Michael Greenberg knew he had to do something. The La Canada High linebacker did as the Spartans held off Glendale, 27-20, in a nonleague football game at Moyse Field last Friday night.
With fourth down and one at La Canada’s 30-yard line, Greenberg bolted into the backfield and brought down running back Luis Ruiz (84 yards on 13 carries) for a two-yard loss.
La Canada quarterback Robbie Fuelling (five of 11 for 41 yards) took a knee three times as the clock expired and the Spartans (354 total net yards) avenged last season’s 21-3 setback, after having defeated the Nitros four straight.
Fuelling’s one-yard keeper with 5:56 left in the third quarter tied it at 20-20, and capped the 13-play, 70-yard march.
“This was really big for us,’’ said Greenberg, who intercepted Glendale quarterback Kevin Felix (nine of 16 for 140 yards) in the second half. “This was a close game. The tackle felt really good.”
The Spartans’ winning drive began at their 27 as running back Mario Martinez, who had 100 yards on 15 rushes in the opening half, carried the ball four times on the seven-play drive and accounted for 47 yards.
Martinez’s 22-yard burst moved the ball to the Glendale 28, and after running back Donnie Breneman (51 yards on six carries) scored from four yards out it became 27-20 with 10:15 left in the fourth quarter.
La Canada (2-0) scored on its first possession as Martinez (121 yards on 21 rushes) scooted in from six yards out as 5:52 remained in the opening quarter.
Glendale (1-1) got within 7-6 after running back Daniel Jung (64 yards on 11 carries) scored on a two-yard run and 3:06 showing in the same quarter.
The Nitros pulled ahead 13-7 with 5:21 left before the half when Jung closed the six-play, 44-yard march with a one-yard run.
“Offensive penalties hurt us,’’ said Glendale Head Coach John Tuttle, whose team had 307 total yards. “Our effort was there, but we made too many mistakes.”
La Canada tied it at 13-13 and 3:59 left in the second quarter when tailback Jadon Henry (112 yards on five rushes) delivered an 80-yard sprint before Martinez’s one-yard scoring plunge.