Bob Stangel, the Mt. San Jacinto College coach, reasoned that his team could shut down at least one half of Valley College's well-balanced offensive attack. The Monarchs can throw the ball effectively. They run it better.
So, Stangel instructed his team to concentrate on stopping Valley's rushing game Saturday night at Valley College.
Hello, Barry Hanks.
Hanks, the Valley quarterback, passed for 247 yards and a touchdown to lead the Monarchs to a 45-20 Southern California Conference victory.
Actually, the Eagles couldn't stop the Monarchs' ground attack, either. Dondre Bausley, the state's leading rusher, gained 249 yards on 21 carries and scored five touchdowns. But it was the passing of Hanks that kept Mt. San Jacinto on its heels.
"We could have passed for more," Hanks said. "I think the reason they keyed the run is because it is so productive. I usually like to throw for 300 myself, but I'll take it."
Valley, ranked fifth in the state and third in Southern California by the JC Athletic Bureau, improved its record to 5-0, 4-0 in conference play.
Mt. San Jacinto is 2-3, 1-3 in the SCC.
Jeff Fassett, the state's third-leading rusher, never had a chance to match skills with Bausley as Mt. San Jacinto was forced to pass for most of the second half. Fassett finished with 14 carries for 101 yards and 3 touchdowns.
But, from the start, Bausley took control.
The sophomore from L. A. Lutheran High scored on runs of three and 55 yards in the second half. Hanks added a 58-yard touchdown pass to James Reaves and Robert Padden added a field goal to help Valley extend its lead.
Valley took all of 16 seconds to establish a superior ground game after Jon Murphy returned the opening kickoff 22 yards to Mt. San Jacinto's 39-yard line. Bausley took an inside handoff, bounced outside, and raced 61 yards down the right sideline for the touchdown. The conversion try was blocked.
Bausley scored his third touchdown of the game with 13 seconds remaining in the half to give Valley a 22-14 halftime lead.
Bausley had 132 yards at intermission and Hanks passed for 137 yards.