By Eli LOCKE
Every year, the Falcons and the Spartans of La Cañada face off in a game that has, in the last few years, favored CV. The last time the Spartans beat the Falcons was during the 2006 season, however, despite the Falcons record against the Spartans no game is ever decided by previous contests, and in this matchup many expected a tough fight.
In the wake of the death of long time CVHS football coach Gordon Warnock, the atmosphere at the beginning of the game last Friday at Moyse field was very somber. After a moment of silence in memory of Warnock, the Spartans kicked off to start the game.
The Falcons took the ball at the 20-yard line and, thanks to the running of junior Maro Lee, reached the end zone in just four plays. The Spartans started their first drive at the 20 after a touchback, then battled downfield making short gains until quarterback Scott Gray threw a deep ball down the sideline nearly scoring on the play. The pass set up a quarterback sneak by Gray to tie the game up at 7-7 early in the first quarter.
The Falcons next drive started out strong as they gained several first downs, however the La Cañada defense quickly forced them to punt. The Spartans offense took over on the 40-yard line and failed to get moving, with CV linebacker Bryan Luna sacking Gray on third down, forcing the punt.
The Falcons fumbled on their next drive, setting the Spartans up with good field position to start their drive. With the Spartans starting on the 46-yard line, they were in a good position for a score. The Spartans took advantage of the Falcons fumble, as they threw deep yet again, setting up a short run by Gray for a touchdown. CV once again chose to run the ball, however this time it proved less effective. Wilkerson passed to Ruiz to keep the drive alive, which, coupled with a late hit penalty, gave the Falcons great field position. Lee was given the ball, and thanks to a key block by fullback Kevin Fernandez, took it into the end zone. The Spartans ran the ball throughout their next drive, quickly scoring on an option play. Corner Levi Walker dove to block the extra point, making the score 20-14 La Cañada. The Falcons drove down the length of the field in one of the fastest drives of the night, as the combination of Wilkerson and Ruiz helped bring the Falcons down to the goal line where Lee once again ran into the end zone setting up a score of 21-20 at the half.
The Spartans took the ball to start the half, however they failed to get a drive going, and the Falcons quickly took over. CV’s drive, however also ended quickly with a fumble. The Spartans failed to score, and the Falcons once again took over. CV was forced to try for a long field goal as kicker Pavle Atanackovic sent the ball straight through the uprights, making the score 24-20 Falcons. The Falcons forced the Spartans to punt after a short drive, however the offensive unit punted, giving the ball right back to the Spartans. Gray once again scrambled his way into the end zone to give the Spartans the lead, scoring quickly again, this time on a pass. The Falcons took the ball at the 20-yard line, and drove down the field for another touchdown. CV’s defense stopped the opposition after a decent drive, forcing the punt. The Falcons ran down the field eating up the clock until Lee was given the ball and ran it into the end zone to give the Falcons the lead.
With under a minute to play, Luna intercepted a pass from Gray running down to the one-yard line to seal the Falcons
The Falcons take on the Glendale Nitros tomorrow night, Friday, at Moyse field at 7 p.m.