By Brandon HENSLEY
The Crescenta Valley High School football team continued its march through the Pacific League last week with a 48-13 victory over the Glendale Nitros. Quarterback Brian Gadsby threw for 367 yards and five touchdowns, all of them in the first half, and CV improved to 6-0 on the season.
With the way the Falcons have played so far, it is probable they are on their way to locking up a playoff spot, something they didn’t do last season, even with an 8-2 record. In 2013 they lost to Burroughs and Muir. The Falcons avenged the Burroughs game last month with a 48-21 win. Muir will have to wait until next week.
It was the passing game that did most of the damage against the Nitros. Crescenta Valley totaled just 80 yards on the ground, but it didn’t matter. Gadsby hit Connor Van Ginkel for three touchdowns, including an 87-yard scoring strike. Van Ginkel, the No. 1 receiver, racked up 273 yards in the game. Chase Walker, who plays opposite Van Ginkel, had two touchdowns himself. Jonathan Jun and Bostin Lakin rushed for the other scores.
Because of the big lead, Gadsby was taken out in the third quarter.
On the defensive side, sophomore Tyler Hill had a team-high 15 tackles. The Falcons sacked Glendale quarterback Julian Rovira twice, and forced two turnovers, a Jordan LoBianco interception and a Jae Hong fumble recovery.
CV did give up a 68-yard score, once again showing its susceptibility to the big play, but it has hardly mattered this season when so many other things are going right. The Falcons are scoring 43 points per game, while giving up just 13.8 points. Gadsby has thrown for over 1800 yards, with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Jun, the main running back, is averaging six yards per carry and has two games in which he’s ran for over 100 yards. Van Ginkel, who missed half the season last year, is healthy and contributing like the all-league first-team player he should be. He has caught a team-high 39 balls for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.
Defensive lineman/linebacker Matt Erickson leads the team in tackles with 63. He also has 4.5 sacks, second to Colin Caver, who has five. Defensive back Jordan LoBianco has five interceptions, while six other players are tied with one.
The kicking game hasn’t been an issue, because there hasn’t been a need for it, really. But that’s no knock on sophomore place-kicker Alex Atanackovic. He has converted 32 of his 36-point after tries (PATs) and made one of three field goal attempts. His lone conversion was for 28 yards.
On Friday, the Falcons will host the Hoover Tornadoes at Glendale High School for homecoming week. Hoover is winless in league, having only scored seven points and given up 134. So this looks like a win, but after that it will get interesting. The Falcons play at Muir Oct. 24. The Mustangs are the reigning league champions and, after losing all three of its non-league games this season, they’ve dominated since, shutting out Glendale and Burbank and having beat Burroughs 42-14.
Currently, CV and Muir are the only undefeated teams in league at 3-0. Pasadena is 2-1, and the Falcons host the Bulldogs on Oct. 30. The season finale is at Arcadia. The Apaches are currently 1-2 in league.