New-look Falcons set for first test

CV hits the road for intersectional opener against Verdugo Hills.

September 10, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games.

The Crescenta Valley High football team is admittedly untested, but the first proving ground will be on a field where the Falcons have played plenty of times and enjoyed some notable success.

Tonight at 7, the Paul Schilling-era will officially get underway with a road contest against traditional intersectional opponent Verdugo Hills and by its conclusion, the Falcons and their first-year head coach will undoubtedly have a better idea about how they stack up with past teams.


First-year quarterback Zac Wilkerson will get his first chance to run a largely all-new offensive cast and the Bryan Luna-led defense will look to keep the Dons, who are coming off a 1-9 season, bottled up.

"It's almost like another scrimmage for us," said Schilling, who was an assistant on last year's squad that went 8-4 and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs. "We're still trying to figure out who our main guys are going to be from week to week.

"We're approaching it very much as a pre-league game, but we're going to do everything we can to win the game."

The Dons, who absorbed a 48-8 beating from the Falcons to open last season, have a new coach, as well, in John Wallace. They run a pistol offense and a 3-3 defense that Schilling said may take some getting used to for his team.

"We don't exactly know if they've improved or what," Schilling said. "We think they have, but as a City [Section] school we really don't get as much info on them.

"[The pistol] is kind of different look that we don't see too often and the 3-3 is tough because you've got guys coming from all different places."

St. Francis vs. Arcadia (7:30 p.m. today): The Golden Knights have steadily held the upper hand in this annual nonleague season kickoff rivalry and have been especially hard on the Apaches since suffering a 2007 defeat. In the past two meetings. St. Francis has outscored Arcadia, 94-7.

And while it's not the same Golden Knights squad that will take Friedman Field today — reigning All-Area Player of the Year Dietrich Riley is at the top of the list of graduated seniors that have been replaced — the program retains enough clout to enter the game ranked fifth in the CIF Southern Section Western Division.

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