Falcons soar, 20-12

BURBANK — Things couldn’t have gotten much worse for the Crescenta Valley High football team in the first half Friday against Burbank.

Its usually potent offense stalled — on the ground and through the air — and mistakes proved costly.

The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on the Falcons’ struggles by jumping out to a nine-point lead at the half.

However, the tables turned in the second half — big time.

Burbank committed its share of mistakes and its offense was limited to just a field goal, as Crescenta Valley was able to regroup to earn a 20-12 Pacific League victory at Burroughs’ Memorial Field.

Falcons Coach Tony Zarrillo said his squad just didn’t play its brand of football in the first half.

“I thought we came out like we weren’t ready to play,” said Zarrillo, whose squad improved to 4-1, 2-0 in league. “That’s just not the type of football we’ve played this season.”

For Burbank Coach Ted Amorosi, he said that his Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1) beat themselves.

“We made just too many mistakes in the second half,” he said. “We gave [the Falcons] the ball too many times and gave them great field position. I am not pleased.”

The Bulldogs’ defense did a solid job corralling the Falcons offense in the first half. Crescenta Valley was only able to gain two yards rushing and 24 yards passing in the first two quarters.

After a stalemate through the first quarter, Burbank found the end zone in the second quarter. After the Falcons fumbled on a punt, Nate Galles scored on a one-yard sweep with 7:37 remaining to put the hosts on the board.

Burbank added a 26-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the half.

Enduring a 9-0 deficit, Crescenta Valley looked like a rejuvenated team in the second half.

On their first possession, the Falcons put together an impressive 12-play scoring drive. It was capped off with a one-yard touchdown run by junior running back Harry Pessy.

During the drive, Falcons senior quarterback Karsen Reedy — who completed just two passes for 24 yards in the first half — completed four of five passes for 33 yards.

On Burbank’s ensuing possession, Crescenta Valley capitalized on a big Bulldogs mistake. Falcons junior linebacker Andrew Carcich picked off a Kevin Hunter pass at the Burbank 34-yard line and rumbled into the end zone untouched.

With Crescenta Valley holding a 13-9 lead, Burbank was forced to settle for another 26-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the third quarter to cut the deficit to one.

The Falcons were able to pad their lead at the 11:47 mark of the fourth quarter on a remarkable pass play. At their own 26, Reedy dropped back and hoisted a pass in the direction of junior wide receiver Mike Bako, who was able to make a one-handed catch — in stride — sprinting 74 yards for the score.

Bako hauled in three passes for 103 yards. Reedy had 143 yards passing on eight of 14 passing.


 JEFF TULLY covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3245 or jeff.tully@latimes.com.

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