Hopes of securing a Pacific League title were dealt a setback for the Crescenta Valley High football team last week, as a 14-point fourth-quarter lead wasn’t enough to hold off Burroughs.
Three turnovers and a botched punt from CV opened the door for Burroughs’ 24-17 win at Memorial Field, as the Indians outscored the Falcons, 21-0, in the final six minutes of the game. There’s no time for Crescenta Valley to live in the past.
“We can’t do that because we play Burbank High this week, who’s probably picked to be the first or second team in our league — probably one of the best teams in our league,” CV Coach Paul Schilling said. “We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we told our guys if you want to win a league championship you have to beat Burbank anyway.”
Crescenta Valley (4-1, 1-1 in league) has a chance to put itself right back in position to take first in the Pacific with an underdog victory over Burbank Friday night at Moyse Field.
That’s no easy task, as the Bulldogs are a perfect 5-0 and haven't shown many, if any, weaknesses in dominant league wins over Arcadia (51-14) and Pasadena (42-7).
The Falcons' high-powered offense was contained last week, as junior quarterback Brian Gadsby was 21 for 35 for 248 yards for one score and two interceptions. The Falcons' defense, anchored by big-play threat Kevin Hello, played strong early and forced two turnovers against Burroughs. Hello had an interception and fumble recovery last week.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are allowing 10.8 points a game and averaging 48.2 points a game.
Burbank leans heaviest on junior running back James Williams (469 yards, nine touchdowns on 48 carries and 13 receptions for 260 yards and three scores). It also has balance with signal caller Ryan Meredith (53 of 88 for 806 yards, 12 scores and no interceptions) and wide receiver Oharjee Brown (248 yards, six touchdowns on 18 catches).
“Hopefully, we’re going to rebound over at Glendale High,” Schilling said. “It’s also our homecoming game, so not only are we trying to bounce back from a tough loss, but we have homecoming and one of the best teams in our league.”
St. Francis at St. Paul, 7 p.m.: With the biggest win of their season in their back pocket, the 5-0 Golden Knights now have something to prove in the Mission League.
St. Francis will take to the road to face a winless St. Paul team it defeated last year, 34-13.
“We’re excited about moving into league this week. … St. Paul is 0-5 on the season and our approach is that this is a brand new season because it’s the beginning of league,” St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said. “Everyone starts from scratch here, everyone goes 0-0 into league.”
With an average 30.2 margin of victory this year, the Knights jumped from sixth to No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Western Division this week with a 48-14 win over Monrovia, the No. 1 team in the Mid-Valley Division, last Friday.
While each week seems to bring a different standout, St. Francis has relied on quarterback Ty Gangi, running back Joe Mudie and wide receiver Dylan Crawford week-in and week-out. The Knights have also benefited from a solid offensive line and defense that's allowing just 13.4 points a game.
In the win at Monrovia, Gangi completed 12 of 26 passes for 305 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 23 yards and two scores on six carries and caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Matt Gonzalez.
Crawford logged four receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while Mudie produced 123 yards from scrimmage (65 rushing, 58 receiving) and a score.
St. Francis’ core three will look to stay on their game against the Swordsmen. While St. Paul is winless, it has played a tough nonleague schedule against teams like Buena Park (40-20), Mater Dei (56-7), La Habra (41-7) Damien (34-18) and Bishop Amat (49-10).
“They’ve played some extremely tough teams and they’re not going to be surprised by us when we take the field,” Bonds said. “Our message to our team is to be 1-0 in league this week.”
Pasadena Poly vs. Flintridge Prep at Occidental College, 7 p.m.: Having shown some late promise in its final two nonleague games, Flintridge Prep opens the Prep League looking to put it at all together.
The Rebels (0-5) and Panthers (4-0) have had completely different nonleague experiences. Prep fell out of the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division rankings and Poly ascended right near the top, currently ranked No. 2.
After posting a strong 46-33 win over Pasadena Poly last year, Flintridge Prep will probably not be taken lightly by its league rival.
Good news for the Rebels is there didn't appear to be any setback to Stefan Smith, their lead running back and most prominent offensive weapon. The senior had 11 carries for 64 yards and three catches for 44 yards in last week's 47-20 loss to Heritage Christian after missing the previous game with injury.
If nothing else, the Rebels will be happy to be back home after playing road games the past four weeks that amounted to roughly 965 total miles round trip.
Arcadia at Glendale, 7 p.m.: The Nitros are still looking for their first Pacific League win and will have a chance to do so Thursday against Arcadia's familiar wing-T attack led by former Hoover Coach Andrew Policky.
Glendale (2-3, 0-2) rides a two-game losing streak — Burroughs (35-14) and Muir (40-0) — into Thursday against an Arcadia team (3-2, 1-1) that earned its first league win against Hoover, 53-21, last week.
The Nitros, who committed three turnovers last week, have struggled on offense in their last two games. Glendale's strength all year has been its defense, but it needs its offense to sustain drives and help win the field-position battle to keep its defense out of bad situations.
After dealing with an injury the last three weeks, Nitros running back Daniel Jung logged 17 carries for just 23 yards last week against Muir without aggravating anything. Glendale wide receiver Martin Marin hauled in four passes for 43 yards against Muir.
Hoover at Pasadena, 7 p.m.: Both the Tornadoes and Bulldogs are dealing with their fair share of problems coming into Friday night's Pacific League game at Pasadena High.
Injuries have cut Hoover's numbers down to about 23 players, as its losing streak climbed to three games in an emotional 54-21 loss to Arcadia last week.
Tornadoes Coach Matt Andersen was proud of his team's heart and effort in the loss, perhaps none more so than Andres Perez. The senior wide receiver had a three-touchdown game with four catches for 122 yards, two touchdowns and a fumble recovery returned for 56 yards and a score.
This week, the Tornadoes (2-3, 0-2 in league) will have to hold off a hungry Pasadena team that's still in search of its first win with an 0-5, 0-2 record. The Bulldogs have opened with losses to two teams, Crescenta Valley (43-18) and Burbank (42-7), who are contending for the league title.