After a couple of hiccups in the middle of Pacific League play, the Crescenta Valley High football team appears to now have things in order. The Falcons have won two straight games to put them back in contention for a playoff spot and the possibility of sharing the league championship.
After registering league victories against Burbank and Glendale, Crescenta Valley will turn its attention to rival Arcadia in a league home game at 7 p.m. Friday at Glendale High's Moyse Field. The Falcons are 6-3, 4-2 in league. The Apaches are 7-2, 5-1 in league and tied for first with Burroughs.
A Crescenta Valley victory and a loss by Burroughs (5-4, 5-1) against cross-town rival Burbank would give the Falcons a share of the league crown. A loss by Crescenta Valley against the Apaches, ranked No. 2 in the latest CIF Southern Section Southeast Division poll behind West Covina, could drop it anywhere from third to fifth place and possibly out of the playoff picture.
"It's like a playoff game for us," said Crescenta Valley second-year Coach Paul Schilling, whose team recorded a 49-3 league road win against Glendale on Friday. "We know that and it's a situation where you can go from the chance to tie for first to going down to fifth and needing help from other teams."
The Falcons are also jostling with Burbank, Pasadena and Muir for one of the four automatic entries to the postseason. Crescenta Valley owns victories against Burbank and Muir, but has lost to Pasadena.
Pasadena is 4-2 in league and Burbank and Muir are 3-3.
Facing the Apaches isn't something that's been easy for the Falcons of late. Arcadia has won five of the last seven meetings, including a 35-17 home win last season.
The Apaches are led by Washington-bound wide receiver Taylor Lagace, who has caught 43 passes for 649 yards and five touchdowns. Senior quarterback Myles Carr has completed 118 of 183 passes for 1,803 yards and 23 touchdowns.
"Those are two great players and we will have our work cut out," Schilling said. "I think we are up for the challenge."
The Falcons have been clicking on offense, too. Against Glendale, Crescenta Valley finished with 496 yards of total offense.
Matching or surpassing that mark might figure to be tough against the Apaches, but the Falcons have their share of offensive threats ready to give it a shot.
Senior running back Marro Lee rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown in 18 carries against Glendale. Junior running back William Wang had 122 yards and three touchdowns in five carries. Crescenta Valley senior quarterback Zac Wilkerson rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. Wilkerson also completed nine of 13 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown.
Flintridge Prep at Chadwick, 2 p.m. Friday: The Rebels will close out their season looking to snap an eight-game losing streak. Beating Chadwick might be a tough task. Flintridge Prep (1-8, 0-4 in the Prep League) is entrenched in last place. The Dolphins are 5-4, 3-1 and in second place with an outside chance at sharing the league title with Rio Hondo Prep.
Flintridge Prep suffered a 20-0 league loss against rival Pasadena Poly on Friday at Occidental College. Chadwick fell, 43-26, on the road Friday at Rio Hondo Prep.
Flintridge Prep quarterback Clayton Weirick had mixed results against Pasadena Poly. He completed 19 of 40 passes for 188 yards and three interceptions.
Cathedral at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. Friday: By virtue of its 28-22 Mission League road win against St. Paul on Friday, the Golden Knights have all but locked down an at-large berth to the Western Division playoffs next week. A win against Cathedral would further pave the way for St. Francis to extend its season.
St. Francis (7-2, 2-2 in league) snapped a two-game losing streak, both league road defeats, and is in third place. It is ranked No. 6 in the latest division poll. St. Francis snuffed out a potential game-winning drive by St. Paul, as it stopped the Swordsmen on fourth and one at the 10-yard line with less than a minute left in the game and made its case for an at-large CIF berth should it not clinch an automatic entry.
Cathedral (3-6, 0-4) has lost four games in a row and will finish in last place. The Phantoms are coming off a 33-0 league home loss against Chaminade, the top-ranked team in the division, on Friday.
"We now have a chance to be 8-2," said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, who received 119 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns from running back Austin De Los Santos. "If we win, then we should get a very good draw in the first round.
"Cathedral doesn't have any wins [in league], but we know they'll be very tough and they are athletic."