Crescenta Valley football grinds down Muir for shutout win

PASADENA — For Crescenta Valley High's football team to remain in the ranks of the undefeated in the Pacific League, the Falcons needed to go on the road and beat Muir on the Mustangs' home turf, something they have rarely done historically.

This season, Crescenta Valley easily triumphed, 33-0, behind a big night from running back Joe Suh and a dominant defense.

"We've only beat [Muir] here two other times, 2014 and 2004, so it is only the third time ever we have beat them at their place - historic," Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said. "We also beat them three years in a row. That has never happened. I never thought we'd shut them out. I'm really proud of our defense."

Crescenta Valley (5-1, 3-0) ran early and often against Muir (2-4, 0-3) on the way to the win, which was the Falcons' second shutout in league play this season. Leading the way for the Falcons was Suh, who carried the ball 20 times for 185 yards. The junior, who consistently gained additional yards after contact, had 100 yards by halftime, at which his team led, 22-0.

"The coaches have been developing all these plays and all the linemen are incredible. They are great," Suh said. "They are just helping me get some yards, so put it on the coaches and the linemen."

The Falcons totaled 284 yards rushing on 49 attempts and scored three of their four touchdowns on the ground.

The first came at the end of CV's opening drive, which culminated with a five-yard plunge into the end zone off a direct snap to senior Tyler Hill. All 11 plays of the drive were rushes, covering 73 yards and eating up the first 6:01 of the contest.

"That was kind of our game plan, to pound it," Schilling said. "We've got a good offensive line. We just put it in our big guys' hands and let them run down the field."

Thanks to a safety when the Muir punter fumbled the snap out of the back of the end zone, CV, ranked No. 8 in CIF Southern Section Division VI, carried a 9-0 lead after the first.

In the second quarter, the visitors extended the advantage with two more rushing touchdowns.

The first was scored by quarterback Cole Doyle from 22 yards out with 3:55 left in the stanza.

The only score of the third came off the foot of Falcons kicker Alex Atanackovic on a 37-yard field goal at the 5:53 mark of the quarter.

During the drive, Hill converted a fourth and short with a 10-yard burst. However, just a few plays later Hill took a blow to the right knee and did not see the field again. Hill finished with seven carries for 40 yards and two scores. Brandon Beardt also had seven carries for 42 yards.

The final points of the game and the only score of the final quarter came with 9:29 left to go. Doyle connected with Chuck Weinmann on a play-action pass for a five-yard score. Doyle finished seven of 12 for 58 yards to go along with his two scores, one by ground and one through the air.

Muir never got much traction against the CV defense. The Mustangs were limited to 84 total yards, with 54 coming in the first half. At least a couple playmakers were missing for Muir, including highly regarded Elijah Blades.

"I'm shocked, to be honest," Shilling said. "We're happy, but we never expected it to be a shutout."