Tough Test Expected Tonight for Falcons

Photos by Brandon HENSLEY Sophomore running back Daniel Cho scores in the third quarter of last week’s win over Verdugo Hills.
Photos by
Sophomore running back Daniel Cho scores in the third quarter of last week’s win over Verdugo Hills.


The print article of this story incorrectly stated this week’s game was Thursday. It is not. The Falcons play Golden Valley at Canyon HS on Friday at 7 p.m.


By Brandon HENSLEY

It was only the third quarter, but a hard night’s work had come to an end for most of the starting offensive lineman. On the sidelines, after video from the previous drive, Tommy Chun, all 6’2” and 290 pounds of him, blurted out to no one in particular, “I’m done for today. I’m pooped. I want some food.”

He would need to wait another quarter and a half, but a large meal would have been in order for the entire Crescenta Valley High football team after its season opener Sept. 1 against Verdugo Hills.

It was only the first game, against an inferior opponent and in front of a home crowd expecting big things this season. The Falcons should have won. They should have displayed the kind of offensive efficiency the coaches have been seeing all summer. They should have shown the kind of defensive intensity that can potentially guide them to a league title, and maybe more.

CV fans didn’t have to worry. The Falcons did all those things and more in a 51-8 stomping of the Dons at Moyse Field. It was the fourth straight victory over the Dons dating back to 2013. This one was the ugliest of all.

Dons’ quarterback Mason Van Kempen was hassled all night by a swarming Falcons’ defense.
Dons’ quarterback Mason Van Kempen was hassled all night by a swarming Falcons’ defense.

New Falcons starting quarterback Cole Doyle rested the entire second half because his team was up 37-0 after two quarters. Doyle played efficiently and almost flawlessly completing 10 of 11 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Max Meyer and Andrew Traber.

Traber suffered a sprained ankle on his score but it wasn’t expected to be serious, the team said.

This is what the coaches thought Doyle could do when he was called up late last year as a freshman to help with injuries. Doyle displays a calming influence, and his talent and productivity overshadow his small stature inside the pocket.

Make no mistake: Doyle played big time.

“I have to stop and tell myself sometimes he’s only a sophomore,” said offensive coordinator Hudson Gossard. “His in-game demeanor and decision-making is great. You saw it tonight. There were times he went back, felt some pressure, didn’t panic, found the seam to make a nice run or get out of bounds. He’s a little guy, I don’t want him to get hurt, we need him.

“He surpassed the test. He was amazing tonight.”

Doyle admitted to feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement. This was, after all, the first season opener for him as a varsity player.

“I was always hyped. It was the first game of the season,” he said. “I just wanted to get out there and start playing ball.”

Everyone was playing ball. The rushing attack, speared by Daniel Cho and Joseph Suh, combined for 290 yards and five touchdowns, and five players combined for six sacks against Verdugo. Tyler LoBianco recorded his first interception of the season.

“I have to give credit to my defense. They showed up … we’re a really well coached team,” Doyle said.

While last week was easy enough, it will be struggle for the Falcons to go to 2-0. Tonight at Golden Valley High School at 7 p.m. CV will be matched up again with the Grizzlies, who beat CV 39-20 last year.

“They’re great. And we got our butts whupped last year, on our home turf,” Gossard said.

Last year’s senior quarterback, Victor Corona, has been replaced by this year’s senior Josh Valvano, and the Grizzlies (2-0) have many experienced players returning, such as KJ Maduike, Tai Brown and Darius Anthony.

Golden Valley shut out its first two opponents, beating Antelope Valley 28-0 and then Royal 26-0. A dominant defense and a strong rushing attack have been keys to GV’s success so far.  The team has six rushing touchdowns and no passing scores.

Gossard said last year CV didn’t take advantage of the opportunities given to them. Maybe tonight, things will go the Falcons’ way.

“We have to play like we did [against Verdugo]. Keep the mistakes low, continue to execute and I think we’ll be okay,” he said.

“They’re definitely a tough team. We’re going to have to do a lot of preparing,” Doyle said. “I think if we go on having the mindset we can beat these guys, I think we can do it.”