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Falcons fall in La Mirada

Football: Early lead, valiant comeback not enough for Falcons' playoff win, as they lose, 35-30.

November 19, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LA MIRADA — After two possessions, the Crescenta Valley High football team found itself in good shape.

Two touchdowns catches by wide receiver Nick Ruiz left the Falcons with a sizable lead.

Then things came apart for Crescenta Valley, which had difficulty stopping La Mirada's passing attack once it finally had possession.

Crescenta Valley surrendered three touchdowns in the air and saw its season conclude Friday night with a 35-30 road loss against fourth-seeded La Mirada in a CIF Southern Section Southeast Division first-round contest.

"They are a power team that likes to pound you," said Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling, whose team finished 6-5 after tying for third in the Pacific League. "We stopped them on the ground, but they made the adjustments.

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"We dared them to throw the ball and they just made the plays."

La Mirada (7-4) saw quarterback Gerry Myres throw three touchdown passes, all to 6-5 wide receiver Dallis Shipp. Myres completed nine of 14 passes for 216 yards.

Every time Crescenta Valley thought it had an answer, La Mirada, which will next face Arcadia in a second-round game Friday, had a response.

The Falcons were forced to play catch-up after the Matadores took the lead for good late in the second quarter.

"We kind of went into a stalemate and I have to see what changed toward the second part of the second quarter," Schilling said. "We came here and expected to win and they are good.

"We thought we would be a good matchup for them."

Crescenta Valley scored on its first possession when senior quarterback Zac Wilkerson, who had four total touchdowns, tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ruiz to make it 7-0 with 9:13 left.

After Crescenta Valley's Kevin Cooper recovered the ensuing kick, Wilkerson then lofted a 23-yard touchdown pass to Ruiz in the back of the end zone to make it 14-0 with 5:47 remaining in the opening quarter. Ruiz finished with 10 catches for 165 yards.

The Falcons ran 15 plays from scrimmage before La Mirada, which won the Suburban League title, had its first possession.

The Matadores overcame the sluggish start and cut the lead to 14-7 when Myres threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Shipp with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.

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