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Vaqs back on road

Football: GCC faces host L.A. Valley in conference opener today.

September 30, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

Without its starting quarterback Kevin Hunter available, the Glendale Community College football team's offense figures to be at a disadvantage when it takes on host Los Angeles Valley College at 6 p.m. today in its Pacific Conference American Division opener.

Overall, the playing field may end up being level after all, though, as the Monarchs lost their signal-caller Dan Owen to an even more severe and most likely season-ending injury last week, as well.

"We don't know quite what to expect," Glendale Community College John Rome said of preparing for L.A. Valley (2-2) without Owen, who suffered a broken femur in the Monarchs' 24-12 road win over San Diego Mesa on Saturday. "We don't know how much option they'll run, we don't know how their running game will handle having a new quarterback at the helm.

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"You think you have an idea of what they're going to do based on tendencies and things that you've noticed and then the game starts and who knows? All that could be out the window midway through the first quarter. We're trying to prepare for the entirety of the offense that we've seen them run on tape. At some point, they're probably going to have to, like us, narrow it down to things that they can do."

Hunter, who passed for 140 yards and a touchdown in last week's 41-17 home loss to Allan Hancock, suffered an injury in the third quarter of that game while making a tackle on an interception return and is out for at least today's game.

"He had a slight kidney injury that we're being cautious with," Rome said.

In his stead, the Vaqueros (0-4) will either go with Darren Ornsberg or Burroughs High graduate Anthony Carter, neither of whom has much experience at quarterback, although Ornsberg did finish the game on Saturday. His only pass attempt was intercepted.

"It's going to be extremely important that we get the running game going and I'm sure that Valley would feel the same way," said Rome, whose team was led in rushing by Joseph Wiggan (93 yards in 18 carries with a score) last week. "The ability to establish the running game and take a little bit of pressure off the throwing [is important], not so much because you're not going to throw, but you don't want to really have to throw in a drop-back situation where everybody knows that you have to pass."

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