CV Crushes Santa Fe in Season Opener

Photos by Alyssa TSABETSAYE
Head coach Hudson Gossard coaches up his two quarterbacks following the team’s opening drive of the season, his first as head coach.

By Vincent PAGE

For the first time in its history, the Crescenta Valley High School football team took the field for its season opener with Hudson Gossard as head coach. In addition, it featured two new faces as quarterback.

Despite new individuals in such high-stake, important roles, the Falcons saw results similar to previous years. They kicked off their season on Friday with a 37-0 shutout victory against the Santa Fe Chiefs.

The team took the field and, after a shaky start, dismantled its opponents. That shaky start was highlighted by an interception by Chase Center, who was making his first career start for the varsity squad. It wasn’t necessarily an awful throw, as the ball was tipped up and caught by a defensive lineman.

As the sun set on the Falcons’ dominant victory, they look ahead to Montebello as a tune up game for Pacific League action.

Center rebounded nicely, though, finishing the night with 108 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Brendon Pehar, who also got his fair share of time as quarterback, threw for 65 yards and a lone touchdown.

Following the game, Gossard had praise for each of his quarterbacks. He noted that Center’s “leadership quality” and “calmness in the huddle” were huge positives. Gossard also said he felt Pehar was impressive, given this was his first taste of playing quarterback at the varsity level.

The Falcons defense posted their first shutout of the season, led by Zeal Shumate, who ended up with a clutch interception in the first half.

It was no secret that this team would need to rely on its veterans on both offense and defense to be successful this year. That held true Friday night as CV’s trio of senior receivers – Vincent Parrot, Angel Ochoa, and Colby Rees – led the way with a combined 144 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions.

Having an experienced group of playmakers surrounding either Center or Pehar on offense will be valuable to both quarterbacks as they learn the ropes this season.

Obviously the defense was impressive too, given it kept Santa Fe’s zero on the scoreboard the entire game. Junior Sebastian Deleon was huge throughout the night as he finished the game with an impressive 14 tackles. He was all over the field for the Falcons and will need to continue to play at a high level this season for the Falcons’ defense to continue their strong start.

Zeal Shumate had one of the biggest plays of the night, intercepting Santa Fe quarterback towards the end of the first half. The takeaway gave the offense one more scoring opportunity, which they quickly took advantage of. Three plays after the interception, Maximus Grant burst into the end zone. The senior running back finished with 117 total yards of offense and two touchdowns.

It’s hard to imagine the Falcons wanted a better start to the season than this. Their offense was crisp under both quarterbacks and defense never wavered throughout the entirety of the game.

CV will host the Montebello Oilers tomorrow, Friday. At 0-2, the Oilers shouldn’t prove to be too tough of a test for the Falcons. It will be another game for the team to shake the rust off and hopefully build confidence before it moves into its matchup against the Redondo Union Sea Hawks the following week.

CV will take the field against Montebello at Moyse Field at 7 p.m.