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Crescenta Valley football’s offense hits top gear in nonleague win

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Crescenta Valley High’s Maximus Grant runs between and ahead of the Montebello defense in Thursday’s nonleague game at Moyse Field.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News Press)

GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley High football team’s offense left head coach Hudson Gossard somewhat speechless Thursday night in the Falcons’ second nonleague game against visiting Montebello at Moyse Field.

The linemen created gaps, two Crescenta Valley players scored multiple touchdowns and quarterback Chase Center threw three touchdown passes to help lead the Falcons to a resounding 56-21 victory to improve to 2-0 for the third straight year.

“It ran so smooth,” said Gossard, who praised his linemen for “pancaking” the Montebello defense. “It goes back to preparation. We have meetings in the morning. We have lunch meetings. These kids make the sacrifice to prepare themselves for every single game. When you’re prepared, you know what’s going to happen on the field and it’s just a matter of execution and they did an amazing job of executing.”

Center finished 11 of 13 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Falcons receiver Colby Rees grabbed four catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns to go along with three carries for 53 yards and a rushing score and running back Maximus Grant contributed 13 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns and two catches for 49 yards and a score.

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“My offensive line is the heart of our offense right now,” Center said. "... Great offensive line. Best I’ve seen in all four years here.”

The Falcons took five plays to score on their opening drive with a five-yard touchdown pass from Center to Rees at 9:10 in the first quarter.

Crescenta Valley extended its lead to 14-0 on a 47-yard connection between Center and Rees to start the second quarter.

Montebello (0-3) got on board after quarterback Andre Maldonado threw a 24-yard pass to Elijah Martinez to cut Crescenta Valley’s lead to 14-7 with 9:28 left before the half.

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The Falcons then scored three unanswered touchdowns, starting with a 26-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Pehar (two of three passing for 58 yards, one touchdown) to Grant that established a 21-7 lead with 6:23 left in the half.

Grant then carried the ball on three plays for 17 yards and capped it off with a one-yard run with 2:38 left in the half to make it 28-7.

An interception by Rees at 1:46 in the half followed with a scoring possession courtesy of an 18-yard run from Grant for his third touchdown of the half and second rushing score to give the Falcons a 35-7 lead with 1:04 remaining.

“We just knew what they were going to run,” Rees said. “We just came out and Gossard set us up into perfect positions, so every time, he’s going to set us up in different plays. We didn’t really have to do much. We just had to do what he told us. It was all on him tonight.”

The Oilers returned a 98-yard kickoff for a touchdown to cut the Falcons’ lead to 35-14 with 17 seconds gone in the second half.

On the Falcons’ ensuing possession, Grant ran in his third touchdown with a three-yard effort to make it 42-14 before Rees scored his first rushing touchdown nearly four minutes later on a seven-yard run with 5:10 left in the third.

Center capped the Falcons’ scoring with a 23-yard pass down the middle to Sebastian Deleon for his third touchdown pass and a 56-14 lead with 2:07 left in the third.

The Oilers cut into the lead with 2:43 left on a three-yard quarterback sneak to make it 56-21.

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