Bulldogs go over the half-century mark and Falcons receive their first league loss.
By Maddy PUMILIA
The Falcons football team was able to hold up its end of participating in a high-scoring affair with the Pasadena Bulldogs.
Then the second half started.
Pasadena, led by star quarterback Brandon Cox, dismantled CV’s defense on its way to a 54-42 victory last Friday at Bulldog Field.
The Falcons (4-2, 2-1 in league) are now tied for second place in the Pacific League.
“Our problem was offensively, we weren’t with them,” said Head Coach Paul Schilling after the game. “We knew we had to score every time and try and get a stop here and there.”
“Credit to Pasadena,” said running back Marro Lee. “They just beat us and coach said they beat us on all phases of the ball.”
In the second quarter, the Falcons led 28-20, but Pasadena (3-3, 2-1) exploded for 33 unanswered points.
CV started off strong with a touchdown on the opening drive. The Falcons went for it on fourth down and 1 yard to go at the 50-yard line. After a seven-minute drive, fullback Forrest Graves ran in for the touchdown.
A 19-yard run on CV’s second drive by Lee set up a 28-yard touchdown run by CV quarterback Zac Wilkerson, one of three running TDs he had. The score was 14-0 with 3:06 left in the first quarter.
Cox ran for 19 yards on Pasadena’s next drive. He threw a pass to running back Cleo Bates for a 31-yard gain. Bates then got a touchdown, making the score 14-6 with about a minute left in the first quarter. Pasadena missed the extra point.
Cox was nearly unstoppable. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 312 yards.
On the next drive, CV fumbled the punt snap and Pasadena got the ball on the CV 14-yard line.
“We had a couple special team mistakes and we can’t win a game like that,” Lee said. “We can’t win a game with special team mistakes. We can’t win a game if we don’t execute.”
Near the goal line, it was fourth and 1. An offsides call on CV gave Pasadena the first down on the 1-yard line, allowing Cox to run for the touchdown. The scoreboard had only a one-point difference with CV on top with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
CV got the ball back and Lee ran the ball 11 yards, bringing it to first and 10 on the 12-yard line. CV went for it on fourth and two on the 5-yard line. Wilkerson ran for another touchdown and CV was up by eight points with 5:37 in the second quarter.
But Pasadena refused to get out of the game and answered with another touchdown – a 19-yarder by Simpson on third and 17. The difference was again only one point – with 3:43 left in the second quarter.
Crescenta Valley wide receiver Nick Ruiz caught a 33-yard pass, allowing Wilkerson to get his third touchdown of the night. The score was 28-20 with 1:28 in the second quarter.
But Pasadena got another touchdown, narrowing the lead to again one point at halftime.
Pasadena started the second half strong with Simpson’s 55-yard touchdown reception, putting the Bulldogs ahead of the Falcons, and the scoring continued.
Down 53-28 late in the fourth quarter, CV took out Wilkerson and after a drive powered by junior running back William Wang, Wang rushed for a touchdown, making the score 53-34. They tried a two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful. CV recovered a fumble, allowing back-up quarterback Alex Duplessis to get another touchdown, taking the score to 53-42. Simpson recovered the onside kick to end the game.
“We just didn’t make plays,” Schilling said. “When you think about it, they scored the same amount of points in the first half than in the second half. They didn’t do anything different. We didn’t play any worse defensively, but we never played well defensively. So, we gave up 27 in the first half and 26 in the second half. It was the same.”
“We came out the second half. We didn’t execute offensively. We couldn’t stop them. They’re a great team,” Lee said. He added later, “Everyone just tried to do their best. I don’t know what specifically went wrong. Credit to Pasadena’s defense. I didn’t think they could stop us.”
Around the League, Burroughs High School remains the only team in the Pacific League undefeated. They beat Pasadena, Arcadia High and most recently Glendale. The final score for the Glendale game was 70-34. Arcadia High School, Pasadena and Burbank are tied with Crescenta Valley at 2-1. Muir is 1-2. Glendale and Hoover are 0-3.
The team plays Burroughs at Moyse Field tonight at 7 p.m. in their first Thursday night game of the season. Schilling said the short week is not a concern. “The only hard part about a short week is it throws you out of a routine.
“Burroughs is the only undefeated team in the league,” Schilling said about the match-up. “So the positive you say is if we run the table, we’re going to be the league champions. But Burroughs is a good team. Burroughs gave up 34 [points] to [Pasadena] but outscored them. Burroughs beat Pasadena by outscoring them.”