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Glendale Scores, but Bakersfield Returns Favor--Twice--to Win


GLENDALE — Two backbreaking plays that came so fast that anybody who blinked might have missed them.

That's essentially what kept Glendale College from upsetting Bakersfield in a Western State Conference interdivisional football game Saturday at Glendale High.

Bakersfield, No. 1 in the state and ranked second nationally by USA Today, could generate little offense but slipped away with a 26-16 victory.

"I know you create your breaks in this game, but sometimes you need a little rub of the green," Glendale Coach John Cicuto said.

Glendale (1-2, 0-2 in conference play) held high-powered Bakersfield to 165 yards rushing and 206 total yards, but the Renegades (4-0, 3-0) capitalized on other unexpected opportunities.

The first came moments after Glendale had taken a 7-0 lead on a one-yard run by Ilan Zilberman early in the first quarter, a touchdown that was set up by linebacker Neal Sowter's pass interception.

On the ensuing kickoff, George Jones ran 92 yards to tie it, 7-7. Jones also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score in a 62-14 victory Sept. 10 over L.A. Southwest.

The other big play for Bakersfield came after another Glendale touchdown, a 70-yard pass play from backup quarterback Jose Ramon to receiver Tim Hilton that pulled the Vaqueros to within 20-16 with 2 minutes 9 seconds to play.

Charles Woolfolk, on the front line of Bakersfield's kickoff return unit, took an onside kick and sprinted 46 yards for a touchdown that iced the game, 26-16.

"It's the first time our special teams have broken down in three games," Cicuto said.

They couldn't have picked a worse time, because the Vaqueros had a reasonable chance to keep Bakersfield from winning its 17th consecutive conference game.

Glendale limited Jones, who led the WSC with 438 yards rushing going into the game, to 42 yards in 18 carries. The Vaqueros also held quarterback Deon Price to 41 yards passing (five of nine with an interception) and sacked him five times. Nose guard Peter Stamison and end Calvin Bell each had two sacks, and linebacker Victor Huezo had the other.

"It was a poor performance offensively, but you have to give credit to Glendale," Bakersfield Coach Carl Bowser said. "I hope we learned a lesson from it."

The Vaqueros, knowing that Bakersfield is more vulnerable to the pass than the run (560 yards passing allowed before the game, 84 yards rushing), attacked through the air with success in the first half behind quarterback Tony Delgado.

Glendale mounted several good drives and held a 10-7 lead on a 52-yard field goal by Mike Sierra early in the second quarter. Robert Nicz kicked a 33-yard field goal to tie it, 10-10, at the half.

But Delgado suffered a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter and left the game. Until then, the sophomore from Franklin High was 13 of 20 for 130 yards.

The Vaqueros replaced him with freshman Eddie Michel from Notre Dame High (three of eight, 21 yards) before Ramon (three of four, 89 yards, one interception) took over late in the game.

Zilberman finished with 50 yards in 21 carries. For Bakersfield, Mike Gray rushed for 69 yards in 11 carries and Tommy Criner had 70 in eight carries.

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