A game that was long decided came to halt near the end after two players collided with one winding up at a Glendale hospital Friday night.
As the game clock wound down on Glendale High’s 23-7 non-league victory over South Pasadena High, Tigers’ defender Jeremy Gabler came off the field following a hard hit, removed his helmet and told his coach, Marty Konrad, that his neck was hurting.
With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 1-2 on the year while Glendale improved to 2-1.
A silent crowd watched as team doctors and later paramedics from the Burbank Fire Department attended to Gabler as players from both sides took in the scene.
“We just said ‘hit the ground so we can take a look at you,’” explained Konrad after the game. “He was in the middle of the field when he came over to our sideline. He was conscious, he was talking, laughing. He got on his back and we went over and started talking to him. It was precautionary.”
As players from South Pasadena and Glendale looked on, it was announced that both head coaches – calling on good sportsmanship – agreed to end the contest with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter.
By then the Nitros had a comfortable 16 point lead after dominating the second half. The teams were locked in a 7-7 at the break.
Following the game, South Pasadena High Principal Janet Anderson made a visit to Glendale Adventist, joining Gabler’s family members, to get an update on the injured player’s condition at the hospital.
“Seems like he’s very responsive,” noted Anderson, explaining that hospital officials were continuing to monitor his progress.
The Nitros were driving toward another touchdown down on the Tigers’ 28-yard line on first down when the collision between the two players took place.
While an ambulance was parked nearby, paramedics were called to Moyse Field where they carefully positioned Gabler’s head to eliminate any movement before placing him on a stretcher.
As he was rolled out of the stadium players from both benches applauded, joining some in the stands who were quietly filing out after the announcement was made the game has prematurely ending.
South Pasadena scored first on a second quarter two-yard run by Matthew Ayala, going 52 yards on 13 plays for the touchdown with 2:05 left in the second quarter.
Glendale didn’t waste any time tying it up as it took only six plays for the Nitros to find the end zone as quarterback Kevin Felix hooked up with Ricky Loudermill down the left sideline for a nifty 27-yard touchdown pass. Loudermill hauled it in with his left hand while making sure he had both feet inbounds as he came down with the ball with only 32 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Nitros wasted little time in the second half to control the game, going 80 yards in 17 plays before Felix carried the ball over from the two to give Glendale a 13-7 lead after a missed PAT.
Following an interception on the Tigers’ ensuing drive, it only took the Nitros four plays to put Glendale kicker Martin Marin in position to boot a 24-yard field goal.
Leading 16-7, the Nitros, wearing down the Tigers’ young defense down, put the ball into the hands of Luis Ruiz, who busted loose for nine yards on one play and 53 on another and gained most of the yardage in Glendale’s final touchdown on the night with 6:48 left in the fourth period. It took the Nitros just six plays to go the 71-yard distance as Daniel Jung went the final three for the score.
South Pas is now be gearing up to play Alhambra on the road Friday starting at 7. Despite the setback against Glendale, Konrad is confident his young club can pick up some wins over the Tigers’ final seven games.
“Obviously, we would have liked to have done more in the first half [against Glendale], but we made too many mistakes and turned over the ball twice, but we have young guys and we just have to keep them focused,” said the coach. “We will get better from this. Games like this are going to help us. We try to talk to the guys about the big picture that by working hard [something good could come from all this]. These guys have the ability to do some good stuff down the road.”
- : South Pasadena Now 1-2 following Loss
- : By Bill Glazier Review Editor