“To do this early is something that we can use for the rest of spring practice. That’s going to be a huge advantage for us later on.”
The Falcons finished 5-1 in the 16-team tournament, which began Friday and included St. Francis, Glendale and Hoover. St. Francis went 4-1, while Glendale and Hoover went winless in five games.
Behind quarterback Zac Wilkerson, the Falcons, who qualified for the playoffs last fall, closed out pool-play competition Saturday with a 25-13 win against Sylmar. It then picked up a first-round win against Hoover before pulling off a 32-19 quarterfinal victory against Canyon.
“The Canyon game was a big game for us because they’ve been a Foothill League power for some time,” said Schilling, who praised the efforts turned in by Wilkerson, wide receivers Nick Ruiz, Nikko Domingo and Marro Pena and defenders Bryan Luna, Tyler Martinez and Sean Johnson.
St. Francis rounded out pool play with a 22-13 victory against Golden Valley. The Golden Knights then earned a 22-0 first-round win against Eagle Rock, but saw their day conclude with a 29-24 quarterfinal loss to Hart.
Quarterback Brett Nelson tossed three touchdown passes against Hart, including a pair to wide receiver Travis Talianko.
“We just looked at this week as spring practice,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, who led the Golden Knights to a playoff appearance last season. “It’s nice to go out there and see other pass coverages and patterns, and I saw a lot of positive things.
“Hart’s a great team and are well coached. We are mirror images of each other. They made some plays that we didn’t. We were able to film both days, so now we can watch the mistakes that we made and go from there.”