Each time a Pasadena High player ran with the football, he gained nearly seven yards and scored four touchdowns during a 41-7 triumph over host Hoover in a Pacific League game last Friday night.
Junior tailback Cleo Bates (73 yards and five carries) is the featured performer, and recorded a 14-yard run early in the second quarter that pushed the Bulldogs’ lead to 14-0, and chimed in with a 36-yard scurry as 10:17 remained in the third quarter to make it 34-0.
The Tornadoes (1-8 and 0-6 in league) made a mighty effort, but were overwhelmed by a much speedier squad.
“We just couldn’t stop their outside running,’’ said Hoover head coach Chris Long. ”We were able to stop them when they ran up the middle, but when they bounced outside, we couldn’t contain them.”
Chris Fuqua gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 edge with a one-yard dive and 5:40 left on the clock in the first quarter, as the 54-yard drive consumed eight plays.
The Tornadoes’ lone touchdown was secured with just under five minutes left in the final quarter, and it was a beauty. The 80-yard march consisted of 12 plays, and was topped off when sophomore wide receiver Jesse Pina (four catches for 55 yards) scored on a two-yard reverse.
“We need that mentally-tough attitude, and right now we don’t have that,’’ Long said. “Football is a tough game, and we’re still learning how to be tough. One of our problems is we don’t get many players from our youth football program. We have the Glendale Bears. My son’s in the sixth grade, and he plays for the Bears. He’s a monster. We need more players like him who are going to play for us when they get to high school.”
Pasadena (4-5 and 3-3 in league) scampered for 200 yards on 30 carries, with Fuqua adding 63 yards on 13 rushes, while sophomore quarterback Brandon Cox finished with 46 yards on five carries.
Cox completed seven of 12 passes for 85 yards in the opening half, and had a three-yard scoring toss that made it 27-0 just before the half.
Considering the score, Cox didn’t need to throw much in the second half, connecting on all three attempts for 61 yards, including a 29-yard throw with 1:09 left in the third quarter that made it 41-0.
Hoover’s ground attack managed 11 yards in the first half, and 35 yards in the second half.
A.J. Pule is Hoover’s starting quarterback, and was erratic, hitting five of 11 for 42 yards in the opening half, but missed on all three tosses in the second half.
“A.J.’s never in the middle,’’ Long said. “He’s either hot or cold.”
Reserve quarterback Alexander Rangel (six of 10 for 75 yards and one interception) ran for 32 yards on five carries, with a long of 18 yards. Luke Taboyoyong chipped in with 14 yards on two carries. It was that kind of evening for Hoover.