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Crescenta Valley football steamrolls Arcadia to win title

ARCADIA — There was a time not long ago when winning a Pacific League championship was indeed a rare feat for the Crescenta Valley High football program.

Now, not so much.

For the second time in three years, the Falcons completed an undefeated run through league to claim an undisputed title as Crescenta Valley defeated Arcadia, 49-28, in the regular season finale Friday evening at Salter Stadium.

With the victory, the CIF Southern Section Division VI eighth-ranked Falcons (9-1, 7-0 in league) extended the area's longest winning streak to eight games heading into the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The pairings will be announced Sunday at 10:30 at cifss.org.

"It's huge to win this championship because this is the 10th in school history," said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose 2014 squad broke a 10-year league championship drought. "This team has members from that 2014 squad, so it's a special group, a real special group."

Friday's Pacific League showdown had several implications, particularly had the Falcons lost.

The league title would have then been divvied up three ways with Burbank (7-3, 6-1) and Division II No. 3 Arcadia (8-2, 5-2), while the league's top seed would have been determined via a tiebreaker.

Yet, the Falcons swiftly avoided any such complications by walloping their archrival for a fifth straight time in the rivalry series.

Crescenta Valley scored touchdowns on seven of nine drives with the only two series not resulting in scores coming due to an interception and a kneel down to end the contest.

Perhaps the unit that was most dominant was the Falcons' offensive line. The squad didn't allow a sack while Crescenta Valley rushed 45 times for 258 yards and chewed up huge chunks of time.

"You really have to take your hat off to that offensive line, we just couldn't match them," said Arcadia Coach Andrew Policky, formerly of Hoover High. "This one will sting, but we still had a great season and we're heading back to the playoffs."

Junior running back Omri Edwards, who has played sparingly this season due his transfer from Ramona High and a subsequent injury, carried 20 times for a game-high 128 yards.

Quarterback Cole Doyle carried 10 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns, short-yardage specialist Tyler Hill punched in three touchdowns of two or less yards, while Joe Suh also contributed a rushing touchdown.

"It really means a lot to me to contribute, because I've had to see my team play a lot without me," Edwards said. "To be out here, to join them and help, it's a great feeling."

Crescenta Valley new saw its lead trimmed to less than 14 points at any time after the first quarter.

The Falcons seemed to have the game clinched when Hill scored his third touchdown, this from one yard at the one-minute mark in the third quarter to give the Falcons a 42-14 lead.

To the Apaches' credit, they made one last charge, starting with quarterback Max Davila (12 for 19 for 184 yards with two touchdowns and one interception) hitting explosive receiver Raeshawn Roland for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

The score closed the gap to 42-21 with 10:48 left in the game.

Arcadia followed by recovering an onside kick and then scored on a Davila one-yard touchdown run to pull within 42-28 with six minutes left.

This time, the Falcons were prepared and recovered the ensuing onside kick.

With short field position, Crescenta Valley needed little time to answer back with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Doyle to Brandon Beardt with 4:04 left to seal the 49-21 score.

"It means a lot because our team played great," said Doyle, who completed 12 of 17 passes for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception. "There's significance because it's a rivalry game, but I'm more proud that we're able to call ourselves league champs."

Crescenta Valley took a 14-0 lead after one quarter on 15-yard touchdown run from Doyle and a Hill two-yard scoring plunge.

The Falcons added two more scores in the second quarter on a five-yard quarterback option touchdown from Doyle and a two-yard touchdown run from Suh.

Arcadia's only answer was a 29-yard touchdown reception from Roland, who finished with six catches for 113 yards and two scores in the air and a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Crescenta Valley added to its 28-7 halftime lead with a Hill one-yard touchdown that was followed by Roland's kickoff return score, as the Falcons led, 35-14, with 7:16 left in the third.

Roland also had an interception in the game, while Crescenta Valley forced a fumble from Davila and had a late pick from junior defensive back Grady Schilling.

Apaches running back Jahlique Stephens carried 19 times for 112 yards.

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