As the wins mount, the games only appear to become more significant for Ayala (3-0), which hosts resurgent Glendora (2-0) Friday night a week after returning from a 56-32 victory at North Las Vegas Cheyenne High School.
Passing the baton: Week 0 it was Jordan Robinson. Week 1 it was the defense. Continuing the trend, last week it was Ayala quarterback Brian Meyette who was the next in line to play a starring role.
The senior completed 11 of 17 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns, giving him six touchdowns on the season and no interceptions.
Senior Jordan Robinson, who caught two of those scoring passes last week, has been the Bulldogs’ primary threat on the ground. He has 304 rushing yards and three touchdowns through the first three games, but the development of Ayala’s passing game could take some of the focus of Robinson.
“A lot of teams focus all their efforts on stopping Jordan, but it’s nice to have some other options emerging,” Ayala coach Randy Reams said. “We’ve got some receivers doing a great job of getting open and we’re able to better mix the run and the pass. In fact, on three of the touchdowns last week, there probably wasn’t a defender within eight yards.”
Power surge: Glendora’s offensive philosophy is no secret, but that doesn’t make the Tartans any easier to defend.
Behind a sizeable offensive line, Glendora has compiled 604 rushing yards combined in the first two games opposite just 118 yards through the air. In a 14-6 win over Claremont, Amin Raad had 214 yards on the ground; during last week’s 47-29 victory over Colony it was Cade Lindsey with 315 on just 17 carries.
“They’re a power football team,” Reams said. “They’re the biggest team we’ve faced so far. They want to run right at you and mix in the play-action pass.”
Ayala’s defensive front can’t match the Tartans’ size, but Reams is hoping their strength and quickness will be enough to slow down the running game.
Progress report: Both of these teams certainly appear to be improved from a year ago when they finished 3-7, but it’s still difficult to figure out how far each has come.
Ayala ran away from a young Diamond Bar team, held off a second-half charge from two-time defending CIF-SS Mid-Valley champion Monrovia in a 16-15 victory and defeated a Cheyenne team unfamiliar to the area by 24 points last week.
Glendora’s two wins have come over two winless teams, but both have traditionally strong programs. The Tartans, a former member of the Sierra League along with Ayala, won at least a share of the league title its final three seasons in the league. But it has struggled the last two years in the Baseline League, arguably the most difficult league in the Inland Valley.
“The last couple years Glendora may have been down by their standards,” Reams said. “But they’re still a great program.”