Quarterback Brian Gadsby is dealing with last week’s mouth injury and receiver Weston Walker is out this week with a knee injury. But CV has a chance to go 4-0.
By Brandon HENSLEY
It couldn’t all be sunshine and roses for Brian Gadsby, and he knew it. After two monster games to start the season for the Crescenta Valley Falcons in which he passed for six touchdowns in both games, things got tougher for the junior quarterback last week against the La Cañada Spartans.
In the second quarter, he took off running and when he was tackled his helmet lifted up a bit and his chin strap went into his upper mouth, cutting his frenum, the string that attaches the gum to the lip, while also taking out a chunk of his upper gum.
He finished the half a pedestrian 7 for 16 passing for 92 yards and two touchdowns (one of them rushing), and his coaches had him sit out the rest of the game for concern over tearing his mouth completely open.
“Just one of those games,” said Gadsby, who actually spent time in the ER after the win. “Can’t throw six touchdown passes every game.”
Fair enough, and it’s not as if the Falcons sorely missed him. CV led 28-0 at the half and went on to beat the Spartans 42-14 to improve to 3-0 for the first time in over a decade.
On Friday, the Falcons head to Pasadena High School for their Pacific League game to take on the Bulldogs, who are 0-3.
Pasadena finished last season 1-9. This year they have a new coach, Doug Bledsoe, but the results haven’t been good. Bledsoe’s team has scored a total of 15 points.
Just don’t tell the Falcons they should come in and roll the Bulldogs.
“Our first league game is coming up, we don’t want to come out flat, so we’re trying to be mentally prepared,” said defensive back and running back Kevin Hello.
Gadsby, who said he was good to go for Friday, and Hello said this week the team’s preparation for the Bulldogs is similar to what it was for the Spartans. Pasadena likes to run the ball, which bodes well for CV’s defense, which definitively had its best game last week. It held La Cañada to 3.5 yards per carry and both times the Spartans scored were because of CV miscues that gave them the ball deep in their territory.
“To me, we have a pretty great run defense, so we should do well and we’re excited that we’re 3-0,” Gadsby said. “We want to keep it coming.”
“There’s definitely room for improvement,” Hello said. “We’re happy we got the win [last week]. It wasn’t a pretty win. We shouldn’t have let them score those 14 points. We made some critical errors but thankfully we were able to compensate for that with the points we scored.”
Hello said the coaches are telling guys to watch for broken plays, such as when the Bulldogs have things go awry and they use their athleticism to compensate and catch the Falcons off-guard.
“If we give up those long plays, that could kill us,” Hello said. “We have to be mentally ready.”
Gadsby said Pasadena’s defense plays man-to-man, like the Spartans do, so there should be enough opportunities for the passing attack to get back on track if the receivers can break away from coverage.
There were multiple times last week when guys were open but Gadsby’s passes went off the fingers of his receivers.
“I felt like every throw was just missing,” Gadsby said. “I don’t think I had a completion until the second quarter.”
Gadsby will most likely be without receiver Weston Walker, who injured his knee against La Cañada. That makes yet another receiver to go down this year: Walker, Connor Van Ginkel (injured in Week 2, out for a few more weeks) and Kyle Tavizon, who hasn’t played a game yet with a broken arm.
Gadsby said junior Robbie Benson and freshman Tyler Hill will now get plays in at receiver.
“They’re going to step up just like everyone else is doing,” he said. “Everyone’s a little sore, but that’s football.”
Torres Stepping Up
Backup quarterback Joe Torres came in for Gadsby in the second half last week. It wasn’t pretty at first. He fumbled the hand-off to a running back which resulted in a turnover, and another series was chalk full of penalties, like false starts and illegal motions. This led to the sizable CV student section to chant, “We Want Brian.”
Eventually, he got it together and led the team on two scoring drives, one a long throw to Jordan LoBianco and another on a quarterback sneak at the goal line.
“He did have a rough start, but I think he did well,” Hello said. “It’s hard for a quarterback to not play offense for the first two weeks of the season and then be thrown into a game that’s pretty important for us.”
“Joe did great,” Gadsby said. “The first series or two, he had to get used to the offense, and the offense had to get used to him. But after that it was normal.”
Another Hello Sighting
Hello blocked a punt and recovered the ball for a touchdown in Week 2 against San Marino. Last week on defense he grabbed a deflected pass for an interception and ran in it in for another score. It was the third straight game CV has scored a non-offensive touchdown.
“There is some luck to it, but overall that is what we’re trying to do; get the offense the ball,” he said.
CV and Burbank are the only 3-0 teams in league. Of course, no one in league has played each other until now. Pasadena is the only winless team in league. After Friday at Pasadena, the Falcons play five of the last six games on their home field at Glendale High. They travel to Burroughs next week, but after that it’s all at Glendale. CV will be the designated road team against Hoover later this season, but psychologically the only difference is CV’s team and fans will be on the other side of the field.