SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — What began as a mutual exercise in frustration and futility for the Burroughs and Crescenta Valley high football teams on Thursday night at Moyse Field ended as anything but.
For three quarters of the both teams’ Pacific League opener, the Falcons seemed intent on inflicting self-sabotage, while the Indians appeared utterly incapable of fully capitalizing on three turnovers and numerous Crescenta Valley mistakes.
Beginning in the final seconds of the third quarter, however, the two rivals engaged in a slugfest that saw five lead changes and jaw-dropping big plays from both sides and ended in a thrilling 34-32 win for Crescenta Valley.
“Our kids were very resilient tonight,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Tony Zarrillo, whose team trailed most of the second and third quarters. “It was not a very artistic game from the standpoint that we made too many mistakes.
“I think we showed some character. The kids hung in there and got the job done when it mattered most.”
Down, 32-28, with 5:34 in the game, Falcons quarterback Karsen Reedy, who went 14 for 24 for 173 yards passing and racked up 160 yards rushing in 23 carries, led his team on an 80-yard scoring drive, and not just in the figurative sense.
Reedy accounted for 46 rushing yards and 34 passing yards on the drive, which ended with his own three-yard scoring run with 33 seconds on the clock.
“Karsen’s been great all season long,” Zarrillo said. “He’s played wonderfully well in this offense. He gets a chance to run and throw the ball, it’s a perfect offense for a kid like him.”
The point-after attempt was missed, leaving the door open for Burroughs, but the Indians’ last drive ran out of time at midfield, not far out of the range of kicker Michael Solano (four field goals).
Burroughs led, 19-14, with 1:07 to play in the third period after Solano converted on a 35-yard field goal on a drive set up by an interception of Reedy at the Burroughs 30-yard line.
It was the Indians’ third red-zone possession, and fourth inside the Falcons 30-yard line, that had ended in a Solano field goal.
Those possessions came about as a result of two interceptions thrown, a fumble and a 10-yard punt by the Falcons, but cost Crescenta Valley only 12 points.
Following Solano’s field goal near the end of the third period, the Falcons’ offense broke through with a 70-yard touchdown run by Harry Pessy (106 yards rushing and two touchdowns in nine carries), good for a 20-19 lead with 36 seconds in the quarter.
Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Burroughs answered with a 68-yard scoring run by Dominique Barnes, who was then stuffed at the one-inch line on a two-point attempt to keep the Indians’ lead at 25-20.
With just under 10:00 to go, Reedy capped another 80-yard march with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Mike Bako (171 yards receiving on six catches).
On what might have stood as the play of the game, had not the Falcons countered, Burroughs quarterback Lucas Yanez converted a 46-yard pass to Chris Morris on a fourth-down-and-two situation at the Falcons 47-yard line. Barnes finished off the drive with a one-yard run.