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One less stop on boulevard

Football: Crescenta Valley High schedule features new opening-week opponent in Santa Paula.

August 27, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

GLENDALE — It appeared that the Crescenta Valley High football team would play the same schedule this season as it had the previous four. A last-minute change scrapped those plans, forcing the Falcons to scramble to find a new opening-week opponent.

In recent seasons, the Falcons have opened their season with an intersectional contest against Verdugo Hills. The schools are separated by less than five miles, providing the teams an easy bus trip to the respective home venues and an intersectional rivalry.

Instead, Crescenta Valley will kick off against visiting Santa Paula in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Glendale High's Moyse Field.

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"Verdugo Hills dropped us from their schedule and we hadn't planned on that happening," said Crescenta Valley second-year Coach Paul Schilling, whose team finished 4-6, 3-5 in the Pacific League last season. "We struggled to find another team to play and we saw that Santa Paula had the same situation and we figured OK.

"They have a good quarterback, wide receiver and running back and they are similar to us with a wide-open offense."

Santa Paula finished 5-6 and fell in the first round of the playoffs last season.

From that point on, the Falcons will meet the same teams they did last season, beginning with nonleague road games against intracity rivals St. Francis and La Cañada. Crescenta Valley will face St. Francis at Friedman Field at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in "The Battle for Foothill Boulevard" before taking on La Cañada at 7 p.m. Sept. 23.

Crescenta Valley suffered a 42-14 loss against St. Francis last season before bouncing back to net a 38-34 win against La Cañada.

"Anytime you go to St. Francis, it's such a big game for the community," Schilling said. "The players have a good time and we get great fan support there.

"The La Cañada game can always be scary because they want to try to beat us. Most of the time, we've been on the winning side of some close games."

Crescenta Valley will then begin the league portion of its schedule at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 against Hoover. Since Crescenta Valley and Hoover share Moyse Field, Crescenta Valley will be designated as the road team.

Crescenta Valley posted a 62-28 victory last season against Hoover, which will have a new coach on board in Andrew Policky.

"Whoever you play, it doesn't matter," Schilling said. "They have a new coach and it's a game where both teams try to start 1-0 in league."

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