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Passing the time

Football: Royal pains CV in finals loss and St. Francis in semis.

July 10, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Roughly nine weeks away from the opening kickoff of high school football, the annual St. Francis Passing Tournament set down at St. Francis and La Cañada high on Friday.

Though just about every coach is quick to point out summer passing leagues are about getting familiar with schemes and building camaraderie and that wins and losses don't matter all that much, both St. Francis High and Crescenta Valley were in reach of the tournament crown.

And when both came up short, it was clearly disappointing.

"This group is very passionate when they get it going, they get excited," said first-year Falcons Coach Paul Schilling, whose team lost to Royal, 26-18, in a back-and-forth final.

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Royal defeated Glendale, 35-24, in the opening round of elimination play before besting St. Francis, 37-21, in the semifinals.

"We have never won this tournament," said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds. "So we kind of built it up like, hey let's win one. So we were a bit disappointed [after the loss]."

Crescenta Valley, which went 5-2 on the day, outlasted Moorpark, 24-15, in the semifinal with Paul Perugini throwing a pair of touchdowns passes to Mauro Lee, quarterback Zak Wilkerson throwing a score to Kevin Fernandez and Nikko Domingo coming up with a huge two-point interception in the end zone.

Against Royal, which defeated CV in pool play, 38-19, a Wilkerson-to-Lee scoring hookup and a subsequent Lee conversion tied the game at 7. CV's defense then came up with a one-point defensive stop before Nick Ruiz made a stellar catch on a Wilkerson toss, leading to a 15-7 score.

Royal would tie the game at 15 before a CV stop put them ahead, 16-15. A crucial Royal interception off a dropped CV pass put the Falcons behind at 17-16. Two more defensive stops were the only points the Falcons could muster.

"I'm happy, though," said Schilling of the overall day, in particular the improvement he saw as the day progresses. "That was a lot of improvement [from the first Royal game to the final]."

The quarterback competition between Wilkerson and Perugini, a St. Francis transfer, also continued to heat up.

"Both Paul and Zak did a nice job," Schilling said.

Schilling also pointed out the defensive efforts of Bryan Luna and Alec Traber for the Falcons, who defeated La Cañada, 30-16, and Pasadena, 32-8, in pool play and defeated Pasadena Poly in the opening round of the playoffs.

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