Crescenta Valley High turned the ball over four times, and allowed Hoover to open the second half with an 18-play drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes, but it was a blocked field goal in the waning moments that saved the 21-19 Pacific League victory for the host Falcons last Friday at Moyse Field.
Jesse Pina’s potential game-winning 35-yarder with 34 seconds remaining was stuffed by Kevin Hello.
“He’s usually pretty good,’’ said Hoover Head Coach Andrew Policky of Pina, who had 80 yards on 17 rushes, and scored on a two-yard run late in the second quarter to give Hoover a 12-7 lead. “The ball was short-hopped. We botched the snap.’’
Hoover committed only one turnover, played on even terms and actually led at the intermission by four points.
Crescenta Valley Head Coach Paul Schilling gave credit to the Tornadoes. “They did a great job,’’ he said, “but if we don’t turn the ball over we’re not in that situation. We were pretty tight. Our whole coaching staff was tight.”
Hoover’s final series began at its 26-yard line, and the eight-play march that ended at the Falcon 18-yard line consisted of seven runs. “We’re not a throw it team,’’ said Policky. “I like to run the ball.”
The Tornadoes gashed the Falcons (364 total net yards) for 167 yards on the ground and opened the third quarter with a drive that began at Hoover’s 31-yard line as quarterback Brendon Kerr (six of 14 for 106 yards) drove to the CV two-yard line. On fourth and goal, Justin Nam was turned away with a five-yard loss.
The Falcons (4-5 and 2-4 in league) took over and four plays later, tailback William Wang (game-best 243 yards on 21 carries) scooted 59 yards up the middle for a 21-19 lead with 34 seconds left in the third quarter.
Wang’s 48-yard burst on the game’s second play from scrimmage supplied the Falcons with a 7-0 lead, but quarterback Brian Gadsby (three of five for 95 yards), called up from the junior varsity, was intercepted by linebacker Zach Hanson, who returned the ball 48 yards to the CV 17.
In short order, the Tornadoes (3-6 and 1-5 in league) came within 7-6 after running back Jose Abrina scored on a five-yard run and 10:12 left in the first quarter.
With 2:16 remaining in the second quarter, Gadsby found wide receiver Jack Lutynski on a 68-yard scoring strike. Kyle Tavizon’s two-point conversion run made it 15-12.
Hoover then marched 46 yards with backup quarterback Se Jun Kim punching it in from a yard out just before the half to make it 19-15.