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Glendale Community College football loses wild one to Antelope Valley

Football: Marauders have one last big play to stave off Vaqueros' comeback on Saturday.

September 28, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Glendale Community College's Marcus Tappan, second from left, tries to bring down the Antelope Valley College running back in a 37-30 Vaqueros' loss to the Marauders.
Glendale Community College's Marcus Tappan, second… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

GLENDALE -- It was a wild ride that looked to be headed to a favorable end for the Glendale Community College football team.

After struggling all night offensively, the Vaqueros finally got things together and scored two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes of their American Division Pacific Conference opener to take a one-point lead against visiting Antelope Valley College in the final 1:23 Saturday night at Sartoris Field.

The Marauders had the last laugh, though, as Alexander Byers dropped the ensuing kickoff but recovered to pick it up, head left and then cut back right with plenty of blockers leading him into the end zone for a 78-yard touchdown on the return. Antelope Valley capped the scoring at 37-30 with 1:06 to play when quarterback Benji Philippe found Hunter Sharp for a successful two-point conversion pass.

“I have never seen such unspecial special teams play. This is one for the asylum," Glendale Coach John Rome said. "In my 36 years coaching, I have never seen anything like this.

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“I am proud of the effort of this football team. They gave it everything they had, but I am disappointed in how we lost.”

The Marauders held on for the seven-point win by that margin after Donte Johnson picked off a GCC pass with 2.7 seconds left in the game. Johnson’s interception at the one-yard line ended an eight-play, 39-yard drive that put Glendale 16 yards out from a score.

Offensively, the Vaqueros (2-2) struggled all night, but started putting things together in the fourth quarter. They didn’t score their first offensive touchdown until the final 12 minutes, despite setting up shop four and 38 yards away from a score earlier.

Glendale’s first offensive score came when quarterback Sean Murphy hit Isaiah Bernard (97 yards, two touchdowns on eight receptions) for a 30-yard touchdown pass that cut its deficit to 29-24 with 12:01 to play.

The Vaqueros’ next two chances at taking a lead were squandered on a punt and interception, but they got another shot. With 2:29 to play and still down by five, GCC took over at its own 44-yard line.

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