Crescenta Valley football team faces new second-week foe in San Marino

The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.

Through the years, the spotlight on the second week of the season focused on the Crescenta Valley High and St. Francis football teams getting together to participate in the "Battle for Foothill Boulevard." It led to Friedman Field and Moyse Field being jammed with thousands of spectators and a chance for the schools to also play for bragging rights.

Things have changed for the time being, as the Falcons and Golden Knights will not meet this season.

"We are just looking for a different challenge and changing things up," said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose team will instead meet host San Marino at 7 p.m. Friday in a nonleague contest. "The kids always want to play St. Francis, but we wanted to try something different and we have this connection with teams from the Rio Hondo League."

Crescenta Valley received 260 yards in 31 carries and a touchdown from William Wang to record a season-opening 26-21 nonleague road victory against Santa Paula on Friday. San Marino, ranked No. 7 in the latest CIF Southern Section Mid-Valley Division poll, kicked things off with a 30-14 intersectional road win against Eagle Rock on Aug. 30.

The Falcons begin a stretch of two games in a row facing teams from the Rio Hondo League. Crescenta Valley will battle La Cañada on Sept. 14 before starting Pacific League action Sept. 21 at Muir.

"I think we match up well against San Marino," said Schilling, whose team forced four turnovers against Santa Paula. "We expect another tough game.

"They like to run the ball about 90% of the time and they're big up front on the line. I liked the way we moved the ball against Santa Paula, but we just have to keep working at punching it in and putting teams away."

The Titans got a sparkling performance from running back Ryan Wood, who rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns against Eagle Rock.

San Marino Coach Mike Hobbie said the Titans' defense clamped down on Eagle Rock. San Marino held Eagle Rock without a first down on 10 of its 15 possessions.

"We executed our game plan defensively," Hobbie said. "Now, we have to find a way to stop [Wang].

"I like Crescenta Valley's lines. They are very aggressive and good sized. We missed some blocks [against Eagle Rock], and that's something we've got to fix."

St. Francis at Righetti, 7 p.m. Friday: The Golden Knights ran through visiting Arcadia Friday, 49-10, to begin their season in resounding fashion.

Now the Golden Knights will take their show on the road to Santa Maria to take on what figures to be stiffer competition in Righetti High, which is ranked seventh in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division and is a member of the Los Padres League.

"The Los Padres League up there is good," Bonds said. "I like the idea of taking a three-hour bus ride up there in the preseason to get an idea of what that's like in case we have to go up there again in the playoffs. Chances are you're going to have make one of these trips in the postseason."

Bonds said it's also just a good test to see how his new-look Golden Knights will fare on the road after they took advantage of an Arcadia team, which graduated most of its talent in 2011, at Friedman Field.

"It's hard for us to really figure out where we are and I think this week will be a much better indication of what kind of team we have and give us an idea of what we need to fix and work on," Bonds said.

The Warriors picked up their first win of the season Friday with a 55-15 win over Cabrillo after falling to Villa Park, 28-21, in their season opener. They have given up 425 rushing yards so far this season — 254 to Villa Park and 171 to Cabrillo, which could be a good sign for St. Francis.

The Golden Knights, who are fourth in the Western Division polls, ran for 348 yards against Arcadia, as Daniel Kawamura had 108 and Joe Mudie added 101 in the win.

"We were pleasantly surprised with our running game and we definitely want to continue to do that if the opportunity presents itself," said Bonds, who will also look to senior quarterback Jared Lebowitz, who completed eight of 14 passes for 128 yards and a score against the Apaches. "We also want to be a balanced team and really just take what they give us."

A trio of backs — Collin Cooper, Eli Wilkinson and Taelor Griego — give the Warriors a strong running game as well, as Cooper had 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, Wilkinson ran for 82 yards on six attempts and Taelor Griego added 53 last week.

"I don't know how much we're going to be able to take advantage of, we want to eliminate our mistakes," Bonds said. "We can't turn it over at all, we want to work on taking it away. There's some things we want to concentrate on on our side, make some improvements and we'll see how it plays out Friday."

Glendale at La Cañada, 7 p.m. Friday: The Spartans and Nitros find themselves in very different positions after they both debuted under new coaches last week. La Cañada Coach James Sims is looking to build on his team's 17-7 win over Alhambra, while Glendale Coach John Tuttle's team fell to La Salle, 45-16, Friday.

Defense and a formidable running game — spearheaded by Andy Paynter — led the Spartans, who ran the ball 45 times for 277 yards, to victory over the Moors. La Cañada will likely continue with a ground-and-pound attack after Glendale gave up four rushing touchdowns to the Lancers last week.

Paynter, a senior, will figure to see the lion's share of the carries after he paced La Cañada's offense with 159 yards and a touchdown on 21 rushing attempts against Alhambra.

La Cañada's defense, which enjoyed a strong start to the season, will have to deal with Glendale wide receiver Michael Davis, who committed to play for Brigham Young University. The reigning All-Area second-team selection is an explosive playmaker in the passing and running games, as he scored the Nitros' lone offensive touchdown last week on a 91-yard run.

Penalties are one thing the Spartans will look to cut down on after they committed 16 for 120 yards against the Moors.

South Pasadena vs. Hoover at Moyse Field, 7 p.m. Friday: The Tornadoes will look to build on their season-opening 46-0 win over Blair on Aug. 24, which snapped their 17-game losing streak, as they face the Tigers coming off a bye week.

South Pasadena is also riding high after it outlasted San Gabriel in a shootout Friday for a 49-40 win to open its season. Hoover will look to improve on last year's 39-6 road loss to the Tigers when it plays host this week.

Perhaps the first thing on Hoover's check list will be containing South Pasadena's rushing attack, after running backs Rudy Murillo (213 yards, two touchdowns) and Nathan Lee (104 yards, one touchdown) had big games against San Gabriel. Tigers quarterback David Madrid also threw for three touchdowns — with Lee catching one — and ran for another in the win over the Matadors.

Hoover also had success running and passing the ball against the Vikings, as senior quarterback Brendon Kerr completed all five of his passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns. The Tornadoes also ran for a total of 304 yards in the win with Justin Nam leading the way with 112 yards on six carries.

Flintridge Prep at Heritage Christian, 1 p.m. Saturday: Rebels Coach Antonio Harrison said his team needed to bounce back after last week's heartbreaking overtime loss to Army-Navy, 32-30. Prep will have its first chance to do that and snap a nine-game losing streak Saturday when it travels to North Hills to take on Heritage Christian.

Flintridge Prep will look to build on the bright spots it had last week, including winning the turnover battle, 5-1, and a 251-yard rushing game from Kurt Kozacik, when it takes on an unbeaten Warriors squad (2-0).

Heritage Christian lists 34 players on its roster on, while the Rebels had 19 players suited up for last week's varsity game before Stefan Smith left the game and didn't return with a leg injury. The lack of depth may have hurt the Rebels again against Army-Navy. Prep held a 22-8 lead at the start of the fourth quarter before Army-Navy came all the way back for the win.

Offensively, the Warriors are balanced with quarterback Tyler Noe, who has completed 21 of 38 passes for 434 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception and a ground attack that has amassed 199 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries.

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