PASADENA — This season, Crescenta Valley High passed its football preliminaries with flying colors, going undefeated through its nonleague schedule for the first time since 2002. But now it was time to down get to the main event with the start of Pacific League play.
First for Crescenta Valley was a road trip to take on a winless Pasadena squad in the Pacific League opener for both schools Friday night. The Falcons quickly continued their high-octane aerial act, winning, 43-18, after flying away with the game in the first half, keyed by four touchdown passes from quarterback Brian Gadsby.
“One and 0 in Pacific League, 4-0 on the season, we’re really happy,” CV Coach Paul Schilling said. “We played a good first half.”
Crescenta Valley (4-0) scored the first 26 points of the contest and led comfortably, 33-6, at halftime. Gadsby, after Friday’s rout of the Bulldogs (0-4), has thrown 17 touchdown passes and is still yet to be intercepted. In the first half, the junior quarterback was 10 of 16 for 194 yards. He finished 14 of 23 for 244 yards and the four first-half scores.
“It was a pretty great win,” Gadsby said. “We started 3-0, but those wins didn’t matter. First league game we knew we had to get a victory and send a statement to the rest of the teams. We played great as a whole team.”
Gadsby’s first and final pass attempts of the half went for touchdowns. The first came of the Falcons’ third play from scrimmage, when he connected with Christen Castaneda for a two-yard score. The short drive was set up by a punt block by Kevin Hello after the long snap back to the Pasadena punter rolled along on the ground on its way back to him, allowing the senior enough time to get to the kick.
Jonathan Jun scored the game’s second touchdown. Jun began Crescenta Valley’s third possession with a 21-yard run and then also ended it with a 21-yard run for a 13-0 advantage late in the first quarter. The junior led the Falcons in rushing with 68 yards on nine carries and also caught seven passes for 53 yards.
Gadsby threw two more touchdowns in a 1:49 span early in the second quarter. The first was a nine-yard toss to Ben Rees, who caught the ball short and powered his way into the end zone draped with two Pasadena defenders. Tyler Hill intercepted Bulldog starting quarterback Xavier Hill on the next possession and the Falcons quickly turned it into points when Jordan Lobianco caught a 35-yard slant pass.
Pasadena trailed, 26-6, in the final minute before break and was looking for more when the CV defense stuffed the Bulldogs on fourth and one to get the ball back to Gadsby with 28 seconds left. The junior promptly threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Lobianco and the visitors had the game in hand, 33-6, after two quarters. Lobianco finished with three catches for 98 yards and the two scores.
“We are all clicking on all cylinders and hopefully we keep going,” Gadsby said.
Crescenta Valley took the foot off the gas in the second half, in which Gadsby saw little action. The Pasadena offense started to find some traction behind the quarterbacking of freshman Cano Chandler, who played most of the second half, and the power running of senior Charles Myles III, who finished with 89 yards on 12 carries. Chandler, who ran for a one-yard score in the second quarter, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Tyrek Adams in the third and handed off to Myles for a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
“We were ready for their double-wing thing, the power offense, but we didn’t tackle,” Schilling said. “It kind of caught us off guard. ... That was a thing we have to work on. If we are going to battle for a league championship we’ve got to do a better job tackling.”
The Falcons, who next play at Burroughs next Friday, got a four-yard rushing touchdown from Castaneda in the third and a 28-yard field goal off the foot of Alex Atanackovic in the fourth to account for their second-half scoring output.