Falcons Finally Go Pass-Happy in Win

Wide receiver Ruiz has big game as CV blows out Tornadoes.

Photo by Leonard COUTIN
Junior running back William Wang celebrates his touchdown run in the first quarter vs. Hoover. CV won the game 35-0.

By Maddy Pumilia

In spite of a game that saw star running back Marro Lee sidelined, the CV Falcons football team took to the air Friday with great success.
In their first Pacific League game of the season, the Falcons notched an easy 35-0 win against the now 0-4 Hoover High School Tornadoes at Moyse Field.

The scoring started on the second drive of the game. On third and eight, wide receiver Nick Ruiz caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zac Wilkerson with 6:20 left in the first quarter.

Ruiz was the star of the game. He ended with three touchdowns and 164 yards on seven catches – this despite being taken out for most of the second half because the Falcons were ahead by so much. Wilkerson was solid as well, throwing for 223 yards on 12-of-17 passing, his most efficient game of the year. He also did not commit any turnovers.

“We just wanted to execute on offense,” Ruiz said. “From that standpoint, it was good. We wanted to keep the rhythm going.”

Ruiz said that he and Wilkerson have a chemistry that goes back to their sophomore years when they were both on varsity.

“It’s kind of getting to be second nature,” Ruiz said about Wilkerson passing to him.

Despite the absence of Lee, CV’s running game looked good. Junior William Wang tore up the field against Hoover’s defense, including a 21-yard touchdown. Head Coach Paul Schilling said that Wang did a good job.

Schilling said that Lee, who was out because a clavicle injury, could have played this week, but they opted to play it safe. Lee will start next week, said Schilling.

Wang’s score in the first brought the lead to 14-0 with 4:40 left. Even though it was on its own 29-yard line, Hoover decided to go for it on fourth and one on its drive. A facemask penalty on the Falcons gave Hoover the first down, but CV answered with a seven-yard sack later in the drive. CV sacked Hoover quarterback Alex Rangel three times in the game.

Coming into the second quarter, a 15-yard run by Wang led to Ruiz’s second touchdown of the night, from 14 yards out.

Still in the second, up 21-0, Wilkerson hit tight end Max Cunning for a 20-yard score. After yet another punt by Hoover, Ruiz got his third touchdown – 53 yards – with 3:34 in the second quarter. On the last play of the half, Hoover tried a long run instead of a Hail Mary, but came up unsuccessful.

Another touchdown by Wang was wiped out in the third due to a holding call. The Falcons, in strong field position, went for it on fourth and nine but it was no good. Being up 35-0, the Falcons took out starters Wilkerson, Ruiz, Kim, tight end Justin Springfield and center/linebacker Nathan Sarreal.

Now the Falcons sit at 3-1 and 1-0 in the Pacific League. Previously, the Falcons beat Santa Paula and La Cañada High School, but lost to Saint Francis. However, only the Hoover game will count toward whether or not the Falcons make the playoffs. The first three games will matter when it comes to seeding.

“We’re about where we thought we’d be,” Schilling said.

“We’ve been playing pretty good,” Ruiz said about the season. He said they did a good job bouncing back from the St. Francis game, where the Falcons lost 35-0.

On Friday the Falcons play Muir High School. Muir is 2-2 and 0-1 in the Pacific League after losing to Arcadia last week, 42-7. The game is at Glendale High School, 1440 E. Broadway, at 7 p.m.

“It’s a big game,” Schilling said. “Muir is always involved in the Pacific League championship. It’s a big day.”

“They have a lot of speed and are a very athletic team,” Ruiz said about Muir. “We need to execute on offense.”

After the Muir Game, the Falcons play Pasadena, Burroughs, Burbank, Glendale and Arcadia.

Extra Points

No Lee, No Problem
Wang filled in just fine for the injured Lee, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown. But the passing game came alive for the Falcons as well. Wilkerson completed six of his first seven passes and his main target all night was Ruiz. They connected for a 73-yard score in the first game of the season, and though they didn’t top that last week, they did hook up for three scores, including a 53-yard strike in the second quarter.

Strong Defense
The Falcons’ defense didn’t let up against Hoover. They shut out the Tornadoes and got sacks from Nathan Sarreal, Armen Pashai and Bobby Beccera each. Hoover’s running game was stifled as well, as they tried to run north and south instead of east and west for many plays, which turned out to be ineffective.

Can They Keep it Up?
CV was shut out against St. Francis in Week 2. Take away that game, and the Falcons are averaging 36.6 points per contest. They are currently 3-1, and take on the 2-2 Mustangs Friday. Last year, the Falcons started out 4-1 before losing five straight to end the season.