Falcons, Tornadoes, Indians finish with mixed results

LA CRESCENTA — Taking a brief break from spring practice sessions, a quartet of area high school football teams looked for early indications to determine how their respective skill position units would respond facing live competition.

For the most part, Crescenta Valley, Hoover, Burroughs and Burbank had mixed results during the first day of the annual Gordy Warnock Passing Tournament at Crescenta Valley on Friday afternoon. Crescenta Valley and Hoover each split their two games, while Burroughs and Burbank dropped both of their contests.

Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, Hoover's Andrew Policky, Burroughs' Keith Knoop and Hector Valencia of Burbank kept close tabs on their respective teams.

Crescenta Valley opened with an 8-6 victory against Burroughs in a Bracket B game. The Falcons then suffered a 22-14 bracket defeat against L.A. Marshall.

"We use this as a learning tool and the biggest thing is to look for the players who are gritty and diving for balls," said Schilling, who guided the Falcons to an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs last season. "We have a new quarterback in Ben Rees and we'll look to get back at it [today]."

Rees threw a touchdown in the first game to wide receiver Kyle Tavizon. On the flip side, Rees tossed three interceptions, leading to all of Burroughs' points.

Rees fared better against Marshall, connecting with wide receiver Jack Lutynski for a pair of touchdowns.

Hoover, which didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, began with a 54-6 loss against Valencia in a Bracket A game. However, the Tornadoes regrouped by topping L.A. Wilson, 30-6.

Hoover wide receiver Zach Hanson caught three touchdowns for the Tornadoes against Wilson. Quarterback Brendon Kerr threw two scoring passes to Hanson, who also caught one from quarterback Se Jun Kim.

"We have more of a running team, but something like this can only help," Policky said. "With the numbers that we have, we don't get these kind of looks at spring practice.

"Something like this will teach them how to compete more and get them in the right frame of mind because they are going up against talented teams."

Burroughs struggled at times to get a consistent offensive flow, especially against Crescenta Valley.

The Indians, who shared the Pacific League title with Arcadia last season, stalled twice on possessions near the 10-yard line.

"It's hard to evaluate," said Knoop, whose team later suffered a 56-6 loss against Hart. "We stopped on some of our plays and it's a little disappointing not scoring against CV.

"We have to come back and try to eliminate a lot of stuff [today]. We have to be able to execute better, like running routes better."

Burbank began its Bracket A action with a 32-18 loss against Arcadia, now coached by former Hoover Coach Chris Long. It then fell, 24-6, against Valencia in which Joseph Pendleton caught a touchdown from quarterback Zak Tomlinson.

Valencia said the Bulldogs had trouble converting on their scoring chances.

"We got down near the goal line and couldn't punch it in," Valencia said. "We have a lot of younger guys and we are trying to establish some chemistry.

"We are treating this like an open try out."

The two-day tournament, featuring 12 squads and named after the former Crescenta Valley coach who guided the Falcons to a CIF championship in 1973, will conclude today with each team taking part in three bracket games between 9 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. That will be followed by a single-elimination tournament with the first round set to start at 1:45, followed by the semifinals at 2:30 and the championship game at 3:15.


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