GCC's Anthony Carter, left, works the sideline against Santa Monica's Noel Rankins.

GCC's Anthony Carter, left, works the sideline against Santa Monica's Noel Rankins. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer / October 1, 2012)

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Four games into the season, the Glendale Community College football team had alternated winning and then losing games to come into Saturday night’s American Division Pacific Conference contest against visiting Santa Monica College at .500.

The Vaqueros dropped their league opener last week, so it appeared it was time for another victory even though their latest opponent was the reigning conference champion that had not lost a game in Pacific play since 2010.

The contest turned out to be so close.

Trailing by three points with less than two minutes to go, Glendale was 24 yards away from the go-ahead touchdown, facing a fourth down and just less than two yards to go. The Vaqueros handed the ball off to their workhorse running back, Collin Keoshian, for the 38th time in the game, but the sophomore came up just short, gaining one yard, but not the extra couple of feet that was needed to keep the drive alive.

“We hung in there to the very end,” Keoshian said. “I mean, what can I say, I thought I crossed the line for the first down and my knee never touched, but hey, you know what, it was in God’s hands right there. You know, we played our best. We never gave up and never gave in.”

The Corsairs (4-1, 2-0 in conference) took over and ran out the clock to secure a 35-32 victory over the Vaqueros, who left wondering what might have been if they had not committed so a wealth of mistakes along the way.

“We are a competitive football team. We made mistakes and the mistakes that we made were the ones that hurt us,” fifth-year Glendale Coach John Rome said.

A microcosm of this was Glendale’s inability to convert point-after-touchdown attempts, failing to tally any on three of its five scores. One kicked was blocked, another snap was botched and one pass completion, while going for a two-point conversion to make up for the previous failures, was stopped short.

“[A big problem] of course was our special team gaffes. We had a very hard time with our field goals and extra points,” Rome said.

It was a bittersweet final carry for Keoshian, who came into the game leading the Pacific Division in rushing, because he had carried the bulk of the Glendale offense — not to mention also handling the kickoff duties — on his shoulders to the tune of 38 carries for 186 yards and three touchdowns.

“My O-line did amazing,” Keoshian said. “They just opened the holes and I ran through them.”

The sophomore, who came to Glendale (2-3, 0-2) by way of Brigham Young University and College of the Canyons, also had a spectacular one-handed catch, reaching back for an 18-yard gain. The grab was part of the final scoring drive for the Vaqueros, who scored the game’s last 12 points.