GLENDALE — At this time in the high school football season, the Crescenta Valley High and Burbank teams have established overall team identities as the two faced off in a crucial Pacific League showdown on Friday at Moyse Field.
Both teams boast explosive offenses, with the Bulldogs strong passing game pitted against the Falcons tough rushing core.
Crescenta Valley offense ended up flexing its muscles in the air and also possessed a strong defensive effort which too much for Burbank, as the Falcons came away with a 45-14 victory to extend their unbeaten run to 6-0 and hand the Bulldogs their first league loss.
Falcons quarterback Chase Center finished 12 of 17 passing for 227 yards and four touchdowns and ran the ball 10 times for 72 yards, while receiver Colby Rees caught four passes for 86 yards and three touchdowns.
Crescenta Valley receiver Angel Ochoa recorded one catch for a 47-yard touchdown and an interception returned for a 65-yard score. Running back Maximus Grant rushed 22 times for 107 yards and caught two passes for 55 yards.
“Being able to start to throw the ball better and the looks we got, defensively, opened up those passes for Chase,” said Crescenta Valley coach Hudson Gossard, whose team is ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division X. “He executed them. Him and those guys making those plays. They executed those plays. Chase threw the ball better tonight better than I’ve seen in a long time.”
Burbank quarterback Aram Araradian completed 13 of 26 passes for 250 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown. The Falcons defense sacked the Bulldogs quarterback four times, three in the first half.
“Every phase of their game — mentally, physically, emotionally — they took it to us,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “They were hungry. They were hungrier and that was evident. It’s a hungry group. A lot of those seniors on that team have been on varsity since they were sophomores.
“We’ve gotten them the last couple of years and they came out mad about that. And you can see the hunger and they want to get back to a league championship team and set themselves up for a playoff run. That showed. It just showed.”
Bulldogs receiver Brendan Pena caught eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown and Jarren Flowers added two catches for 61 yards for Burbank (3-4, 2-1 in league).
The Falcons struck first on a one-yard scoring run from junior Sebastian DeLeon at 8:03 in the opening quarter, but Araradian responded with a 56-yard throw to Pena to tie it at 7 with 1:52 left in the first.
The Falcons (3-0 in league) regained the lead, 14-7, with a 47-yard pass to Ochoa with 8:17 left in the half before Rees’ caught three touchdowns on his first three catches.
“It really wasn’t us because we have such a powerful line,” said Rees, who caught passes of 20 and 24 yards in the second quarter and one of 21 yards in the third. “Our line is so dominant and our run game has been so good lately that you can either cover us in the pass game and we’ll run the ball, or you’re going to stop the run, and that’s not going to happen. We just kept running and they go man-on-man and it just opens up for us.”
The receiver’s first catch with 2:51 gave the Falcons a 21-7 lead before his second reception made it a three-score advantage at the half.
Rees caught his third touchdown to extend the Falcons’ lead to 35-7 on a 12-play drive to start the third quarter, before the Falcons extended their lead on a 30-yard field goal from Anthony Sharlakian.
Ochoa intercepted Araradian’s pass and returned it for a 65-yard score for a 45-7 lead before Isaac Glover tacked on Burbank’s second touchdown on a one-yard run with 3:04 left.