The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.
There’s normally been plenty of intrigue when the Crescenta Valley High football team meets Muir. Throughout the years, the Falcons and Mustangs have vied for Pacific League championships and have had their share of top-caliber athletes record excellent performances on both sides of the ball.
Don’t expect that to change when the teams collide again at 7 p.m. Friday at Muir in a league opener for both teams. The Falcons went 2-1 in nonleague, while the Mustangs finished 0-3. Crescenta Valley has won twice at Muir since 1978. The last time Crescenta Valley won at Muir was when it posted a 27-21 victory on Oct. 30, 2004.
Records aside, there shouldn’t be much trouble motivating the players.
“First of all, the Pacific League is wide open,” Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said. “So, you want to go out there and win that first game in league, especially against Muir.
“For us, it’s about ball control and making big plays on long drives. We know that it will be a challenge playing Muir. It’s their first home game, and they have played some giant teams in Upland, Alemany and Rancho Cucamonga.”
Staying on the ground might be to Crescenta Valley’s advantage.
The Falcons have mostly excelled on the ground, giving running back William Wang plenty of work. In three games, Wang has rushed for 512 yards.
“It will be a challenge for our kids and we want to get more people involved,” Schilling said. “Muir will come out with lots of speed, so we have to fight for every yard and be real hungry.
“It’s going to be a battle and you have to go through Muir to win league.”
Crescenta Valley posted a 27-20 victory against Muir last season at Glendale High’s Moyse Field. In 2010, Muir recorded a 39-16 win against Crescenta Valley. Muir, which advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals last season, is 8-4 in the last 12 meetings, with six of the games decided by a touchdown or less.
Muir just had its bye week, which first-year coach John Hardy said came at an ideal time for the Mustangs.
“We were banged up, and this gave us a chance to get some guys healthy,” said Hardy, whose team is coming off a 54-14 loss against Rancho Cucamonga on Sept. 7. “I think it’s good to have a bye right before starting up league.
“Now, we should get another good test from Crescenta Valley. We still have a bitter taste from losing to them last year, and this has been a game that we’ve been gearing up for. We have to be able to dominate the line of scrimmage. They have been a thorn in our side and they have decent sized lineman. We know it’s going to be another grind.”
The Mustangs are led by quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington, who completed 14 of 21 for 101 yards. He added 103 rushing yards in 11 carries and scored a touchdown.
Flintridge Prep vs. Malibu at Occidental College, 7 p.m. Friday: After traveling more than 400 miles in its first three games, which included an overnight trip to Carlsbad and a trek to Ojai, the Flintridge Prep football team will finally open 2012 at home against Malibu High Friday night at Occidental College.
While the Rebels lost their first two games by a total of five points, they didn’t return home empty handed after they defeated Villanova Prep, 48-8, Saturday to improve to 1-2 this season.
“The boys definitely needed that [win] to carry the momentum into our first home game,” Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison said. “I am hoping that we can take that into this week’s game and keep building on it.”
Malibu also enters Friday with a 1-2 record after playing two other Prep League opponents this season. The Sharks fell to St. Monica in their opener, 20-12, before defeating Chadwick, 32-29, and most recently falling to Pasadena Poly, 22-19.
The Sharks have gone 2-1-1 against Prep since 2008. In Harrison’s first year as the Rebels head coach in 2012, Prep and Malibu played to a tie. Last year the Rebels fell to the Sharks, 49-0, as they were overcome by injuries.