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WEEK THREE FOOTBALL: John Glenn evens record behind Udengwu’s punishing rushing attack

 

John Glenn High senior quarterback David Sanchez gets set to release one of his 21 attempts against University High last Thursday night at Excelsior Stadium. Sanchez completed 12 passes for 152 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns as the Eagles knocked off the Trojans 46-19. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer

 

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

In the first two games of the young season, not much was coming out of John Glenn High junior running back Edwin Udengwu and the Eagles stumbled to a 0-2 start. But the past two games were more to his liking as well as that of head coach Vince Lobendahn.

Udengwu rushed for 217 yards on 34 carries and scored twice while senior quarterback David Sanchez completed 12 of 21 passes for 152 yards and a pair of scores as Glenn dismantled University High 46-19 last Thursday night at Excelsior Stadium. The Eagles, who have won two in a row by nearly identical scores, racked up 449 yards of total offense

“We’ve ironed out some of our offensive stuff,” Lobendahn said. “If you looked at our first game, there were some stalemate, bad red zones. So, we really focused on our short game, getting play action set up better, setting our run game up to help out our passing.”

After falling behind 6-0 on University’s opening drive of the game, Udengwu put the hosts in front for good with a 16-yard run with 3:15 left in the first quarter. Glenn then controlled the clock on its next possession, running 15 plays in over four and a half minutes, culminated by a one-yard run from senior Brian Christian.

Later in the stanza, the Trojans parlayed a Glenn turnover into a 75-yard pass from Thomas Keeling to Austin Lake and just like that, University was down 15-13. But on the ensuing kickoff, senior Jourdhin Smith returned the pigskin 70 yards and on the next play, Udengwu cashed in from 15 yards out and the Eagles went up 22-13. By halftime, he had already rushed for 112 yards on 17 touches.

“I feel comfortable; his weight room ethic has been what put us at the running back versus the secondary,” Lobendahn said. “And we felt behind that we would have opportunity. That’s where we put ourselves.”

 

 

John Glenn High junior defensive back Ulices Ayala (#31), sophomore defensive tackle Calvin Johnson (375) and junior linebacker Ernesto Jimenez (#43) team up to stop a University High running back in last Thursday night’s 46-19 Glenn’s victory at Excelsior Stadium. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer

 

Both teams were silent until late in the third quarter when Sanchez tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Francisco Ruiz. After the Trojans answered with a 56-yard scoring strike from Keeling to Daniel Fernandez, Glenn’s special teams enabled the hosts to go up 39-19 as Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards. Those three touchdowns came in a span of 66 seconds.

The final score of the game came with 1:38 remaining in the contest when Sanchez found senior wide receiver Tim Stevenson for 38 yards. He would catch five passes for 81 yards as Sanchez found five different targets.

“The difference for us is that he was looking to have his receivers more active,” Lobendahn said of Sanchez from the first two games to the last two games. “But they were working to be a part of the run game. That’s kind of where it was offset with that.”

Sanchez also picked up 49 yards on nine carries while on defense, senior free safety Ivan Ramirez and senior linebacker Jorge Ruiz each had 10 tackles while junior linebacker Christopher Roca added seven tackles.

The Eagles will host Western High tonight at Excelsior Stadium. The Pioneers enter the contest at 3-1 and are coming off a 48-0 win last week against Anaheim High. They have outscored their opponents 211-95, but 173-47 in their victories. In addition, Western is ranked second in the CIF-Southern Section Division 11 poll. The Pioneers are led by quarterback Anthony Munoz, who has completed 85 of 120 passes for 1,339 yards and 18 touchdowns opposite just one interception. Three receivers are checking in with at least 17 receptions and 265 yards

“From what I’m seeing, they’re a program that’s been there before,” Lobendahn said. “They’re capable of being there again. We got to know what we’re going to have to bring to the table to be with a program like that. From what I’ve seen, they’re a real team that I got to put a lot of effort in.”

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