- St. Francis 35, CV 0 -
CV commits too many penalties and Wilkerson is pressured all night as St. Francis takes the easy win.
In a game made up of penalties, interceptions and pressure on the quarterback, the Falcons suffered their first loss of the season at St. Francis.
The Falcons (1-1) were stymied on offense all night as quarterback Zac Wilkerson and running back Marro Lee, who were both dynamic in the season-opening win vs. Santa Paula, could not get anything going against a Knights team that has owned the Falcons for years.
Wilkerson was six-of-23 passing, with just 46 yards and two interceptions, and St. Francis rolled to an easy 35-0 win.
“St. Francis, they’re always bigger and stronger. We just weren’t big enough,” Wilkerson said, who was sacked five times.
Wilkerson said one of the reasons he was under pressure was because tackle Armon Pashai wasn’t playing. Pashai and wide receiver/safety Nick Ruiz were suspended this game because they were ejected during the Sept. 9 game vs. Santa Paula game.
“It’s hard to get in the game mentally when two of your main guys aren’t there,” Head Coach Paul Schilling said. He added that those two guys weren’t going to make the Falcons automatically win the game.
CV started off the game with the ball, but had no success on the opening drive. The Golden Knights (2-0) responded by getting their first touchdown, a 2-yard run by Austin Finton.
When CV got the ball back, Wilkerson was under pressure, primarily by St. Francis linemen Matt Casciani and Tyler Marona. In addition, the St. Francis defense ran line stunts which seemed to confuse the Falcon offense.
St. Francis scored in the second quarter when quarterback Jared Lebowitz hit Christian Hess for a 61-yard touchdown. The score became 14-0.
Penalties against CV had a major part in why the Golden Knights marched down for another score, 21-0. The Falcons made 14 penalties in the game for 116 yards.
Shortly before the end of the second quarter, CV linebacker Justin Springfield intercepted the ball, which seemed to fire up the Falcons’ side of the stands. But Falcon kicker Pavle Atanackovic missed a 51-yard field goal as time expired.
CV had 24 minutes to put up 21 points to tie the game. In the second half, Wilkerson threw an interception and St. Francis’ Travis Talianko returned it for 95-yard for a touchdown.
After Wilkerson’s interception, St. Francis shortly scored again, making it 35-0. On the next drive, Lee, who had an excellent game against Santa Paula, had a nice run, but another interception sealed the Falcons’ fate.
“You can’t really be disappointed when you know you tried your best, but you do what you can do,” said center/linebacker Nathan Sarreal of the loss.
Schilling said that St. Francis was bigger and stronger and is a better team as of now.
On Friday the Falcons take on the La Cañada Spartans. The Spartans are 1-1 after beating Glendale High School on Friday 16-14. The address for Friday’s game is 4463 Oak Grove Drive. The game is dedicated to former coach Gordon Warnock. Warnock died Sept. 22 last year. He was a coach for more than 50 years at both the high school and junior college level, and coached the Falcons to their only CIF title in 1973.
Schilling said the key for the next contest is to “not give up big plays and to execute good plays on offense.”
On Sept. 30, the Falcons start playing league games. Their first opponent is Hoover High School. Hoover is 0-2. They lost to Glendale and South Pasadena High School. Upcoming opponents also include Muir High School, Pasadena and Burroughs.
While Wilkerson struggled, mainly due to a collapsing line all night, Knights quarterback Jared Lebowitz fared better. He was 11-of-19 for 178 yard passing and threw for two scores. His only big mistake was an interception to Justin Springfield, but it turned out be harmless.
Wilkerson’s first completion of the night came at the 5:48 mark of the third quarter, when he found Peter Kim for 11 yards.
That Kind of Night
In the third quarter, The Falcons were putting together a long drive and were in St. Francis territory. But on fourth and 1, they gave the ball to running back Lee, who instead tried to pass. He was tackled for a 13-yard loss.
In the second quarter, the Knights’ Christian Hess bobbled a Falcon punt on his own 15-yard line. Players from both teams scrambled to recover, but when the ball bounced into the end zone – as it was still being chased – officials stopped the play and called for possession to stay with St. Francis and have the ball placed at the 20-yard line.