By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Whether it was preseason jitters or lack of a full padding Hell Week due to the Station fire, the CV Falcons collected as many penalties as points during Friday night’s game against the Verdugo Hills Dons at Moyse Field.
Yes, it’s true that the match against the Dons wasn’t much of a contest—the game ended at 48 – 8 when the final whistle was blown—but it seemed that every move by either team was followed by a flag being dropped.
“It was typical of a first game,” said Falcons Head Coach Tony Zarillo. “We certainly had some ragged edges. But I liked the way our [team] played and I liked their effort.”
For Falcon fans it was thrilling to see Harry Pessy repeatedly take possession and chew up the field as he steamrolled through the Dons lackluster defense. His average per carry was impressive and kept fans in the stands.
Taking the field in the third quarter with a score of 35 – 0 Falcons, the Dons attempted to repeatedly blitz Falcon quarterback Kyle Cota, but to no avail. Cota was having none of it as he made the sixth Falcon touchdown early in the third.
Wide receiver Nick Ruiz fumbled the ball early in the game, however managed to maintain his composure when more experienced players may have been overwhelmed. Ruiz, one of only two sophomores on the varsity team, kept his focus, helping to push the Falcons to their ultimate victory.
But there were errors nonetheless with one of the most significant being a 15 yard personal penalty against CV due to taunting.
The Dons seemed to rally in the third by recovering a fumble at the Falcon five yard line, but the momentum was fleeting as CV’s goal line defense overwhelmed Verdugo, slamming the door on what may have their only chance for a score.
To their credit, Verdugo Hills avoided a complete shut out when Chris Henderson caught a deep pass and, with 7:12 on the clock, made the team’s only touchdown of the night. The Dons then picked up a two point conversion on the broken PAT attempt as they successfully completed a pass into the end zone.
But it didn’t take long for the Falcons to bite back.
Pessy returned the kick off for a touchdown after devouring 92 yards of turf.
The Dons weren’t ready to throw it in just yet and in perhaps their strongest defensive move of the night, held the Falcons at their 20 forcing the Falcons only punt of the evening.
Despite the dominant score, there’s no denying that there was a lot of laundry on the field Friday night and the Falcons need to tighten up their act to avoid a future trip to the cleaners.