Falcons get crucial win over Burbank to keep hope alive with season winding down.
By Maddy PUMILIA
After a two-game losing streak and the potential chance of missing the playoffs, the Crescenta Valley Falcons’ football team beat the Burbank Bulldogs Oct. 27 keeping alive playoff hopes.
CV was able to capitalize on some Burbank miscues to get off to a hot start, and the Falcons never relinquished the lead, winning 35-14.
The victory was a crucial one for the Falcons, seeing as how they had lost two straight games and their playoff chances were slipping away.
“It’s a big win,” said wide receiver Nick Ruiz. “This is one of only must-win games to get into the playoffs. We needed to win this game to ensure a playoff victory. It’s a very crucial win to have and a lot of momentum going.”
The win gave CV (5-3, 3-2 in league) one more victory than it had all of last season. There are two more regular season games left on the schedule.
The Falcons kicked off to the Bulldogs. Quarterback Austin Mowatt threw an interception on third down caught by defensive back Jack Lutynski. He ran the ball from Burbank’s 27-yard line to Burbank’s 12-yard line.
The Falcons’ offense took the field. Falcons’ running back Marro Lee ran the ball eight yards. Lee ran again, scoring CV’s first touchdown, still very early in the first quarter.
CV scored again when quarterback Zac Wilkerson ran the ball into the end zone, making the score 14-0 with six and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs marched their way down field to CV’s 38-yard line. An illegal procedure penalty made it second-and-16. Mowatt threw two incomplete passes, but a pass interference call gave the Bulldogs a first down on CV’s 28-yard line. Falcon Justin Springfield recovered a fumble, giving CV the ball on their 44-yard line and ending the Bulldogs’ drive.
Wilkerson then threw a 33-yard touchdown catch to Ruiz. The Falcons were up 21-0 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs drove down the field for their own touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter. Running back Daniel Martinez ran the ball into the end zone.
With five minutes left in the half, Wilkerson hit Ruiz for a long touchdown, pushing the score to 28-7.
On fourth-and-four on Crescenta Valley’s 12-yard line, Burbank elected to try a field goal. The field goal was no good and the score stayed at 28-7 to end the first half.
In the third, CV followed with another touchdown by Ruiz, his third of the night. CV was up by four touchdowns – making the score 35-7 – with two and a half minutes in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were faced with a fourth-and-19 after another sack by the CV defense. The punt return was fumbled and the Bulldogs’ Damian Lopez ran in for a touchdown. The touchdown was wiped out due to penalty.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs scored with eight minutes left in the quarter. They tried an onside kick, which CV recovered. A handoff to Burbank running back Herman Castro would have been a 53-yard touchdown, but it was nullified by a penalty.
“It’s big,” said Head Coach Paul Schilling of the win. “We needed to win two out of the next three counting this one to get to the playoffs. Now, we have one of two. Two and two’s even better. It’ll give us a good seed. We’re excited.”
Schilling said the star of the game was CV’s defense. “We had a pretty tricky scheme plan,” he said. “[The defense] had to see every formation and know what [Burbank’s] going to run out of it. We knew exactly what they were going to run. And [the defense] had to learn it and they did. That was the defense the first half, they couldn’t get anything going.”
On Friday, the team takes on Glendale High School. Glendale is 1-7 overall and 0-5 in league. Next week, the team plays Arcadia on Friday. Arcadia is the final game of the season, excluding playoffs.
Sizing up Glendale
Schilling called Glendale quarterback Evan Norton “a good thrower.”
“[Wide Receiver] Michael [Davis] is faster than anyone in the Pacific League, so we have to figure out a way to stop them,” Schilling said. “Last time we had a big win at the Muir game, it was a little bit of a high and we got back the next week against Pasadena and we didn’t play very well. We played well last week against Burroughs but we did not play well in the Pasadena game, so that’s kind of our focus this week.”
Around the League, Burroughs High School was defeated. Muir High School beat Burroughs 28-0. Arcadia, Pasadena and Burroughs are all 4-1. Muir High School and CV are 3-2. Burbank High School is 2-3. Glendale High School and Hoover High School are 0-5.