CV football plays its last true road game this week while looking to stay unbeaten against Burroughs.
By Brandon HENSLEY
At the end of Friday night’s game at Burroughs High School, the football season for the Crescenta Valley Falcons will be just half over, but it will probably feel a lot longer.
The Falcons will have played four of their first five games on the road, so they’ll no doubt enjoy that every game starting next week is on their home turf at Glendale High School (they’ll be the designated road team vs. Hoover High School).
“It’s been a long road stretch,” said quarterback Brian Gadsby. “We’re excited to finish this one at Burroughs and then the last five games are all at home. We’re excited to have a home crowd.”
But home crowd or not, nothing has fazed the Falcons so far. They’re off to a 4-0 start after demolishing the Pasadena Bulldogs last week 43-18. The Bulldogs are winless, so take from that what you will, and CV’s other opponents earlier this season like La Cañada and Verdugo Hills aren’t spectacular.
It doesn’t matter who you beat, though, just that you got the win. CV’s certainly been winning, and with style.
Gadsby threw four touchdowns passes last week, giving him 17 already on the year. Against Pasadena he was 17-of-26 for 273 yards. He’s been sacked only once and hasn’t thrown an interception in 110 attempts.
Gadsby, a junior, said he did not expect to put up these kinds of numbers at the start of the year, but also said his offensive line isn’t getting enough credit for protecting him and giving him time to throw. When he does throw, a talented receiving corps is there to catch most anything.
“The whole team is stepping up and helping me out,” he said. “I feel like I have the easy job. All I have to do is throw a ball with five people protecting me. Everyone else is running around, trying to get open.”
CV collectively has scored over 40 points in each game. It didn’t get a defensive or special teams touchdown last week, but did so in their first three games.
The Falcons are getting contributions from seemingly everywhere. Freshman Tyler Hill is averaging 8.3 tackles a game on defense and recorded his first interception against the Bulldogs in the first half.
The defense as a whole has picked it up as of late. It gave up 20 points in the season opener to Verdugo Hills and then a whopping 53 points to San Marino in Week 2, but has since held opponents to fewer than 20 the last two games.
Maybe the numbers are due to the fact that CV is a better team against the run, and La Cañada and Pasadena work out of running formations.
Offensively, it’s easy to see this year’s Falcons team is much more versatile than last year’s. Gadsby distributes the ball to a bevy of receivers rather than last year when he and fellow quarterbacks Ben Rees and Joe Torres mainly counted on Jack Lutynski. When Lutynski got hurt for a month, the offense stalled severely because teams geared up to stop running back William Wang, and if Wang was having a mediocre game it was pretty much over.
This time, the Falcons are accruing more injuries than they’d hope for, but productivity remains high. Receivers Weston Walker, Connor Van Ginkel and Kyle Tavizon are still out with various injuries. Last week in practice Bostin Lakin hurt his shoulder and Gadsby said he could be done for the year. Defensively, cornerback Byung Kim broke his collarbone against Pasadena, so there’s that as well.
The guys who are still healthy though are coming through. Chase Walker may only have two touchdowns, but his big frame and good hands have produced 15 catches for 253 yards. Rees, who moved to receiver this year, has 16 catches and four touchdowns, plus one rushing score.
And Jordan LoBianco, who transferred this year from Verdugo Hills, has been a saving grace. Gadsby said one of his favorite plays was against San Marino when he threw up a long pass and LoBianco, one of the shorter guys on the team, jumped up with San Marino’s safety, came down with it and spun away to run the rest of the 20 or so yards in for the score.
LoBianco, who also returns punts, had three catches for 102 yards and two scores last week.
“He gets tired in the games because he’s going both ways but he’s playing through it,” Gadsby said. “He’s been a big help this year and we’re so glad he came from Verdugo.”
Getting Ready for Burroughs
The Burroughs Indians are 2-2 heading into their game with the Falcons. They’ll likely show four lineman and four linebackers on defensive. Other than that, Gadsby said he doesn’t know what else to expect.
Burroughs looks like a Jekyll and Hyde team so far. Its losses were scores of 45-14 and 48-14, and its wins were 30-7 and 35-14, the last one a victory over Glendale High to start its Pacific League schedule.
“They’re a good team,” Gadsby said. “It will be fun and interesting, and it won’t be a blowout and the starters will be in the whole game. It should be fun.”
CV, Muir, Burbank and Burroughs all notched league-opening victories last week. Overall, Muir is 3-1 and Burbank and CV are the only 4-0 teams in league. If both teams remain unbeaten this week, it will come to an end next week when they face each other Oct. 11 at Glendale High School.