The Falcons, who had rushed for only 251 yards and one touchdown in
their four previous league games combined, pulled the wool over the
Apaches' eyes by running the football right down their throats, to the
tune of 210 yards and two touchdowns at Arcadia High.
"We knew that they'd be sitting back and looking for the pass,"
Eberhart said. "We knew we could run the ball all year and we knew there
would come a time where it would work to our advantage and tonight was
"They prepared all week to stop the pass and so we changed our
strategy and it led to 14 quick points."
The victory gave CV (9-1, 4-1 in league) a share of the league title
for the second straight year. The Falcons, ranked No. 7 in CIF Southern
Section Division III, are assured of no worse than the league's No. 2
seed when Sunday's playoff pairings are announced.
Their seed was pre-determined by a coin flip held between themselves,
Arcadia and Muir before Thursday's game.
By virtue of its victory against Pasadena Friday, Muir was rewarded
with the No. 1 entry and Arcadia, which could have won the league title
outright with a victory Thursday, had to settle for the No. 3 entry.
Not halfway into the opening quarter, CV built a 14-0 lead thanks to a
six-play, 63-yard drive to start the game -- which resulted in a
three-yard run by Jason Hogan -- and a quick Arcadia turnover.
Following the Apache fumble, the Falcons scored five plays later on an
11-yard pass from Hudson Gossard to Jason Burkhart.
Gossard finished 12 of 15 for 123 yards with two touchdown passes,
both to Burkhart, who finished with six catches for 61 yards. The senior
put the game away for CV with 6:45 left with a 15-yard scoring reception.
In the third quarter, Arcadia quarterback J.D. Ziska hit tailback
Chris Handy on a 24-yard scoring strike to cut the Falcon lead to 17-13.
However, CV's Ryan Radenbaugh blocked David Grams' extra-point attempt to
give Eberhart's squad a big lift.
The Falcons responded with a nine-play, 72-yard drive, capped off by
Hogan's second touchdown -- a three-yard run. The senior finished with
126 rushing yards -- his second-highest output of the season -- and
caught three balls for another 40 yards.
Arcadia (6-4, 4-1 in league) roared back with a 15-play, 80-yard drive
to cut the deficit to 24-21, following a successful two-point conversion.
Chris Handy, who finished with a game-high 146 yards in 29 carries,
scored the touchdown for the Apaches from two yards out.
But the Falcons' ensuing drive was all Hogan, as he rushed seven times
for 52 yards to set up Gossard's game-icing pass to Burkhart.
"He's just a gutsy kid," Eberhart said of Hogan. "You know what he can
do with the ball, but tonight he showed how tough and durable he is."