Ugly Start to Season for Falcons

corrected Sept. 3. Corrections in bold.


Remi Valdes (44) picks up yardage late in the second half vs. Newbury Park.
Photos by Brandon HENSLEY

By Brandon HENSLEY

There were signs hung along the rails on the Crescenta Valley fans’ side to welcome back the football team.

Excitement, at least for the first couple of minutes, was in the air for the first game of the 2021 season against Newbury Park on Aug. 29. One of the signs read “NewBURY them,” which was cute, but by the end of the first quarter it was clear which team would be buried.

The Panthers (1-0) came to Glendale’s Moyse Field and dominated a young and inexperienced Falcons team, racking up 28 points in the first quarter on their way to a 42-0 win.

In fact, that was the score at halftime. If Newbury didn’t call off the dogs in the second half, who knows how ugly it could have gotten?

On the CV sidelines, Coach Hudson Gossard had to do his share of yelling at players to line up at the right position right before the ball was snapped and, behind the team, some of the cheerleaders encouraged the guys by saying, “You got this, CV!”

They clearly didn’t.

Newbury quarterback Travis Endicott completed seven of 10 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns while CV couldn’t tackle running back Lance Knieriem, who had two scores on the ground while gaining 92 yards on just seven carries.

The Panthers’ other rusher, Cole Bowen, had 85 yards on 17 carries.

The Falcons, on the other hand, had trouble moving the ball all night. Quarterback Carson Center was inefficient in the first half, overthrowing targets while constantly being flushed out of the pocket. They tried running a spread offense, and then tried to work on screen passes. Nothing worked.

Quarterback Carson Center had a tough game, and was injured in the second quarter.

In the second quarter, Center was injured on a play in which he threw the ball deep but it was intercepted by Knieriem, who also played defense. He ran the ball back 85 yards for a touchdown, first by running down the Falcon sideline, then cutting back midfield, past any would-be tackler.

Center was treated on the field before coming off and being replaced by Zander Barsegyan.

CV marched down the field at the end of the first half, thanks mostly to the work of running backs Luke Steele and Valdes. But as the Falcons neared the goal line, Valdes was stopped five yards short of the end zone as time expired.

Luke Steele (3) runs hard trying to pick up a first down.

CV won a CIF championship in 2019, its second CIF title in six seasons. Last year was the abbreviated COVID-19 season that was played in the spring. The Falcons went 2-3, and then said goodbye to many key contributors to that championship team, including quarterback Brendan Pehar.

The Falcons were scheduled to travel to Alta Loma on Friday but due to COVID that game has been canceled.

The league season starts on Oct. 1 with CV against Pasadena.