Fall Notebook : McCracken's Playing Time Scarce

Brendan McCracken, who moved from backup quarterback to receiver at UCLA, has had a tough time getting involved in the Bruin offense. He has caught 3 passes for 25 yards and rushed twice for minus-2 yards.

"It's just the luck of the draw," said McCracken, who is listed as the fourth receiver on the UCLA depth chart. "One can make it frustrating, but I'm not. Hey, if I was playing quarterback, I'd see less action."

But McCracken's duties might be further reduced if sophomore Brian Brown, who returns this Saturday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury, is called on to return kicks. McCracken has an 18.8-yard average in 8 returns this season.

"If they want to put Brian back there, it's not a type of punishment," McCracken said. "I know they'd be doing it for the good of the team."

Next week, McCracken begins his preliminary interviews in the Rhodes scholarship selection process. The scholarship is awarded to outstanding scholar-athletes and provides for 2 years of study at Oxford University in England.

The Big Win: Crescenta Valley's 17-7 victory over Burroughs wasn't a case of the previously winless Falcons finally playing a good game, Coach Jim Beckenhauer said. The Falcons played consistently well each week, he said, they just hadn't won before.

"It's been frustrating and difficult for them," Beckenhauer said. "A lot of those games we could have won just as well as we lost. It just went our way this time."

And Beckenhauer advised opponents not to overlook the Falcons.

"We were looking like the doormat of the league because of our record, but I think we were playing better than our record."

Crescenta Valley will be welcomed into the league Friday by Pasadena. Although the Bulldogs are 3-2, their losses have come to Palmdale (4-1) and Riverside Poly (3-2).

Shaky Standings: Which Glendale football team is the Pacific League's best? According to the preseason records, Glendale (3-2) appears to get the nod over Hoover (1-3-1) and Crescenta Valley (1-4). But Glendale lost to Burroughs, 24-13, while Crescenta Valley beat the Indians, 17-7, last week.

But before anyone jumps on the Falcons' bandwagon, realize that Crescenta Valley lost to South Pasadena, 28-21, while Hoover picked up its only win by beating the Tigers, 21-12.

Does that make the Tornadoes No. 1? Not so fast, Glendale beat La Canada, 23-3, which in turn beat Hoover, 6-0, and Crescenta Valley, 13-10. So Glendale's the top team, right? Well, Glendale lost to Burroughs. . . .

"This is where it all starts. Everyone is even," Beckenhauer said. "You've got your favorites, but it looks like anyone can win the league title."

Remember, each team has to play Muir, which beat Crespi 34-29, last week.

Flip-flop: Glendale averaged 28.7 points in its first 3 games--all wins--while limiting its opponents to an average of 3 points a game. In the Dynamiters' last 2 games--both loses--Glendale has averaged only 7.5 points while allowing 29 points a game.

Add Glendale: Glendale's Corey White and Rafik Thorossian have combined for 428 yards and 7 touchdowns in 120 carries.

League rival Crescenta Valley has managed only 498 yards and 4 scores in 146 carries as a team.

Staff writer Chris J. Parker contributed to this notebook.

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