HomeCommunity NewsFalcons Upended by Eagle Rock, 17-7

Falcons Upended by Eagle Rock, 17-7

First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

It was a blank slate for Crescenta Valley football as a new season lay ahead of the Falcons, starting with a visit from City Section opponent Eagle Rock.
Although the defense showed well, the Falcon offense had trouble finding any footing on the way to a 17-7 win by the visiting Eagles in nonleague action last Friday evening at Glendale’s Moyse Field.
“We felt like going into the game it was a good, even matchup, and I think it was,” CV coach Hudson Gossard said. “Offensively, we just did not execute and put our defense in way too many tough situations and that is what it really came down to.”
After being shut out in the season opener last campaign, Crescenta Valley (0-1 record) was staring down that prospect once again as the hosts got the ball back with 6:06 left in the contest, following a field goal by Eagle Rock (2-0) that put the visitors up 17-0.
It was then that new starting quarterback Jacob Deno orchestrated an 80-yard drive to put up the first points of the season for the Falcons. The junior signal-caller threw a pass to Jason Nelson on the right side. The senior receiver snagged the ball and turned on the jets down the sideline, outrunning the Eagle defenders as he glided into the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown. The PAT kick by Vallejo Miles was good for what turned out to be the final point of the contest.
It was a point of light in an otherwise dim day for the Falcon offense. It did not help that do-it-all senior Shade Schaefer was out the majority of the second half with cramps.
“It’s hard to win a game when you don’t move the ball enough and turn the ball over that much,” Gossard said.
The Falcon defense shut out the visitors in the opening quarter and allowed just three points after halftime.
“Our defense, I thought, played strong,” Gossard said.
Deno, in his first start at any level at quarterback for Crescenta Valley, no doubt gained valuable experience. The junior finished 11 of 30 for 136 yards, three interceptions and the one touchdown.
“He did good,” Gossard said of his quarterback. “He did throw some interceptions, but [a couple] of them were not even his fault. The first one they read our screen perfectly that we run and the guy made a nice play. He played tough and had a nice touchdown pass there at the end.”
Nelson had a team-high 64 yards on three catches. Cristian Flores had a team-high five catches for 19 yards. Schaefer had two catches for 38 yards. Lachlan Blunt had one grab for 15 yards.
Schaefer, in his limited action, had a team-high 22 yards rushing on six carries. Flores had six carries for 15 yards and Andranik Saryan had four carries for eight yards.
“He’s our guy that does so many things for us,” Gossard said of the challenge of Schaefer’s limited availability. “It was just cramps.”
The Eagles scored all the points they would need in the second quarter with one touchdown in the first minute of the period and another in the final one. The first came 33 seconds into the second to cap a three-play, 39-yard drive to take advantage of a short field. Ryland Bailey-Roque did the honors, running the ball up the middle for an eight-yard score.
Eagle Rock then forced another punt, but the Falcon defense got the ball back when, on the play following a sack by Falcon Michael Balian, junior Jake Dunlavey intercepted a pass from Tanner Erwin. This was the first of a chain of turnovers. The ensuing CV drive ended with an interception, setting up the visitors 10 yards from another score. However, the Eagles muffed a handoff and Blunt recovered the fumble.
After another CV punt, the Eagles scored again. A sack by Falcon Jordan Towns IV brought up a fourth down and long, but the Eagles went for it and it paid off. Erwin hooked up with Tristian Benitez in the back right corner of the end zone with 12 seconds to go in the half. The PAT was good and the score at half was 14-0.
Erwin finished 18 of 37 for 153 yards, two inceptions and the one score. The first pick came in the first quarter when Falcon Jemerson Calix intercepted a pass at the goal line to end an early threat.
“First-game mistakes,” Gossard said. “Hopefully we can build, see the mistakes and come out on the better end next week.”

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