Denham’s Return to Action Keys ELAC to 33-13 Win Over Glendale

By Mario Villegas, Exclusive to EGP

Anthony Denham relaxes late in last Saturday’s game after helping to lead East Los Angeles College to its first victory of the season. (EGP Photo by Mario Villegas)

It didn’t take long for Anthony Denham to show how much the East Los Angeles College football team missed their All American wide receiver the first two games of the season.

Denham was impressive in his 2010 debut as he caught 10 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead ELAC to a 33-13 victory over visiting Glendale College last Saturday, the Huskies (1-2) first win of the season.

A hamstring injury kept the 6-foot-6, 215-pound sophomore from playing in the Huskies’ first two games of the season. But neither the injury, nor Glendale could stop him on this night.

The former All-City player at Wilson High School in El Sereno is one of the most heavily-recruited players in the JC ranks. Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington are among the Pacific 10 Conference schools that are recruiting him. Utah, Miami and schools in the Big 10 and Big 12 conferences are also pursuing him. And it’s easy to see why. Denham’s leaping one-handed 11-yard reception in the first quarter staked the Huskies to a 7-0 lead. His 17-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Mike Oliver early in the third increased their lead to 21-6 and started the Huskies on a 19-0 scoring blitz.

“I felt horrible watching the first two games from the sideline,” Denham said. “It was great to be back tonight and help my team win.”

He said he felt the tightness in his hamstring at times, but it didn’t stop him. And while Glendale (0-3) tried to figure out a way to contain Denham, the Vaqueros didn’t have much success covering Michael Allen, the Huskies’ other talented wide receiver, who caught six passes for 64 yards.

Allen, an all-conference selection in 2009, also missed the first two games of the season until getting his academic eligible restored in time to play against Glendale.

“Having those two guys in the lineup really makes a big difference,” ELAC Coach Lynn Cain said. “It was great to have them back. Hopefully, this win gets us on the right track.”

The Huskies face their biggest challenge of the young season Saturday (Sept. 25), when they play College of the Canyons (2-1) at 6 p.m. at ELAC in a nonconference game. Canyons is ranked eighth in Southern California this week. The Cougars only loss was to top-ranked Mt. San Antonio College, 34-19.

Despite the return of Denham and Allen, the Huskies are still hobbled by injuries. They managed to defeat Glendale without running backs Isam Pegues, the team’s leading rusher, and Aubrey Haynes, who missed the game with ankle injuries. They remain questionable for Saturday’s game. The Huskies entered the Glendale game coming off a 6-3 loss to Santa Monica College.

The offense exploded for 439 yards of total offense against Glendale with most of it coming through the air. Quarterback Mike Oliver passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns. The freshman completed 26 of 44 passes with no interceptions. Besides the two TD passes to Denham, Oliver also threw a 16-yard scoring strike to Garfield High product Lanny Delgado and also connected with Eric McHenry for an eight-yard score.

The Huskies also had success on the ground with Jared Davis rushing for a team-high 89 yards on 13 carries.

Oliver got solid protection and Davis took advantage of the running lanes that were created for him by the offensive line. The Huskies were led up front by tackles Nelson Maldonado and Ramon Barraza (both from Roosevelt High School), guards Willie Mayoral, Cesar Estrada (Bell Gardens) and Adrian Cabada (Wilson), and center Lenny
Sorto (Cathedral). Defensively, Darius Turner Joel Green and Joel Jimenez (Roosevelt) had pass interceptions.

Linebacker Josue Lopez had a team-leading 10 tackles, including six unassisted. Defensive end Chris McCoy (Bell Gardens) and defensive tackle Guillermo Duran recorded seven tackles each. McCoy was credited with 2.5 quarterback sacks.

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September 23, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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