It’s usually better to play at home, but for the Crescenta Valley High football team this wasn’t the case during last Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division VI first-round playoff game against Mira Costa.
The Mustangs (5-6) trailed 12-0 at halftime before rallying for a 13-12 victory at Moyse Field.
This is the third consecutive season the Falcons (8-3) lost in the opening round.
Mira Costa’s game-winning tally came with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Nick Carpino (four of 18 for 79 yards) found junior tight end Eddie Burga-Donovan (46 yards on two receptions) with a 20-yard strike that capped a 43-yard, seven-play drive.
“We just couldn’t generate any offense in the second half,’’ said CV Head Coach Paul Schilling. “Good for them. They came back. They’re a good defensive team.’’
The Falcons managed just 17 yards in the second half, all coming via the pass.
No. 3 seeded Crescenta Valley (186 total net yards) pulled ahead 3-0 on a 23-yard field goal from senior Chris Wood with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.
The advantage became 5-0 with 4:53 on the clock in the second period when the ball sailed over the head of the punter and into the end zone for a safety.
A trick play in the second frame made it 12-0 when Wood lined up to boot a 43-yard field goal.
Instead junior quarterback Cole Doyle, the holder, took the snap and hit senior wide receiver Jordan Nelson (39 yards on two receptions) with a 26-yard pass as 2:28 remained.
Late in the game, Doyle (nine of 24 for 89 yards) was picked off on third and 12 with the ball at the CV 49 by junior outside linebacker Malachi McMahon.
“That was kind of a desperato,’’ said Schilling. “It is what it is. He’s trying to make a play.’’
Mira Costa ran out the clock by using seven running plays that gained 22 yards.
The Mustangs (216 total yards) drew within 12-7 with 7:47 left in the contest on a one-yard dive from the fullback.