By Brandon HENSLEY
It was a decade in the making and, given the stakes this time around, it had to feel sweet. The Crescenta Valley High School football team went to Muir High School last Friday and beat the Mustangs 38-26, pushing the Falcons’ record to 8-0, equaling the win total from last year with still two games to play.
On top of that, it was the first win at Muir for Crescenta Valley since 2004. Even more than that, it gave the team sole possession of first place in the Pacific League. Muir, the defending league champs, has had a monopoly in league for a while. This was the Mustangs’ first league loss in 20 games.
Crescenta Valley’s defense forced four turnovers, quarterback Brian Gadsby threw for three touchdowns and do-everything player Jordan LoBianco had a huge game as the Falcons go for their ninth win tonight against Pasadena at Glendale High School at 7 p.m.
With the win against the Bulldogs, CV can clinch no worse than a tie for a league title. If it wins out, including the season finale Nov. 7 at Arcadia, it will be league champions.
LoBianco, a transfer from Verdugo Hills High School last year, shined on special teams when he returned a punt for 56 yards late in the second quarter which helped set up a go-ahead touchdown. He also intercepted a pass and returned it for a score, intercepted another, and made the highlight reel on a long touchdown in the first half.
On that play, Gadsby’s throw to him hit a defender, and LoBianco tipped the ball to himself, caught it and ran down the sideline 80 yards for the score. Footage of that play made it to NBC4’s sports show with Fred Roggin on Saturday. Crescenta Valley lineman Davo Hakobyan led the team with 15 tackles and also hauled in an interception.
Muir’s 26 points were the most scored on the Falcons this year, but no one wearing blue and white will do much crying about it.
Mustangs’ receiver Taeon Mason had a solid game, with four catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and Muir (4-4, 4-1 in league) used a bevy of running backs to rush for over 150 yards, but it wasn’t enough to keep its winning streak alive.
Gadsby wasn’t efficient – 13 of 29 passes completed – but his three touchdowns – to LoBianco, Bostin Lakin and Connor Van Ginkel – helped run his overall record as starting quarterback to 18-2, dating back to late in the season in 2012.
Gadsby still hasn’t made the playoffs as a Falcon, but this year will be different. The top three teams in league qualify for the CIF playoffs. Pasadena, Burroughs and Burbank are tied for third with 3-2 records.
St. Francis Also Undefeated After Blowout Win
Two weeks ago, the St. Francis football team came back to win at Cathedral after trailing by 13 points in the second half. Last week, things were a bit easier as the Golden Knights cruised to a 49-10 win on the road against the St. Paul Swordsmen.
The Knights take on La Salle on Friday at St. Francis High School at 7 p.m.
Quarterback Jeremiah Martin was 11 of 15 passing with three touchdowns. Backup quarterback Miles Bryant saw action in the second half and threw for a score. The St. Francis defense held the St. Paul passing game to just 107 yards. It was a dominating performance for St. Francis (8-0, 3-0 in the Angelus League) that is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southeast Division.
St. Francis hosts Salesian High School in the season finale on Nov. 6. With the Knights first in league, Salesian and Cathedral are tied at the moment for second place with 2-1 records.