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Glendale breaks away, 20-6

Football: Nitros take season-opening tilt from rival Tornadoes with game's first 20 points.

September 09, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — The clash of the red and black and the purple and white on Moyse Field is usually a sight reserved for a November evening.

On Thursday night at Moyse, the Glendale High and Hoover football teams broke with tradition and opened the season against each other for the first time in the history of the long-standing rivalry.

With no "Victory Bell" at stake and no homecoming festivities as a backdrop, the atmosphere was more subdued in the stands, but hardly so on the field, where a Nitros squad that had to wait until November to get its first win of last season opened 2011 with a 20-6 win over their archrival.

"It feels great [to start with a win], it's just a totally different start from how we started last year," said Alex Yoon, the Nitros quarterback for last year' season-ending 54-19 win over Hoover, who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's win as a running back. "Coming off with a win on Week One is pretty good. …There was a lot on the line, it was just for respect."

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Glendale scored almost immediately to start the game, starting out at the Hoover 36-yard line after a 36-yard kickoff return by Mike Davis with a 15-yard Hoover penalty tacked on. Yoon completed the two-play drive with a four-yard run at the 11:36 mark, but the score would remain 7-0 until close to halftime.

Hoover only drove once into Nitros territory in the first half, hamstrung by 55 yards in first-half penalties. Glendale certainly had some opportunities to increase the lead, but lost a fumble late in the first quarter, missed a 46-yard field goal early in the second and was stopped on fourth and one at the Tornadoes' three-yard line with under 5:00 left in the first half.

"We had some opportunities, we just couldn't capitalize on some things," third-year Nitros Coach Alan Eberhart said. "That's them playing good defense."

But following its red-zone stand, Hoover couldn't move the ball out from deep in its own territory and Glendale had the ball right back at the Hoover 19 after Davis' 12-yard punt return.

On the first play of the possession, Nitros quarterback Evan Norton pump faked and hit Davis over the top of two defenders for a touchdown at the 2:28 mark and a 13-0 halftime lead. Norton completed seven of 21 passes for 92 yards with all of his completions going to Davis.

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