GLENDALE — When it came to crunch time, Kevin Hello stole the show for the Crescenta Valley High football team.
Revenge was on the Falcons' mind when they hosted San Marino on Thursday at Moyse Field and Hello had a huge hand in delivering it with a 56-53 win.
The victory gave Crescenta Valley its first 2-0 start in more than a decade.
Hello, a senior defensive back and running back, had two touchdowns in the game. The first came on a punt he blocked and recovered in the end zone for a touchdown with three seconds to play in the third quarter and the other came on a 36-yard run with 4:05 left to play that gave Crescenta Valley an insurmountable 55-45 lead.
“It feels amazing, we haven’t started 2-0 for 11 or 12 years and it feels amazing to be the team that breaks that curse,” said Hello, who also had 72 yards on four carries and tallied three broken-up passes, two forced fumbles and a sack in the victory.
Hello backed another stellar performance from Crescenta Valley quarterback Brian Gadsby. The junior completed 27 of 40 passes for 463 yards and six touchdowns. Falcons wide receiver Jordan Lobianco caught four passes for 83 yards and two scores.
Gadsby gave the Falcons a 49-45 lead with 6:51 to play when he hit Weston Walker with a 44-yard touchdown pass. It capped a four-play 65-yard drive that took less than a minute after San Marino scored on an 81-yard pass from Carson Glazier to JP Shohfi.
San Marino looked for another answer, but on third-and-10 with 5:11 to play, Hello sacked the Titans quarterback and forced a fumble. It led to a three-yard loss and fourth-and-13 and a punt. Hello turned that into points when he broke a 36-yard run with 4:05 to play to cap the Falcons’ scoring.
“I haven’t played on offense all week but I just followed the line and the holes they opened up for me and I had some great coaches calling the plays for me,” Hello said.
“I’ve never seen a kid have that good of a game for so long when it really mattered,” Falcons Coach Paul Schilling said. “He played so good on offense and defense.”
The Falcons took their first lead of the game, 35-31, on the opening drive of the second half when Gadsby hit Ben Rees (six receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns) with a five-yard pass.
Hello's blocked punt, which he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, gave the Falcons a 42-31 lead with 12:03 to play.
San Marino pulled all the way back within three points when Carson Glazier found Tyler Spitzer with a 10-yard touchdown pass. The two connected again on the two-point conversion to cut the Falcons' lead to 56-53 with 2:25 to play.
The Titans' ensuing onside kick went out of bounds and allowed Crescenta Valley to run out the clock for the win. Hello took the next play for a seven-yard run and the next for two yards to set up a three-yard keeper from Gadsby that gave the Falcons a first down to run out the clock.