First published in the Oct. 8 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
With some games under their belts, the real work of the football season was set to begin as both Crescenta Valley and Burroughs high schools opened up Pacific League play.
After the teams were deadlocked at halftime, Burroughs dominated in the third quarter and the visiting Bears rode the momentum to a 42-14 win over Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League opener for both schools last Friday evening.
“We played a really complete second half and I don’t think we’ve had that so far this year,” Burroughs coach Jesse Carven said.
The score was 14-14 at halftime before Burroughs (5-1 overall record, 1-0 in league) erupted for 21 points in the third quarter to blow open the initially tight contest.
“It makes it tough when you can’t make any stops on defense,” Falcon coach Hudson Gossard said.
Crescenta Valley (1-5, 0-1) started the second half with the ball, but the drive ended on a fourth down and 2 yards to go when backup quarterback Alexander Barseghyan was unable to cleanly field the snap, giving the ball over to the visitors with a short field.
Four plays and 38 yards later, Bear running back Marcus Manahan ran up the middle for a one-yard touchdown with 7:10 to go in the period. Manahan would finish with 112 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
The ensuing Falcon drive lasted just one play, which was an interception. On the next snap, Bear quarterback Chris Kulikov connected with Dilan Webster for a 42-yard touchdown pass.
The next Falcon possession ended in a punt without gaining a first down. A big return by Noah Frenkel set up the Bears 28 yards from another touchdown. Two plays — both runs by Frenkel — later, the Bears got one when the junior ran 20 yards into the end zone with 3:50 left in the quarter. The third would come to an end with Burroughs up 35-14.
Barseghyan was pushed into service late in the second quarter when CVHS starter Jacob Deno was knocked out of the game with an injury. The senior would throw a touchdown on his first pass attempt and finished six of nine for 40 yards with the one interception.
“Barseghyan did a tremendous job,” Gossard said. “Our backup doesn’t really get any reps during the week, so he’s coming in literally cold turkey with no reps.”
Deno was six of 12 for 94 yards and one score. The junior also had six carries for 20 yards. Bjorn Hermansen had five catches for 47 yards. Andranik Saryan had 10 carries for 50 yards.
Burroughs opened the game with the ball and drove 69 yards in nine plays for the first points of the league season.
Crescenta Valley answered back on its first possession. The Falcons drove the ball 73 yards in six plays and capped the drive with a screen pass to Shade Schaefer that covered 47 yards and saw the senior pirouette out of the grasp of would-be tacklers about halfway to paydirt.
Both teams also recorded a touchdown in the second quarter. Burroughs went first as Hernandez made a catch and gained 22 yards before two Falcon defenders arrived and dislodged the ball, only to see Webster retrieve it and go the final 23 yards into the end zone.
Crescenta Valley answered with 1:29 to go before the break. Two plays after Deno went out, Barseghyan threw a screen pass to Cristian Flores, who broke free of a pack of Bears and found the end zone.
Schaefer intercepted a pass he wrestled away from the receiver on the ensuing Burroughs drive, ensuring the game was tied at halftime.