GCC quarterback Dain McFarland put Glendale on the board first with an early 32-yard touchdown pass to freshman Jesse Tate. The Mesa Thunderbirds rallied back to a 21-10 lead late in the second quarter. On the first play of their next drive, quarterback Jon Brown connected with wide receiver John Green for a 72-yard touchdown pass. Glendale would go on to score a total of 28 unanswered points by the end of the third quarter. Kicker Mike Navarro cinched the Gaucho win with a 33-yard field goal.
McFarland won MVP honors after completing 12 of his 17 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Devontre Burkes earned 113 yards and a touchdown. Defensive end Phillip DelaTorre led the Glendale defense with 11 tackles, followed by Jordan McFadden’s nine tackles and Ramon Abreu who pitched in eight tackles and a sack.
Glendale’s win gives the Gauchos three bowl wins in four attempts in the last four years. Glendale finished the 2012 year 8-3, ranked in the National Junior College Athletics Assoication top 20.
The Valley of the Sun Bowl is sponsored by the Maricopa Community College District and is hosted annually by the Maricopa County College which finishes the regular season with the best record in the Western States Football League.
Did you miss the game? Watch it on MCTV, Cox cable channel 115, 7 p.m., Sat. Dec. 8 and Sun., Dec. 9.
Jim Grimes contributed to this article.