time you hope you're executing a little better. We're self-destructive."
Against teams the caliber of Pasadena, Fullerton and El Camino, that can be costly.
"We've never had a schedule like this," Sartoris said. "And everybody is playing their best against us."
Which won't help when the Vaqueros play at Santa Monica at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a Western State Conference opener. Last season, Glendale beat the Corsairs, 48-0.
"They'll be remembering," Sartoris said.
High school games to watch: On Friday at 7:30 p.m., St. Francis visits Bishop Amat, Crescenta Valley visits South Pasadena, Glendale plays Burroughs at Glendale and Burbank visits La Canada. Also on Friday, Eagle Rock visits University at 3 p.m. and Marshall visits Poly at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, Hoover plays San Marino at Glendale at 7:30 p.m., Verdugo Hills plays host to North Hollywood at 2:30 p.m, Franklin plays Roosevelt at Wilson High at 8 p.m., Pater Noster plays host to St. Genevieve at 1:45 p.m. and Flintridge Prep plays host to Hesperia Christian at 1 p.m.