By Brandon HENSLEY
From the beginning of this season, members of the Crescenta Valley High football team thought they were still the team to beat in the Pacific League. After a tough loss against Burbank in Week 4, that didn’t seem to be the case. It was the team’s first league loss of the season, the second one overall, and it came with questions about how to cure an up-and-down offense.
But here we are, several weeks later, and the Falcons look like they’ve got their swagger back. CV delighted its Homecoming crowd last week against John Muir High School, putting up its third straight high-scoring effort in a 40-27 victory.
Evan Nelson threw for 123 yards and a touchdown, while Tyler Hill bashed his way for 183 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. With the win, CV moved to 5-2, its third straight win, all of them coming at home, and all of them with the Falcons scoring at least 40 points.
“We have a good routine going,” said senior lineman Nizar Abou-Chakra, who had three tackles. “Evan’s doing well throwing the ball and Tyler’s in the backfield making plays running the ball. He’s putting the team on his back.”
Coach Paul Schilling was actually not too impressed with the performance. He cited some “dumb penalties” as reasons to be upset.
“We left a lot on the field. I don’t even think we did that well,” Schilling said. “We could do better.”
Schilling didn’t like giving up 27 points to a depleted Mustangs team, though he did acknowledge the last touchdown given up was in garbage time, where players were scrambling around.
“If it was 40-14 instead, then I’d be okay,” he said.
Bostin Lakin had two interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown.
It was the first time since 1977 and 1978 that CV football defeated Muir in consecutive seasons. The Falcons beat the Mustangs on their own turf last year, the first victory over Muir since 2004. After that game, Falcons players made it known they didn’t appreciate the chippiness from Mustang players, and the disrespect shown after the game.
It was different this year, said Abou-Chakra.
“They were shaking our hands, helping us up every play, as opposed to last year,” he said. “They didn’t even shake our hands.”
CV is tied with Burbank at 3-1, good for second place behind 4-0 Burroughs. The Falcons play at Burroughs on Oct. 30. First though, they travel to Pasadena to face the 2-2 Bulldogs. There are only three games left in the season, and league is still up for grabs.
“We realize the importance of every game now,” Abou-Chakra said. “We have a three-game stretch, and we need to win every game.”