Ready for battle

Football: With pride at stake, Glendale and Hoover set to play in the "Battle for the Victory Bell" game tonight.

November 09, 2011|By Charles Rich,

Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Glendale High and Hoover football teams. Still, if there's one game that will always have plenty of meaning, it's the annual "Battle for the Victory Bell."

The rivalry between the Nitros and Tornadoes dates back to 1930. Plenty of high-caliber players have been a part of one of the longest-standing rivalries in the state before going on to enjoy respectable collegiate and professional careers.

The rivalry's 83rd installment will take place at 7 p.m. today at Glendale High's Moyse Field and is expected to draw the biggest crowd of the season for the Pacific League contest. Glendale is 1-8, 0-6 in league and Hoover is 0-9, 0-6.


Glendale leads the all-time season series at 48-33-2 and has possession of the bell after posting a 54-19 win in last season's meeting. Glendale bested Hoover, 20-6, in a nonleague game in the first week of this season.

Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart took part in the rivalry as a player nearly 40 years ago. It will be Eberhart's third season in a row roaming the sidelines for his alma mater.

"As a player, the anticipation is great," Eberhart said. "As a coach, it's tough because we haven't had a lot of success.

"You get out on that field and it's amazing because there's a lot of juice in the stands and that's what makes it the most fun. That's what makes it special for both teams."

For Hoover first-year Coach Andrew Policky, it will be his first time calling the plays after serving as a defensive coordinator the previous three seasons for the Tornadoes.

"It's just a great rivalry and you want to be a part of it," Policky said. "I'm excited we will be able to go out there and we want to try to get the bell back to Hoover.

"We know it will be a good game."

The Nitros, who suffered a 49-3 league loss against Crescenta Valley on Friday, will look to get back on track and snap their eight-game losing streak. Glendale will be led by quarterback Evan Norton, running back Alex Yoon and wide receiver Mike Davis.

The Nitros are 9-2 in the last 11 meetings and will look to win the bell for the second season in a row since accomplishing the feat in 2007 and 2008.

Hoover will look to bounce back from a 42-14 league loss against Burroughs on Nov. 3 and will turn to workhorse running back Luke Tabayoyong to end a 16-game losing streak.

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