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WEEK ZERO FOOTBALL Turnovers, penalties spoil Glenn’s new ground attack

PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS:   John Glenn senior running back Jamal Burns has a lot of space to gain some of his 101 yards in last Thursday night's 14-7 opening-season loss to Magnolia. Burns scored Glenn's lone touchdown, a 63-yard run nearly midway through the first quarter.

PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS: John Glenn senior running back Jamal Burns has a lot of space to gain some of his 101 yards in last Thursday night’s 14-7 opening-season loss to Magnolia. Burns scored Glenn’s lone touchdown, a 63-yard run nearly midway through the first quarter.

By Loren Kopff

LA MIRADA-There were plenty of things to be pleased about in John Glenn’s opening-season 14-7 loss to Magnolia last Thursday night at Goodman Stadium. While first-year head coach Vince Lobendahn wanted a victory, which would have snapped an Eagles 15-game, on the field losing streak, he did see a turnaround from last season’s opener.
Last season, the Eagles trailed 28-6 at the half and never got back into game, which was a 41-20 Magnolia game. Fast forward one-year later and the two teams were mired in a 7-7 tie for over 36 minutes until Lupe Lopez scored from six yards out with 6:09 remaining in the game.
“Magnolia is athletic and our goal was to bottle them, put some pressure away from the back and get them to have some of the mistakes that they could have,” Lobendahn said. “We were trying to capitalize and the capitalization didn’t happen. They’re a good team and we had our hands full coming in. To play the way we did and the fight, grudge match that we did…my kids only wanted a victory because they got in a game and had a chance at the end to put us in a position to tie or win. I’m very thankful that they competed.”
The Sentinels scored four plays into the contest when Fernando Garcia connected with Kalolo Pangia for a 42-yard connection. But after both teams traded fumbles, the Eagles got on the board when senior running back Jamal Burns busted up the middle and matriculated 63 yards to the end zone.
From that point on until the fourth quarter, both teams couldn’t generate much because they would hurt themselves with either penalties, turnovers, or in Glenn’s case, time management. Lobendahn had to burn two timeouts within the first 4:41 of the game. The Eagles would be flagged 14 times for 104 yards and fumbled four times. Two of those fumbles ended drives of over five minutes, the first ending at Magnolia’s 18-yard line with 3:31 left in the third quarter and the second coming with 53 seconds remaining in the contest.
Following Magnolia’s second touchdown, the Eagles took the ball at their own 22-yard line and used the legs of senior quarterback Erick Galindo and his 21-yard throw to senior running back Dominic Enriquez to get the ball to the 18-yard line. But a fumble on fourth and three ended any chance for a potential tying score.
On the positive side, Glenn was in the game because of the work performed by senior quarterback Aaron Conrad (22 carries, 104 yards) and Burns (10 carries, 101 yards). As a team, the Eagles racked up 231 yards on the ground and only attempted the one successful pass, which came on fourth and 11.
“Just the hard work these kids did from the moment I got the job to what I’ve seen tonight, I’m winning in my heart,” Lobendahn said. “These kids are really helping me here and I just feel grateful for them. Our goal is to put a couple of 100 [yard rushers] out there for these young men.”
Just as impressive as the running aspect was the job put in by the defense. The Sentinels had only two rushes for at least 10 yards and three passing plays of over seven yards. Glenn held Magnolia to 180 yards of offense and was led by senior defensive end Alexis Torres (four tackles, one sack), Galindo (four tackles) and Burns (three tackles). Senior lineman Anthony Varos also had a sack and recovered one of Magnolia’s three fumbles.
“Coach [John] Washington comes from Fremont [High School] and he’s played against some really good spread teams,” Lobendahn said. “We’re talking Crenshaw championship teams and Narbonne championship teams. He’s coming in here seeing spread teams and he lines up well. He knows what he’s seeing and I have some faith there and I’m just going to let him do his thing.”
Glenn hosted Pioneer at Goodman Stadium on Sept. 4 and will do the same against Santa Ana Valley on Friday.