Though the Crescenta Valley High and Hoover football teams are stuck at the bottom of the Pacific League with identical records of 3-5, 1-4 in league, there still figures to be at least a story line or two when the teams battle at 7 p.m. Friday at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.
For starters, it might figure to be a quick game, as the Falcons and Tornadoes have been more inclined to run the ball this season. The contest will also pit two of the top running backs in the league. The Falcons’ main back threat is William Wang and the Tornadoes will counter with Jesse Pina. Wang and Pina have each enjoyed breakout seasons for their respective teams.
Wang has rushed for 987 yards in 158 carries and nine touchdowns.
“Crescenta Valley has put an emphasis on running the ball and they have a good one in William,” said Hoover Coach Andrew Policky, whose team suffered a 42-13 league loss against Burroughs on Oct. 18. “They will be a challenge for us and they have good zone blocking schemes and a good offensive line.
“We have a lot of respect for CV. They have a coaching staff that’s been together for a pretty long time. We have an opportunity to come back and believe we can win. That’s what’s going to make it fun.”
Unfortunately for Crescenta Valley and Hoover, they are tied for last place in the league with Glendale and Pasadena. The top three teams from the league earn automatic spots into the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs, which will begin Nov. 9.
Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said the Falcons, who have lost three games in a row, are looking to regroup from a 20-17 loss against Glendale on Friday. The Falcons squandered a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, leaving them stunned.
“Our guys were down because it’s a very hard loss,” Schilling said. “We just have to go out there and play a better game.”
Crescenta Valley earned a 35-0 win against the Tornadoes last season.
Burbank at Glendale, 7 p.m. Thursday: The Nitros are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 20-17 Pacific League victory against rival Crescenta Valley on Friday. It marked the first time since 2003 that the Nitros beat the Falcons. Now, Glendale (2-6, 1-4 in league) will look to ride that momentum against a Burbank squad that’s 5-3, 4-1 and looking to earn one of the three automatic playoff berths from the league.
The Nitros figure to have their hands full against the Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 10 in the latest CIF Southern Section Southeast Division poll. Burbank saw its four-game winning streak come to a close Friday with a 24-17 league road defeat against Muir.
Glendale, which overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter against Crescenta Valley, will be led by wide receiver Michael Davis. The Brigham Young University-bound Davis has mostly been double teamed throughout the season, leaving opportunities for other players to contribute. Glendale found one in wide receiver Martin Marin, who caught the game-winning touchdown to topple Crescenta Valley.
The Bulldogs will rely on running back James Williams, who rushed for 111 yards in 16 carries against Muir.
Burbank is 5-1 against Glendale since joining the Pacific League in 2006, including a 56-21 win last season.
The Bulldogs’ defense is allowing just 16.5 points per contest.
Chaminade at St. Francis, 7 p.m. Friday: The odds of making the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs appear slim after the Golden Knights lost their first three Mission League games against Cathedral, Harvard-Westlake and Gardena Serra. Expect St. Francis (3-5, 0-3 in league) to face another tough test against Chaminade (7-1, 3-0). The Eagles have won four in a row and are No. 2 in the latest division poll.
St. Francis suffered a 41-6 loss to visiting Serra on Oct. 18. The Golden Knights have lost four games in a row.
St. Francis might be up against its most difficult test against first-place Chaminade, which posted a 78-34 league road win against Harvard-Westlake on Friday.
While St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said he’s aware of Chaminade’s lopsided victory against Harvard-Westlake, he's not about to let scores dictate his expectations.
“We lost to Harvard-Westlake, 41-36, and Chamiande beat them,” Bonds said. “You can’t go around and compare the scores.