By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank
The five-game losing streak to Burroughs High is finally over for the Crescenta Valley football team, and the 48-21 victory at Moyse Field in the Pacific League opener Friday night deserved two Gatorade baths.
With the clock winding down and the contest out of hand, Crescenta Valley coach Paul Schilling took a shower in the liquid, while offensive coordinator Hudson Gossard, who quarterbacked the Falcons to past glory, was also drenched.
Both were thrilled to have been targeted by the players considering the Indians have owned the recent series, including last season’s 24-17 triumph after trailing 17-0 at the half. Crescenta Valley’s last win vs. JBHS came on October 2, 2008, in a 34-32 victory at Moyse Field.
“This is a big win, but I don’t want this to be the peak,” Schilling said. “I know it’s a cliche, but we’re going to play it one game at a time. Our goal is to win the league and we feel that we can.”
The Falcons have been very good in the recent past, but it’s been 13 seasons since they took the title.
Each team scored on its opening drive, but the Falcons (4-0) held a seven-point lead, 21-14, at the intermission before erupting for 27 points in the second half.
“They’re bigger and stronger than we are,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “Their defensive front played well. They outplayed us. We’ve been doing that [big plays from the offense] all year.”
Crescenta Valley rushed the ball 40 times for 211 yards, with 129 yards coming in the second half. Spearheading the Falcons’ ground attack was senior running back Jonathan Jun, who accounted for 197 yards on 34 carries.
“I was gassed at the end,” said Jun, who had scoring runs of 10, one, three and five yards. “We came out with a lot of confidence. We played with heart. I trusted the [offensive] line. I stayed behind them.”
Though only one league game has been played, Jun believes the Falcons (465 total net yards) have a solid chance to win the league title.
“We really wanted this win today,” he said. “That [league] was our goal before the season began.”
The scoring opened with senior quarterback Brian Gadsby (17 of 25 for 254 yards and no interceptions) marching the Falcons 80 yards on 14 plays before hitting senior wide receiver Jordan LoBianco (16 yards on two receptions) with a 15-yard strike as 5:49 remained in the first
Burroughs junior quarterback Andy Amela (17 of 27 for 217 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions), who may have sustained a concussion early in the fourth quarter, directed the Indians on a six-play drive that was capped off with a short pass to junior running back Hunter Guerin (four catches for 92 yards), who bolted 78 yards that tied it at 7-7 and 4:13 left in the initial quarter.
After a short punt set up the Falcons at the Burroughs 30-yard line, Gadsby, who will play baseball at UCLA, needed one play to make it 14-7 when he handed the ball to sophomore backup signal-caller Tyler Hill, who tossed it back to Gadsby, who found senior wide receiver Connor Van Ginkel (seven
catches for 122 yards) all alone in the end zone to make it 14-7 and 3:11 remaining before the half. The ole flea flicker worked to perfection.
On the Indians next series, Amela was picked off by senior linebacker Sean Bloks, who gave the Falcons the ball at the Burroughs 21-yard line. Four plays later, Jun cracked the end zone from 10 yards out and 47 seconds left that made it 21-7.
The Indians (277 total yards) refused to buckle as Amela marched Burroughs (2-2) 65 yards and closed the three-play march with a 52-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Erick Hernandez (71 yards on five catches) as 14 seconds remained in the half and cut the lead to 21-14.
Crescenta Valley scored on its first two possessions of the second half to make it 35-14 as Gadsby hit senior wide receiver Chase Walker with a 77-yard bomb and 8:56 showing in the third quarter, and Jun’s one-yard burst with 4:35 left on the clock in the same quarter came
after Amela’s pass on fourth down and three from the Crescenta Valley 49 fell incomplete.
Each team exchanged turnovers before Amela’s eight-yard offering to senior wide receiver Aidan Anding lowered the deficit to 35-21 as 1:49 remained in the third quarter.
The Falcons received two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Jun powered his way in from three yards out and 10:28 showing to make it 41-21, and then added a five-yard burst with 5:15 left. The final tally was made possible when Amela was intercepted by sophomore defensive back Andrew Traber.
Crescenta Valley travels to Burbank next Friday in a pivotal matchup while Burroughs continues its five week exodus away from Memorial Field with a contest at defending champion Muir.