There wouldn't appear to be much drama in store for this week's Pacific League matchup between the Crescenta Valley and Hoover high football teams. It does, however, have all the makings of a trap game.
While the Tornadoes haven't won since a second-week forfeit, the Falcons are riding an emotional high after wins over Burbank (48-47) and Glendale (27-7). CV could be tempted to look past Hoover with its biggest game of the year coming Nov. 1 against first-place and reigning-champion Muir (6-1, 4-0 in league).
“We hope not, that’s our conversation with the kids,” Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said. “You can’t think of next week, we have to take care of this week before we get to that.”
Hoover Coach Matt Andersen, who’s in his first year, is also determined to keep his team focused on this week. The Tornadoes have struggled since their roster was trimmed to 22 or 23 guys, due to injuries.
“[The Falcons] have had a really good season so far, so we’re just going to come out and we have our work cut out for us again,” said Andersen, whose team hasn’t won since a week two forfeit and is 2-5, 0-4 after a 69-0 loss to Burroughs last week.
“As hard as it is losing, it’s a lot easier when you’re going out there with the kids I’m currently coaching. It’s a great group of kids and we’re getting better and that’s all I’m worried about.”
Despite the Tornadoes’ struggles, Schilling knows his team can’t leave the door open for Hoover, which gave CV (6-1, 3-1) a scare last year in a 21-19 Falcons win. Both teams meet again Friday night at Moyse Field at 7 p.m.
“The thing that stands out about them is those kids, I’ve seen them live a couple times and watching them on film, he’s got those kids playing really hard,” Schilling said. “Momentum is the key … because they already play really hard and work really hard.”
Harvard-Westlake at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m.: An undefeated Golden Knights team can keep itself in the hunt for a Mission League title with a homecoming win Friday night.
“Harvard-Westlake was ranked ahead of us for several weeks to start the season,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team is now 7-0, 2-0 in league and No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Western Division, where the Wolverines are eighth. “They’ve lost their lost three games.”
St. Francis is coming off its closest game, but even so it was the clear superior over Cathedral, 31-21, at Friedman Field. Senior running back Joe Mudie was the standout Knight once again, with 187 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and five catches for 73 yards.
Harvard-Westlake is on a three-game losing streak in games against Palisades (45-18), Gardena Serra (63-7) and St. Paul (31-23) after suffering injuries to the their starting running back and quarterback, Bonds said.
“It’s a little hard to prepare not knowing if those guys are going to be healthy or not,” said Bonds, whose team fell to the Wolverines, 41-36, last year. “We’re going to prepare like they are and continue to take it one game at a time.”
Glendale at Burbank, 7 p.m.: Coming off its first two losses of the season and likely seeing its league title hopes go out the window, Burbank isn't going to be in a good mood when it hosts Glendale Thursday night at Memorial Field.
While the Nitros' defense has been strong this year, it will be up against a dynamic offense with junior running back James Williams and wide receiver Oharjee Brown leading the Bulldogs, who have slipped just outside of the Southeast Division rankings after consecutive losses.
Glendale (2-5, 0-4) forced three turnovers in a 27-7 loss to Crescenta Valley last week and will likely need that and more to counteract the Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2).
Burbank defeated the Nitros, 56-10, last year and is averaging 43.6 points this season. Glendale (2-5, 0-4) has lost its last four games and mightily struggled on offense this season, averaging 15.9 points a game and scoring seven or fewer points in five of its seven games.
Webb vs. Flintridge Prep at La Cañada High, 7 p.m.: Win No. 1 continues to elude the Rebels, as they head into their eighth game of the season Saturday night.
In pursuit of its first victory, Prep turns its attention toward a 3-4 Webb squad that's lost its last two games against Marshall (35-33) and Pasadena Poly (42-10). Flintridge Prep also opened against Poly (41-8) and fell at Rio Hondo Prep (63-22) last week.
While the Rebels finally got off to a strong start last week – finding themselves down just 21-14 after the first quarter at Rio Hondo Prep – they still haven't put together a complete game.
Offensively, the Gauls' run attempts (211) are more than double the amount of passes they've thrown this year (96). Like Stefan Smith for Prep, junior running back Ricky Gonzales is the heart of Webb's offense. He has 605 yards and nine scores on 92 carries and 18 receptions for 290 yards and another score. He also leads the team in tackles with 49.
Smith came alive for the Rebels last week, finishing with 210 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
La Cañada at Monrovia, 7 p.m.: It's been seven years since the Spartans have claimed victory over the Wildcats and it'll be a tough task for La Cañada to stay competitive against the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division.
Monrovia is 6-1, 2-0 in the Rio Hondo League and has outscored its past two opponents 100-0. La Cañada (3-4, 1-1) is coming off a 55-7 loss to San Marino. The Spartans' lone touchdown last week came from senior running back Jadon Henry, who broke a 53-yard touchdown run and finished with 99 yards and the score on eight carries.
There's no secret that Monrovia will be handing the ball off to highly-touted senior running back Kurt Scoby early and often. Slowing him down will be quite the task, as he's already racked up 1,268 and 16 touchdowns on 106 carries.