They lose to Glendale for the first time in nine years, in an upset that dashes CV’s playoff hopes
By Brandon HENSLEY
The fuse was lit by Glendale at the start of the game, and with less than three minutes left the fireworks finally went off. For the first time since 2003, the Nitros know how it feels to beat the Crescenta Valley Falcons in a football contest.
They did it with a fast start, a slow middle, but made up for it with a play that caught CV off guard and basically ended the Falcons’ chances of making the playoffs.
With 2:39 left in the fourth quarter and trailing 17-13 at its own 40-yard line, Glendale quarterback Kevin Felix flipped the ball to receiver Michael Davis behind the line of scrimmage. CV’s defense played it as if Davis – the premier athlete on the field – was going to run, but he instead threw it downfield to a wide open Martin Marin, who ran it in for the score.
The play was shocking, in that it was the culmination of a game the Falcons didn’t deserve to win, but sure looked like they were going to anyway. Instead, even though the final score was just 20-17, CV suffered its worst loss — if not most frustrating — in the Paul Schilling era.
“We’re tired of losing” said Marin, whose team lost to the Falcons 49-3 last year. “We don’t want to lose to CV again. We’re way better than CV.”
Schilling spent time talking incredulously with his assistant coaches after the game about what happened.
“We did not play well,” he said. “We’re really disappointed in everything.”
The Falcons dropped to 3-5 overall, and 1-4 in the Pacific League. They are tied for fifth place in league with Hoover, Glendale and Pasadena. Then again, it’s also a tie for last place depending on how you look at it.
“I give them tremendous credit,” Schilling said. “They outcoached, they outplayed us. They wanted it more than us, I totally congratulate them. I think it’s a great win for them.”
This is the first season of the John Tuttle era at Glendale (2-6, 1-4). He took over for Alan Eberhart – who also coached the Falcons previously – and now he has a signature win.
“I think best part is it just gives the kids confidence they can play against people,” said Tuttle.
It started well enough Tuttle’s team. They scored on a 4-yard run on their first possession of the game, going 53 yards on just three plays. But CV’s running game was also effective early. William Wang piled up 180 yards rushing in the first half, which included a 5-yard touchdown run. Ben Rees, the starting quarterback, passed the ball just one time in the first half, but the Falcons led 17-7.
Then things turned in the worst way for CV. Kyle Tavizon returned the second-half kickoff to Glendale’s 5-yard-line, and it looked like the Falcons were going in for an early kill. But to say the drive stalled would be a huge understatement.
Wang lost yardage on a run, then Rees was sacked. After three false-start penalties and another rushing attempt that lost yardage, CV faced a fourth-and-goal … from the 32-yard-line.
“We moved back 30 yards,” said Schilling. “And we ended up punting. We had to punt it after being on the 5-yard line.”
The Nitros hung tough. Felix connected with Marin for a 36-yard score in the fourth, and after a three-and-out from CV, they got the ball back and went on their drive that would win the game.
Wang was the quiet in the second half, and the Falcons’ passing attack was non-existent.
“I think the main thing is we started making tackles,” said Tuttle. “We got more aggressive. In the first half, we were there sometimes, but guys were bouncing off [each other].”
CV’s Joe Torres was the quarterback in the fourth quarter, but his attempt on fourth down went off the hands of an outstretched Chad Eggertson with 50 seconds left, and the ball went back to Glendale, which took a knee to end the game.
The Falcons simply played unfocused. They committed eight false start penalties in all.
“Penalties are terrible,” Schilling said. “But, you know, we didn’t execute either.”
The Falcons beat Pasadena on Sept. 28 to improve to 3-2. Since then, they’ve lost three straight, and their main wide receiver Jack Lutynski suffered a small tear in his left MCL. With two games left in the season, this is not the way the Falcons wanted to be wrap up their 2012 campaign, but they can play for their pride and to end the season at .500, and it starts Friday against the Hoover Tornadoes at Glendale High School at 7 p.m.