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Glendale, La Cañada high football ready to battle for 2-0 start

Football: Nitros seek 2-0 start against familiar Spartans opponent after dominant season-opening victory.

September 11, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High football's Daniel Jung, right, will look to lead the Nitros to consecutive wins over La Cañada.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High football's Daniel… (Libby Cline )

The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.

For four straight years, La Cañada High owned its annual football matchup with Glendale. It all came to an end in 2012.

Not only was last year's 21-3 victory over the Spartans the Nitros' first since 2008, but their first win against a team other than Hoover since Sept. 24, 2009.

“I think it was an important step,” said second-year Glendale Coach John Tuttle, who hasn’t found victories as hard to come by at Glendale after going 3-7 last year.

The Nitros are off to another good start under Tuttle, with a season-opening 41-3 win over San Gabriel on Sept. 6, and they’ll look to build on it Friday when they host La Cañada at Moyse Field at 7 p.m.

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Like 2012, La Cañada Coach James Sims, who’s also in his second year, is also feeling good after earning a season-opening win over Alhambra, 24-13, on Sept. 6 — his team’s first game against another opponent since last year after the Spartans’ preseason scrimmage with Sotomayor was canceled.

“I feel very good about that defense, which is what I said in the beginning was going to be the strength of our team,” Sims said. “If we get our offense on target we’ll see what happens.”

Both La Cañada and Glendale figure to rely on their running games offensively. The Nitros ran for 145 yards at La Cañada last year and saw Daniel Jung go for 220 yards and three scores on 13 carries last week.

“We're hoping we can depend on Daniel week in and week out,” Tuttle said.

Sims will look to get his running game back on track against Glendale after it collected 12 yards on 19 carries last week, something he thinks is easily correctable and has already been addressed.

Last year, it was the Nitros defense and balance with a passing game that separated them from the Spartans.

Defensively, Glendale held La Cañada to 77 yards last year and San Gabriel to 198 last week. Senior quarterback Kevin Felix completed nine of 12 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns in La Cañada last season and is back this season for Glendale.

Felix will be without wide receiver Michael Davis, who now plays football for BYU and had six receptions for 127 yards against La Cañada in 2012.

“We're such a different team from last year, so we have to try and find other guys who can step up and play for us,” Tuttle said.

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