By Brian PARK
CV Weekly intern
The game started looking like the eventual 42-14 blowout about four minutes into the Friday night football contest. The Burbank Bulldogs stepped up and showed they could contend for the CIF championship against the solid Falcons.
The Falcons defense looked amazing on the first play of the game, sacking Burbank quarterback Adam Colman to gain momentum. On the next play, seemed things to go downhill for the Falcons when the Bulldogs had a gain of about 60 yards. The Falcons defense stopped the Bulldogs from scoring a touchdown, allowing only a field goal to give Burbank an early 3-0 lead.
On the following drive the Falcons looked to score a touchdown. Harry Pessy returned the kick for a few yards to leave a lot of ground to cover for the Falcons. On the first play, a personal foul penalty was called on the Bulldogs to put the Falcons near midfield. And that, my friend, is when it all started going wrong.
Harry Pessy didn’t look as dominant as usual on the next play, fumbling leaving Burbank in good field position.
Burbank risked an interception on the next play by passing long but got the reward of a touchdown pass, leaving the Falcons home crowd devastated. Thankfully, the extra point was missed, leaving the score at 9-0 only four minutes into the game.
On the next kickoff, it seemed as Harry returned to the tried-and-true dominant Pessy, returning the kickoff for 45 yards and drawing a face mask penalty putting the Falcons at the Burbank 30 yard line. Another play, another flag against Burbank, this one being an offsides leaving the Falcons at the Burbank 25 yard line. As fate would have it, while everything was going well, Pessy had his second fumble of the night. The fumble was recovered by the Falcons, creating a huge loss and second down. After two incomplete passes by star quarterback Kyle Cota, the Falcons punted.
The Falcons defense showed their discipline and stopped Burbank from going anywhere with the following drive. After a couple of plays, Burbank had to punt after defensive standout Andrew Carcich had a sack of the Bulldogs’ quarterback. The surprising part is that this happened in just the first quarter.
Cota and Pessy showed why they are the offensive leaders of the team and ate up the field with eight plays, ending the drive with a signature Pessy touchdown giving the Falcons their first score of the night.
The Falcons had trouble keeping the Bulldogs’ run offense contained because the speedster runningback and the quarterback stomped down the field for another touchdown, extending the Bulldogs lead 16-7.
On the following Falcons drive, Pessy had his third fumble of the night and it was lost. The Falcons defense stopped Burbank from moving, and even tipped the punt to put Falcons within the Bulldog 35 yard line. Cota then had a touchdown pass to Mike Bako, putting the Falcons within two with the score 16-14.
The Falcons defense was fabulous to end the half with lineman Bryan Luna getting a sack on the quarterback.
The Falcons got the ball to start the second half, looking like the explosive team fans are used to seeing. Cota connected with McFadden for a couple of yards, getting a good start to this drive. On the next play, Saint Francis transfer quarterback Paul Perugini threw a long pass to Mike Bako, only to have it revoked by a penalty. The Falcons couldn’t move the ball much during the rest of the drive, ending with a sack.
The rest of the game was full of frustrations as the Bulldogs had 26 unanswered points. The Falcons continued to turn the ball over as they had another lost fumble and Cota threw an interception, ending the game with four turnovers and four fumbles.
“How many mistakes could we make? We had turnovers, we couldn’t tackle and Burbank is a good football team,” said Falcons Head Coach Tony Zarillo. “They did their thing, and we just couldn’t execute.”
After a sloppy loss like this one, rest assured that the Falcons varsity football coaches and players will work their best to remedy those shortfalls.