Every game now is a must-win for the Falcons after losing to Burbank.
By Brandon HENSLEY
Moments after the Crescenta Valley Falcons’ football team broke their end-game huddle to walk off the field on Friday night, the lights at Burroughs High School’s Memorial Field went out, painting the field black. It might be a metaphor for CV’s season, because it will be lights out if the team can’t win all three of its remaining games.
The Falcons did make progress against Burbank High, which plays its games at Burroughs, but it wasn’t enough. They moved the ball better but still gave up too many big plays on defense, and went down 38-21. It was the team’s second straight loss, and put them in a bigger hole in the Pacific League at 1-3 (3-4 overall). They’re now tied with Hoover for fifth place.
The offense scored 21 points, its most since Sept. 14 against La Cañada. William Wang ran better than he had in recent weeks (85 yards), and the coaching staff got creative and implemented the Wildcat formation with running back Kyle Tavizon taking snaps (Tavizon had a 20-yard touchdown run off of that formation).
But even though the Falcons claimed to be well prepared for Burbank’s Wing-T offense, they weren’t able to hold the Bulldogs’ attack at key times. Burbank sophomore running back James Williams was the star of the game, piling up 169 yards, including a 59-yard score that gave Burbank its final points.
“Defensively, we knew every single play on every single down, and they were able to do it. They ran it,” said CV Coach Paul Schilling.
Williams also had a long run resulting in a touchdown when he fumbled near the goal line, but his teammates recovered the ball in the end zone. That play came right after Wang had drawn the Falcons to 20-14 with a five-yard score late in the third quarter.
“Offensively, we made some good strides,” Schilling. “This is the best we’ve moved the ball, and against a good defensive team. They’re a good team, and we moved the ball and found some stuff that worked. We did a little wildcat with Kyle Tavizon … we got some things going.”
Burbank improved to 5-2 overall and 4-0 in league. They are tied for first place in league with Muir.
It was scoreless into the second quarter when the Bulldogs blocked CV punter Chris Rivera’s attempt deep in Falcons territory, and took the ball in for a 7-0 lead. Down 14-0 later in the quarter, the Falcons put together a seven-play drive, led by quarterback Joe Torres and Wang, who punched it in from eight yards out to cut the deficit to 14-7 going into halftime.
“They’re a physical team,” said Schilling. “We played them physically. Burbank’s heads were hanging at halftime, and they were up.”
But in the second half, the Falcons just traded touchdowns with Burbank before the Bulldogs pulled away late.
The Falcons are at Glendale High School for the next two games against Glendale and Hoover. Glendale has just one win on the season, and is winless in league. The Nitros have scored just 21 points total in their last five games. CV’s defense should be able to let the Falcons come out with a win.
After the Burbank game, Schilling said being in fourth place in league doesn’t necessarily put a team in the playoffs anymore, so CV is going to need to win every remaining game and hope for some help.
“Our playoffs start now. If we win out, we have a chance,” said Schilling. “A lot of stuff has to happen because in our division now getting fourth place doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot. So if we won out, we could be in fourth place and still be out. But in our mind, if we win out we’re going to go to the playoffs.”
Talking with Jack
Perhaps last week’s game – and almost certainly the Burroughs loss earlier this month – would have been different if No. 1 wide receiver Jack Lutynski had been on the field. Alas, he’s nursing a partial tear in his left MCL after going down on a play that involved Torres scrambling out of the pocket against Pasadena on Sept. 28
“I had no idea,” Lutynski said of what he was thinking when he went down. “I heard and felt a pop. The trainers came out. I could tell by the look they were giving me that it wasn’t good. Then we had MRIs and everything. Yeah, it was not good.”
He said he is on track to make the Arcadia game Nov. 2, which, if CV wins its two games before that, means that one could determine if CV goes to the playoffs.
“It’s hard to come out here and watch,” he said. “I want to be out there.”
Lutynski said his knee feels “tight,” and that he had hoped to start the stationary bike this week, as well as wearing a smaller brace. Whatever needed to be done in order for his season not be over, he was on board with.
“I said let’s do it. Anything, let’s go … It kills me. I want to be on that field.”