Glendale (5-5, 3-2 in league) and seventh in the past eight years,
which will allow the Nitros to keep the annual Victory Bell at 1440
East Broadway for another season. And with a 38-37 double-overtime
victory against Crescenta Valley on Oct. 17, Glendale can finally
raise the City Championship Trophy for the first time since 1991.
"That's something we haven't won for a long time," said Le, after
he rushed for a career-high 155 yards and two scores.
Of course, the 2003 campaign can go down as a season of many
firsts for the Nitros, who now own a 44-29-2 edge against Hoover in
the all-time series, which dates back to 1930.
The victory against CV was the first since 1991.
The 21-13 win against Pasadena on Oct. 30 was the first since
And after CV's 42-21 loss to Arcadia on Thursday, the Nitros
became a playoff team for the first time since 1991.
"I was hoping CV would win so we would have to beat Hoover to get
in," said Le of Glendale's berth in the CIF Southern Section Division
III playoffs as the third-place team from league. "But fortunately,
there were no letdowns and everyone came to play."
Glendale rushed for 272 yards as a team, as senior fullback Rick
Martin also eclipsed the 100-yard barrier, finishing with 103 yards
plus a score.
But the Tornadoes (1-9, 0-5) also got things done in the running
game. Rob Swartz's squad rushed for 185 yards as a team, led by
fullback Randy Galang's 61 yards in 13 carries.
It was Hoover's methodical ground attack that kept the Tornadoes
in the game until the fourth quarter.
Hoover went ahead, 8-7, in the second quarter on a 1-yard plunge
by senior Miguel Jaco (39 yards in eight carries). Jaco's score
capped a 15-play, 63-yard drive that lasted 7 minutes 54 seconds.
"That was our game plan," Swartz said. "We wanted to eat up as
much clock as possible, and our O-line did a great."
Hoover's clock management allowed Glendale to have just three
possessions in the first half. Unfortunately, the Nitros scored on
two of them, as Hoover had no answer for the duo of Le and Martin.
"They're both great players, and we just don't have anybody like
them," Swartz said. "I wish Glendale the best of luck in the
playoffs. They earned the right to be there. Coach Phan has done a
great job with that group."
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Glendale capped a
76-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Martin (15 tackles)
with 9:53 left that essentially put the game out of reach.
Quarterback David Yim added the final score on a 2-yard run with
3:23 left, which allowed both coaches to empty their benches for the
remainder of the game.