DOWNEY —Since winning a CIF Southern Section championship in 2014, the postseason rang the same tone with a string of three first-round exits for the Crescenta Valley High football team.
The Falcons went on the road to try to change the tune against Warren, but it turned out to be the same old song.
In a mutual explosion of offense, Warren made just enough stops in the second half to pull out a 52-47 Division VII shootout win over the Falcons Friday night at Justice Stadium.
“That was by far our best offensive performance of the year,” CV coach Paul Schilling said. “We just couldn’t stop them.”
Crescenta Valley (8-3) led, 35-31, at the half, but the tide turned to Warren (8-3) in a pivotal third quarter.
The Bears scored touchdowns on each of their three possessions. It started with the opening possession, which saw the hosts go start near midfield and in five plays score a 10-yard touchdown on a quarterback rush by Chris Venegas.
CV could not answer and was held without a first down. The Falcons were forced to punt, which was the first of the game for either side.
The Bears quickly scored again. This time with a 16-yard pass from Venegas to Jabari Hughes.
The Falcons did have an answer this time, scoring on a trick play, but the extra point was blocked. The hosts got their third score of the frame on another strike through the air and the score going into the fourth now favored the hosts, 52-41.
Crescenta Valley kept at it in the fourth, but saw a drive come to an end at the 1-yard line when stuffed on fourth down. Quarterback Cole Doyle did get a one-yard quarterback sneak for the only points of the fourth, but it was not enough.
The first half was an offensive bonanza with the teams combining for 66 points.
Crescenta Valley got it started quickly. On the second snap of the game Doyle handed off to Colby Reese coming down the line. Reese handed off to Chase Center who promptly tossed it back to the quarterback. Doyle then connected with David Baek over the middle for a 54-yard gain. Three plays later Daniel Cho ran it in for the first points of the game from six yards out.
Warren turned the ball over on downs and the ensueing CV possession came to an end on a 9-yard touchdown run from Cho where he ran into the pile nearly coming to a stop before powering the rest of the way in.
Warren, which placed second in the San Gabriel Valley League, was next. The Bears scored on a 57-yard pass from Chris Venegas to Desmond Carnes to get on the board.
The Falcons answered right back with a little bit of good fortune. Cho fumbled on a run and the ball sprung free onto the turf where Doyle scooped it up and out-sprinted a gaggle of defenders on the way to a 72-yard score. This would be the biggest lead of the half for the visitors, 21-7.
Next, as the Bears drove deep into Falcon territory, Warren fumbled the ball away and Falcon Stone Schaefer recovered on the 5-yard line. The drive did not get far. On third down from the 8, Doyle was under heavy pressure and, as he seemed to reach the ball out to avoid a safety, the ball came loose. The Bears recovered it in the end zone cutting in half the CV advantage.
The Falcons had a second consecutive turnover when Doyle threw flat back across the field and was picked off. The turnover was turned into points as the teams went back and forth with four touchdowns total.
With no time on the clock, Warren kicked a field goal to make it 35-31 at half, as the Falcons led.