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Falcons see Muir matchup as must-win

CV Coach Schilling says league title will likely go through Mustangs.

October 05, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.

Muir High may not be Crescenta Valley's main football rival — that distinction remains reserved for Arcadia — but the annual Pacific League meeting between the Mustangs and Falcons likely comes a close second to the traditional season finale meeting with the Apaches in terms of motivation and meaning.

Muir has won its share of league titles during the rivalry, and even in years when the Mustangs haven't ruled the roost, a win or a loss to Muir usually figures heavily in the Falcons' own prospects for a league title or playoff berth.

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"They're always the team to beat in league, especially if you want to compete for a league championship — it goes through Muir somehow," said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose team will host Muir at 7 p.m. on Friday at Glendale High's Moyse Field. "You've got to beat the Mustangs."

On paper, the two teams would appear to enter the game pretty evenly matched. At 3-1 and 1-0 in league, the Falcons are ranked ninth in the latest CIF Southern Section Southeast Division poll, while the Mustangs (2-2, 0-1) are ranked 10th.

One wild card, however, is how the controversy currently surrounding their head coach, Ken Howard, will affect the Mustangs' play. Howard was placed on administrative leave just before last week's league opener against reigning league co-champion Arcadia and was replaced by interim coach Dave Mitchell, who will once again run the show on Friday. Howard, an on-campus security guard at Muir, got into a physical altercation with a student, who allegedly possessed a weapon.

The Mustangs may have been thrown out of sorts by the sudden coaching upheaval, as they were blown out, 42-7, although the caliber of their opponent, ranked No. 2 in the division, could have had just as much to do with the lopsided loss.

"We don't know how much of an effect that had on them," Schilling said.

Whomever happens to be coaching on the sideline Friday, the Falcons can be fairly sure who they will see on the field. The Mustangs have been powered all season by the extremely athletic and heavily recruited all-purpose offensive threats of Kevon Seymour and Tarien Owens.

The rest of the Mustangs roster is fairly young and inexperienced, but Seymour and Owens' big-play abilities have been enough to keep the team a threat.

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