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Glendale Tops Monsters


After winning three straight games to open its 2005 season, Eastern Arizona College has now hit two major speed bumps. The first bump in the road was No. 7-ranked Snow last week, when EAC lost 20-14, and on Saturday, when EAC played No. 8-ranked Glendale, falling 30-13 on the road. "I told the guys after the game that they lost to a good football team," EAC head coach John O'Mera said. "This is the second week that we feel we didn't play very well, and sometimes you've got to give credit to your opponent." The Glendale Gauchos didn't waste any time Saturday night in the Valley of the Sun, driving 81 yards on three plays and finishing with a 12-yard TD run by Sean Dahley. After Glendale's game-opening score, EAC's offense was stagnant and sputtered during the game's first quarter. "The first three series, we were terrible on offense and didn't get much done," O'Mera said. Eastern's only opportunity to score in the first half came midway through the second quarter, when the Gila Monsters started at their own 23-yard-line with 10:57 left in the second half. EAC Quarterback Gabe Eliserio was the recipient of a roughing-the-passer penalty against Glendale and scampered 20 yards into Gaucho's territory on the next play. Fullback Bobby Dunbar, who started in the place of injured fullback Lester Graham, rumbled 18 yards down field to the 27-yard line. Terrance Jones then ran the pigskin to the 15. Dunbar got the call from O'Mera on the next play and started running up the middle, spinning and bouncing off defenders until a Gauchos defensive player ripped the ball from his grasp at the 6-yard line. The fumble would prove to be costly because Eastern couldn't muster any scores in the first half and trailed 7-0. Despite the fumble, which O'Mera referred to as "probably the biggest play of the game," Dunbar had a solid night running the ball. Dunbar led the Monsters' rushing attack with 96 yards on 15 attempts. "We came in a little crippled," O'Mera said. "Our two best backs weren't playing (Graham and Amos Allen), and I think that we found a fullback in (Dunbar) after losing (Graham). Dunbar is a big load and did very well."

Dunbar was coming off only two days of practice at the fullback position, and despite his costly fumble with 6:47 remaining in the second quarter, O'Mera said he was "pleased with how (Dunbar) performed." Glendale scored on its first drive of the second half, which gave the Gauchos a 14-0 lead and deflated the Monsters' sideline. "The biggest thing that score did was it didn't give us any momentum to play with,"

O'Mera said. "When we finally did get some momentum, we were down 20-7. When that happens, you have to climb up a pretty big ladder." Eastern's first score of the game came courtesy of a screen pass from Eliserio to running back Arthur Weaver, who scampered 87 yards for a touchdown. Glendale countered with a score of its own in the fourth, which gave the Gauchos a 20-7 lead. Weaver and Eliserio hooked up on another pass play when Weaver got behind the Gauchos' defensive backs and ran 35 yards for a Monsters TD. The TD reception got EAC within 10 points at 23-13, but Sanchez rushed 8 yards with 2:28 left in the game to give the Gauchos the 30-13 victory. Eliserio had a very efficient day from the quarterback position, going 4-5 with 135 yards through the air and the two TDs thrown to Weaver. "Gabe is doing exactly what we're asking him to do," O'Mera said. "The biggest thing we did was cut down on the turnovers, and that is something we want him to do for us. "We would rather have someone beat us than for us to beat ourselves," O'Mera said. "I can't say that we beat ourselves Saturday night. I think we just got beaten by a good football team." Weaver was the Monsters' leading receiver with 124 yards on three catches. "Weaver does a good job, and he is, by far, our most steady running back," O'Mera said. "He does a great job of not only running but blocking, which is hidden underneath the glory of running the ball. "It was nice to see him have a little success because he's been working awfully hard for us," O'Mera said. Game notes EAC's defense had three opportunities to pick off Glendale quarterback Tim Brockwell, but each pass went into the stat book as a pass defended instead of a pass intercepted. Glendale has four preseason All-Americans on its team, one of whom is wide receiver Eric McCain. Eastern held McCain to only 69 receiving yards, a feat that O'Mera said he was pleased with. EAC running back Amos Allen is still day-to-day with a toe injury. One plus for EAC was that it committed only one turnover for the entire game (the fumble by Dunbar in the second quarter). Glendale was perfect, though, ending the game with a zero in the turnover column. On Saturday, O'Mera will have to face the school he coached for 15 years before coming to Eastern this season. New Mexico Military Institute will be the Monsters' homecoming opponent Satur-day with kickoff scheduled at 6 p.m. at the John T. Mickelson field.

Article written by Andy Hansen of the Eastern Arizona Courier