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Area programs spring ahead

Football: Glendale, CV, Hoover and St. Francis take part in first Spring Passing Classic tournament.

May 22, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk

SOUTHWEST GLENDALE — It’s not even summer yet, but for four area high school football programs, it’s never too early to start going through the motions.

That best describes the first day of the inaugural Spring Passing Classic, co-hosted by Pacific League rivals Glendale High and Crescenta Valley on Friday.

No pads, helmets, hitting or linemen, just a chance for the Nitros and Falcons, as well as St. Francis and Hoover and 12 other squads, to get some live action under their belts.

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“We struggled last year in a lot of things and pretty much had to start over,” Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said. “This just allows us to start sooner. Now we’ve got a film, we’ve got some competition. This, I think, just expedites the whole process.”

Crescenta Valley defeated Eagle Rock, 36-16, and Franklin, 23-10, on its home field, while Glendale suffered a 25-13 loss to L.A. Marshall in its first game, followed by a 31-12 loss to Canyon to end the day at Moyse Field.

First-year quarterback Zac Wilkerson led the Falcons in both victories.

“The kids really competed well and made some nice plays — we were really happy with it,” Crescenta Valley offensive coordinator Dennis Gossard said. “[Wilkerson] made some nice throws. For the first time out, I thought he did a nice job.”

Hoover and St. Francis squared off against each other late in the afternoon at Moyse Field, with the Golden Knights winning, 30-12.

St. Francis quarterbacks Brett Nelson and Pete Hoffman split time under center and combined for four touchdown passes on the game.

St. Francis, which earlier defeated Muir, 27-15, got off to a good start with a Travis Talianko touchdown reception sandwiched by a pair of interceptions.

“We told our guys this is a practice,” Golden Knights Coach Jim Bonds said. “We lifted before we came over here, that’s more important right now for us to continue to get bigger and stronger.

“It’s nice to go up against other teams just to see if they pick up on what you’re doing.”

AJ Pule started at quarterback for the Tornadoes, but first-year junior Alex Rangel came on later to connect with Diamond McRae on a pair of deep touchdown bombs.

“He’s gonna play and I plan to play him at QB also because AJ is our best athlete and we want to use him wherever we can to get him more touches,” said Hoover Coach Chris Long, whose team opened the day with a 22-6 loss to Golden Valley. “We came out and competed and we didn’t back down from them or anything.

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