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GCC may have best shot yet at win

Football: Glendale gets quarterback back for battle of winless teams.

October 28, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

Somebody's "O" has to go on Saturday night.

Sure, in boxing parlance, it's a phrase usually reserved for a matchup of unbeatens, but for one night in Santa Barbara, it's an apt billing for today's 6 p.m. Pacific Conference American Division clash between the winless Glendale Community College and Santa Barbara City football teams.

"It's been such an uphill fight and we've come so close in games with teams that are leading the division, such as West L.A.," said Glendale Coach John Rome, whose team fell to 0-7 and 0-3 in conference after losing to West L.A. at home, 35-13, on Saturday. "We've come so close without a quarterback and now that we have one, we feel it's added a dimensionality to our offense that we need."

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That quarterback is sophomore Kevin Hunter, who returned to practice this week after being held out of football activities for the last four weeks and missing the past three games with a kidney injury suffered against Allan Hancock on Sept. 24.

While Hunter's likely to have some rust following the long layoff, Rome said he still represents the best option Glendale will have at quarterback on Saturday by far.

"I'm buying the RustOleum myself," Rome quipped. "He's playing, no matter what."

During Hunter's absence, Glendale has gotten virtually no production from the passing game, which has produced 12 completions in 27 attempts with three interceptions and no touchdowns. GCC has managed to remain competitive for at least parts of all three games, however, thanks to a rushing attack that has inched its way up the Southern California rankings to fifth with an average of 198.3 yards per game on the season after averaging 265.6 per contest while Hunter was on the shelf.

"We've been actually getting a lot of compliments from other coaches, people we've played that go, 'Wow, it's really quite amazing in this day and age what you are doing with just a running game," Rome said. "That's really a tribute to our offensive line, they do a great job. They practice hard, they work hard all the time."

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