GLENDALE — To the Crescenta Valley High football team, it appeared that its opponent on Thursday night, Burroughs, had just a few plays in its playbook.
The Falcons saw the Indians run the counter, stretch run and wide receiver screen.
“They run three plays,” Crescenta Valley High Coach Paul Schilling said.
“I have a lot more plays than that, but I’m going to use what works,” Indians Coach Keith Knoop said.
Those three plays worked pretty well for the Indians.
After surrendering two scoring drives that took a combined 12 minutes off the clock in the first half, Burroughs rallied, scoring 21 unanswered points in a 21-14 victory at Moyse Field.
“All three of those plays are our bread and butter,” Indians quarterback Lucas Yanez said.
Added Schilling: "[Knoop coaches] them up. They’re a typical Burroughs team. They run hard and they grind it out.”
Burroughs (5-3, 5-0 in league) won while running a simplified offense and turning to running back Tadeo Zuniga and Yanez.
Zuniga was effective on runs through the middle and in the Indians’ zone-blocking scheme to the outside. The senior finished with 15 carries for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
His first score came on a five-yard run up the middle, cutting the Falcons’ lead to 14-7 with 7:17 to play in the second quarter.
Crescenta Valley (4-4, 2-3) had built a 14-0 lead thanks to its ability to keep the ball away from the Indians’ explosive offense, which helped Burroughs defeat its previous four league opponents by a average margin of nearly three touchdowns.
The Falcons — badly in need of a win following last week’s loss to Pasadena, which hurt their playoff chances — started the game with a 15-play drive. The possession ended with Sean Johnson’s 15-yard touchdown run with 5:30 left in the first.
On their next possession, the Falcons used 11 plays and covered 60 yards in six minutes. Johnson ended that drive with a six-yard scoring run.
“We were just trying to put a drive together,” Schilling said. “We felt we could line up with them.”
The Falcons couldn’t do much else after Johnson’s second score. Johnson had 35 yards in his first five carries, but was limited to 22 yards in the following nine rushes.
“What [hurt us] was penalties,” said Schilling, whose team was penalized 11 times for 105 yards, compared to the Indians’ four for 20.
The Indians showed off their skills in the third quarter, as they amassed 168 yards in just 10 plays in the 12 minutes.
They also took advantage of defensive stands that gave them momentum and deflated the Falcons.
Zuniga tied the score with a nine-yard run that was set up by Frank Aguilar’s 28-yard interception return to the Falcons’ 16.
“Once we had the opportunities, we capitalized,” Zuniga said. “We’re a second-half team.”
With the Falcons looking for the run, Yanez used a play-action play to connect with Matt Volland for the winning score. Yanez underthrew Volland, who came back for a catch, turned away from the defender and sprinted in for a 54-yard scoring strike.
“We were prodding around trying to figure out what their weaknesses were and we tried to attack that,” Knoop said. “We saw how tired they were and we were going to come at them.”