ARCADIA — With the Crescenta Valley High football team having already been eliminated from an automatic playoff berth, it still had something to play for Friday night — the role of spoiler.
The Falcons entered their season finale against arch-rival Arcadia in position to have a say in where the Apaches would finish in the Pacific League. An Arcadia victory would give the Apaches a share of the league title, while a Crescenta Valley win would knock the Apaches into a tie for second place.
Unfortunately for Crescenta Valley, it ran out of gas in the second half.
Arcadia scored the final four touchdowns of the game, including three in the second half, to record a 35-17 home win against Crescenta Valley.
The Apaches (7-3, 6-1 in league) shared the league title with Burroughs, which posted a 38-35 win against cross-town rival Burbank on Thursday. The Falcons, who finished with a five-game losing skid, dropped to 4-6, 2-5.
"We just ran out of gas," said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Paul Schilling, whose team saw standout Arcadia wide receiver Taylor Lagace catch four passes for 83 yards and one touchdown. "Lagace is a slam dunk to me in being the best player in the league.
"There's no other guy who we tried hard to stop."
The Falcons more than held their own throughout most of the first half.
They jumped out to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter and seemed to have the Apaches on the ropes. Crescenta Valley running back Kevin Fernandez, who rushed for a team-best 100 yards in 17 carries, gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead when he scored on a 27-yad run with 7:35 left in the first quarter before Pavle Atanackovic converted on a 32-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 11:21 left in the second quarter.
The Apaches then cut the deficit to 10-7 with 5:22 left in the second quarter when Lagace hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Myles Carr, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Less than a minute later, Crescenta Valley regained it 10-point advantage.
Falcon Bryan Luna scored on a guard-around that covered 22 yards to make it 17-7.
"It's basically the new fumblerooski in which the guard has to turn his back so that the back judge can see it," Schilling said. "We practiced that play all week."
Arcadia closed to within 17-14 with 27 seconds left in the first half on a one-yard run from reserve quarterback Brian Ponce.
The Apaches took the lead for good when Ponce connected with tight end John Wong on a five-yard pass to make it 21-17 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
Arcadia scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to close out the Falcons, who began the season winning four of their first five games. Sheldon McKinley scored on a seven-yard run to make it 28-17 with 8:31 remaining before David Maldonado reeled in a 26-yard scoring pass from Carr to extend the lead to 35-17 with 5:49 left.
Crescenta Valley finished with three turnovers.