By Jessica SHUMATE, intern
Things have changed since last season for the Crescenta Valley Falcons’ football team. They are no longer the undefeated team they were before. It’s a whole new ball game.
On Friday night against Burbank, both teams struggled to get points on the board. Burbank and CV sat uncomfortably throughout the game as the score stayed 3-0 with CV in the lead. It seemed as if whoever made the least mistakes would take home the victory, and the Bulldogs did just that.
With 7:44 left in the game, Burbank’s Powell Noah ran 56 yards to score the first and only touchdown of the evening. Burbank (3-1) and Crescenta Valley (2-2) fought head-to-head in a nail-biting, heart-stopping game that ended in an unfortunate loss for CV, 7-3.
Fans on both sides of Moyse Stadium felt a buzz in their veins. Not only was it the first Pacific League game of the season, but an extreme rivalry that dates far back. The players of Crescenta Valley, with the memory of last year’s perfect season still fresh, stomped out of the bus with a terrifying amount of intensity.
Before they got the chance to step onto the turf, both teams were given a warning about the level of sportsmanship that was expected of them that evening. Last season, Crescenta Valley beat Burbank on their home field with the score of 24-10.
On Friday, both teams were on edge and a select few let their emotions get the best of them. One personal foul after another and it became obvious to the teams and the crowd that it was getting difficult to suppress the frustration caused by the three-point gap.
“We just gotta control our temper on both sides of the ball,” said junior running back Brandon Beardt. “Those personal fouls do cost us, every time.”
With the board reading 7-3 in Burbank’s favor, the Falcons had one final shot at scoring. Previously in the game, CV had to settle for a field goal after a failed attempt at a touchdown.
Momentum rapidly coursed through CV’s sideline as the team patiently moved down the field. With less than three minutes left in the game, CV threw an interception, giving Burbank the possession of the ball. This left the Falcons with no timeouts, only to wait in agony as the clock ran out.
Some shed tears while others held their heads high knowing the team has some work to do.
“Coach [Paul Schilling] is always saying ‘fall forward,’” said junior linebacker Charles Weinman. “You gotta take that negative momentum and use it to carry us forward and improve for the next game.”
Retreating into the locker room after the game, inspirational words from Schilling rang through the players’ heads.
“You can still take the Pacific League championship,” Schilling said. “[Burbank] has to play Muir and Burroughs, we have to play Muir and Burroughs … That’s the beauty of having an eight-team league.”
This Friday, the Falcons share the home turf with the Glendale Nitros starting at 7 p.m.