By Eli LOCKE
On Friday, Sept. 10 CVHS Falcon football opened its season with a visit to the Verdugo Hills Dons. Although the Falcons’ record against the Dons is somewhat lopsided – the Dons have not beaten the Falcons since the 2005 season – CV was smart in not writing a win off as a sure thing. Though Verdugo is coming off of a winless season, CV did not come onto the field with any assumptions as to the skill of their opponent.
The Dons kick off started the game, and the Falcons took the ball at the 50-yard line with a tremendous show of speed by running back Nikko Domingo as he tore up the turf for a first down. Quarterback Zak Wilkerson led the Falcons down the field with a show of the team’s offensive capabilities. Junior Nick Ruiz evaded the Verdugo defense and leapt up for his first touchdown catch of the night to give the Falcons a six-point lead.
Dons quarterback Douglas Powell scrambled up the field despite the defense’s attempts to stop him for a 20-yard gain to start its first offensive series. The Verdugo offense showed signs of trouble as they fumbled the ball, recovering it just as senior Chris Fierro ran in to make the tackle. Powell recovered from this mishap, leading the Dons down to the goal line. The Falcons defense, backed into its own end zone, appeared to be on the verge of holding the Dons to a field goal but Powell scrambled into the end zone to keep the Dons in the game.
Wilkerson showed off his arm with a bullet as Ruiz made a diving catch to bring the Falcons closer to the goal line. Wilkerson once again drove down the field setting up a daring option play in which he tossed a last minute pitch to Marro Lee for another touchdown. The Dons offense sputtered and quickly gave the ball back to the Falcons dangerous offense. The Falcons running backs worked their way down the field setting up Wilkerson for yet another touchdown connection with Ruiz who stood wide open in the end zone. The Falcons went for two, hoping to make up for a two previous failed attempts, bringing the score to bring the score to 20-7 with just over a minute left in the first half.
Senior Tyler Martinez welcomed the Dons to the second half by stopping the Dons on first second and third down, forcing a quick end to the drive. The Falcons flew through the air with pass after pass as Ruiz and Wilkerson met up in the end zone for a spectacular catch by Ruiz, as he managed to drag a foot inbounds for his third and final touchdown of the night. As the Falcons started to pull their starting defense, the Dons drove down the field for their second touchdown. The Falcons continued to make plays on offense as Wilkerson threw for yet another touchdown to end the days scoring. The Falcons spent the remainder of the game by showing their depth, as most of their players got a chance to showcase their abilities. The Falcons had an outstanding performance in their season opener as the clock wound down with the scoreboard reading 34-13 in favor of CV.
The Falcons offense dominated the field as Wilkerson passed for four touchdowns, three
to Ruiz, who attributed the Falcons’ success “to the work [the team] put in over summer and the numerous passing league tournaments [they] played in.” CV showed that it could do what it takes to win, whether it was running the ball, making plays through the air, or stopping an offense in