LA CRESCENTA — The game was decided, the final touchdown was just scored and Harry Pessy and the rest of the Crescenta Valley High football team had plenty of reason to celebrate Friday night.
Pessy smiled, others joked, and some laughed as the Falcons walked off the field following Andrew Carcich’s touchdown with a minute to play.
It was an enjoyable night for the Falcons, and especially for Pessy.
Pessy had a career-high 244 rushing yards in 23 carries and three touchdowns to lead Crescenta Valley to a 42-13 victory against Arcadia in the Pacific League finale for both teams.
“It was an awesome night for all of us,” said Pessy before deflecting the credit for his standout performance to his offensive line. “The O-line just opened it up. It’s all about the O-line and the blocking.”
His offensive line said it was a “pleasure” to block for Pessy.
“He’s amazing,” right guard Sam Campbell said. “If we miss our block, he’s going to make something happen. I love blocking for him.”
Julian Craig, the Falcons’ left guard, had more praise for Pessy.
“If we know what we’re doing, he’s going to run all day,” Craig said.
Pessy ran for an average of 10.6 yards per carry, and scored all of his touchdowns in the first half.
His five-yard score tied the game at 7 with 3:34 to play in the opening quarter. Crescenta Valley used eight plays on its first scoring drive, five of which went to Pessy, and all of which were runs.
The Falcons kept the ball in Pessy’s hands in the second quarter, as well. He capped a pair of 65-yard drives with 21- and 10-yard touchdown runs, respectively. He had 114 yards on the ground in the first half, and continued punishing Arcadia (2-7-1, 2-5 in league) in the second half.
“He’s strong and he runs tough,” Falcon offensive coordinator Dennis Gossard said. “He doesn’t go down after the first hit. What determines a great running back is based on how many yards he gets after the first hit. That’s what makes Harry good.”
Crescenta Valley looked good in the second half. Kevin Rignot had a 24-yard touchdown run and quarterback Kyle Cota threw two touchdown passes, one to Mike Bako, who had seven catches for 66 yards, for 28 yards and the other to Carcich, who hauled in a pass from four yards out.
The Falcons (7-3, 5-3) finished in third place in league and await Sunday’s announcement of the playoff pairings. They know they will likely face a road test in the first round. They also know that no Crescenta Valley team has won a road playoff game since 1977, when Gossard, 62, was 30 and was the Falcons’ head coach.
“History is what it is,” Falcon Coach Tony Zarrillo said. “If our kids set their minds to it, we have a chance to do really well in the playoffs.”