ARCADIA — Though they had already been eliminated from playoff contention, the Crescenta Valley High football team had plenty of things to play for when it met rival Arcadia in its season finale Friday night.
The Falcons looked to finish .500 and looked to the future with quarterback Brian Gadsby leading the charge.
The Falcons accomplished both feats, as Gadsby completed 21 of 36 passes for 204 yards and scored a rushing touchdown to lead visiting Crescenta Valley to a 23-7 Pacific League win.
Crescenta Valley finished 5-5, 3-4 in league. Arcadia, which locked up the third and final automatic playoff berth from the league despite the loss, dropped to 4-6, 4-3.
“Our guys did a great job,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose team ended the season winning two games in a row with Gadsby at quarterback. “Things weren't going our way a few weeks ago, but we got some bounces to go our way tonight.
“We wanted to have a better season and we wish we were going to play next week.”
Gadsby, a sophomore, was called up to the varsity team prior to the Falcons' league game against Hoover on Oct. 26. He threw only four passes in that contest, including a touchdown pass that led to the Falcons recording a 21-19 win.
On Friday, Gadsby proved again he could rise to the occasion against the Apaches.
“Brian went out there and made play after play,” Schilling said.
He completed his first six passes by effectively spreading the ball around to his array of wide receivers.
“I started to feel that much more confident with each snap,” said Gadsby, who tossed a pair of interceptions. “I felt like it was becoming a regular game.
“I treated this kind of like an audition in maybe being able to start next year. It's going to take a lot of work and it will take all of next summer to prove myself.”
Arcadia, which shared the league title with Burroughs last season, took a 7-0 lead with 11:31 left in the second quarter on a strange play. Arcadia quarterback Zachary Lee fired a pass down the left sideline to wide receiver Darius Elliot, who caught it and was hit by two Crescenta Valley defenders. The ball popped loose to wide receiver Mark Pachorek, who scooped up the loose ball at the 10-yard line and raced into the end zone for the score.
Gadsby tied it at 7 when he scored on a five-yard run with 5:59 remaining in the first half. Crescenta Valley took a 10-7 lead with 12 seconds left in the first half on a 24-yard field goal by Travis Palazzolo.
The Falcons made it 16-7 on a 13-yard touchdown run by Brendon Panopio with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter.
The Falcons closed out the scoring when Kyle Tavizon scored on a three-yard run on fourth and goal with 10:36 to go in the game.
Crescenta Valley wide receiver Porter Hansen finished with eight catches for 94 yards. Jack Lutynski had six catches for 77 yards for the Falcons, who got 119 yards rushing in 30 carries from William Wang.