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Nitros fall in wild affair to Pasadena

Football: Norton, Davis and Yoon put up big numbers, but lose to Pasadena.

October 08, 2011|By Edgar Melik-Stepanyan, Special to the News-Press

PASADENA — In the end, the Pasadena High football team had just a bit more talent than Glendale.

In a game that featured 14 touchdowns, more than 1,100 yards of total offense and phenomenal play by both offenses, the Bulldogs prevailed in thrilling fashion, defeating the Nitros, 47-46, on Friday night in a Pacific League home game.

A minute after watching Glendale's Alex Yoon cap a go-ahead drive with two-yard touchdown run — his third — Pasadena executed a near-perfect possession to score the winning touchdown.

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Pasadena quarterback Brandon Cox scored on a 15-yard keeper through the middle of the Glendale defense with 17 seconds to play, ending a seven-play, 58-yard drive.

The excitement wasn't over yet. Glendale's Mike Davis returned the ensuing kickoff to Pasadena's 26, but a pair of Evan Norton pass attempts to Davis were unsuccessful.

"I'd like to have had one more play," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. "Our kids played great, we are getting better, we scored 46 points. I've never lost a game scoring 46 points."

Norton, Davis, Cox and Pasadena wide receiver Riian Simpson posted video game-like statistics. Norton completed 24 of 41 passes for a school-record 465 passing yards and three touchdowns, all of which went to Davis. Davis, a junior, had 12 receptions for 236 yards, 21 yards shy of the school record.

Yoon had 225 total yards, including 103 on the ground.

"We have talent," said Eberhart, whose team fell to 1-4, 0-2 in league despite holding a 20-7 lead midway through the second quarter. "It's getting them to believe and to know how to win. We are better than we think we are."

Cox and Simpson were pretty good themselves. Cox passed for 386 yards and threw three touchdowns to Simpson, who matched Davis' talents with exceptional plays of his own. Simpson had 10 receptions for 228 yards.

"We have enough firepower on offense to score against everybody," said Pasadena Coach Randy Horton, whose team improved to 2-3, 1-1. "We just couldn't cover tonight, we are not tackling well. I'll give credit to Glendale.

"We had just enough."

Pasadena had to rally in the second quarter to set up the back-and-forth affair. The teams were deadlocked at 27 at halftime, when they had already accounted for 584 yards of total offense. Pasadena also received help from running back Cleo Bates, who scored on an 18-yard run in the second quarter to knot the score at 20.

Glendale responded with a 24-yard touchdown run by Christian Osorio to give the Nitros a 27-20 lead before the teams began exchanging scores in the wild third quarter.

Matt Defrance emerged as a threat for Glendale in the second half, hauling in four passes for 101 ¿yards.

But Pasadena had too many weapons, as it was able to turn to speedsters such as Simpson and Marcus Green to pull away from Glendale. Green, who had seven receptions for 126 yards, had three catches for 34 yards in Pasadena's game-winning drive.

"We work on the two-minute drill every week in practice," Horton said. "The receivers ran the right routes."

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