Falcons Run Away From Dons

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Crescenta Valley High’s football team wasn’t perfect but it didn’t suffer the usual first-game jitters.
Verdugo Hills was last Friday night’s opponent, the Dons are coming off a 3-7 record, and the result was a five-touchdown opening half for the Falcons, as they waltzed to a 48-8 nonleague win at Moyse Field.
Crescenta Valley Head Coach Tony Zarrillo favors a balanced offensive attack, but four of the seven scores came on the ground for the Falcons, who had 189 rushing yards.
“It was good to just go out and play,’’ said Zarrillo. “For the most part, I was pleased. We’re a little rough around the edges, and we made some mistakes.”
Senior running back Harry Pessy tallied two first-half touchdowns, but carried the ball once in the second half.
Pessy’s first touchdown was a one-yard run, came with 11:17 remaining in the second quarter, and gave the Falcons a 21-0 lead.
His second scoring dash covered five yards, was tallied with 1:12 showing before halftime, and pushed the lead to 35-0.
A captain, Pessy accounted for a game-high 74 yards on the ground, and he carried the ball five times.
Pessy wasn’t needed in the second half, since the Falcons, who lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs last season, were safely ahead.
Junior wide receiver Dai Dai McFadden, who also takes handoffs from senior quarterback Kyle Cota (10 of 17 for 150 yards), exploited the Dons’ defense with a nine-yard scoring run and 3:04 left in the first quarter, which increased Crescenta Valley’s lead to 14-0.
McFadden showed spunk and a lack of maturity midway through the final quarter by throwing an errant punch at a Verdugo Hills player.
By rule, McFadden (three carries for 33 yards) was kicked out of the game, and will miss the next game.
“I hope he learned from tonight,’’ said Zarrillo. “It’s disruptive, to say the least. I didn’t see the play but I hope we all learned.”
On the second play of the game, Verdugo Hills running back Chris Safi was hit after no gain, and then fumbled. Linebacker Kevin Rignot scooped up the loose ball, and returned it 30 yards for the score.
“We were right there,’’ said Verdugo Hills Head Coach Victor Castro. “We needed more than two days to prepare for this game. We needed a week. We’re young, we’re growing, and hopefully this will help us in league.”
The Falcons bolted to a 28-0 advantage when Cota scored from two yards out and 5:08 showing on the clock in the second quarter. Cota also had an eight-yard scoring pass to Tanner Hamilton in the third quarter to make it 41-0.
Verdugo Hills got on the board with just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter when second-string quarterback Alex Garcia connected with wide receiver Chris Henderson on a 74-yard strike.
Pessy also added a 90-yard kickoff return for a score, concluding the evening’s points.

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