CV Takes Home Win in CIF Opener

Photos by Vincent PAGE
Maximus Grant eyes the end zone as he carries the ball for the Falcons.

By Vincent PAGE

On Friday night, despite the team’s missing star quarterback Chase Center and Armen Erdoglyan, the leader of its offensive line, the Crescenta Valley Falcons were unfazed in their CIF SS opening round matchup against Peninsula High School. With a final score of 20-11, the game was in the Falcons’ control from the very start.

The first quarter was flat with no score on the board. But things picked up early in the second quarter when running back Maximus Grant carried forward his dominant season by scoring the first touchdown of the game. Grant would finish the night with 13 carries for 62 yards in addition to his touchdown. Senior wide receiver Colby Rees pitched in on the ground as well as performing his duties as running quarterback, totaling 53 yards on seven carries.

The Falcons spring towards a ball knocked loose by star safety Angel Ochoa.

Brendan Pehar stepped in as the starting signal caller and executed the game plan exceptionally. Pehar completed 13 of 16 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. While he didn’t supply the rushing attack Center brings to the field, he was as good as a coach could hope for through the air and invoked confidence in his team.

  The defense, as usual, was excellent. It registered three sacks on the night and was constantly in the face of Peninsula quarterback Jack Haworth. The Peninsula offense was held to only 118 passing yards. The standout player in this game was Angel Ochoa. The senior safety was all over the field as he caused two turnovers himself. Ochoa had both an interception and forced fumble in this game making sure to give Pehar and the offense additional chances to score. Ochoa even chipped in on the offensive side of the ball a bit, catching four passes for 77 yards. While he was primarily a defensive player this season, it looks as though Ochoa will rarely leave the field throughout the postseason.

Angel Ochoa celebrates following an interception. Ochoa has shined all season, and carried the falcons against Peninsula.

Another main component of the CV defense is Chuck Meyer, who wreaked havoc on defense all night. He is also the team’s starting left tackle and caught a pass on a trick play giving him the chance to scamper into the end zone for a score to build upon the Falcons’ lead bringing the score 14-3.

Peninsula eventually crept up on the Falcons with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 14-11. But with five minutes on the clock, the Falcons took control once again on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Pehar to Vincent Parrot. This brought the score to 20-11 – the same numbers on the scoreboard when the clock hit zero at the end of the night.

Colby Rees (near) lines up as his offense gets set to attack

The Falcons will next travel on Friday to Eisenhower High School. Eisenhower is coming off a 48-17 victory in its first round matchup, and will look to prove itself this week against CV. It has a large number of guys who contribute on offense, and the team promises to be one of the best rushing offenses CV has seen all season. While CV was the top seed in its bracket, travel time to play in Rialto could cause issues.

It will be a test for rookie head coach Hudson Gossard and his team as they look to remain undefeated. The contest begins this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Eisenhower High School, 1321 N. Lilac Ave. in Rialto.