By Christian Romo
Despite a career night from Arcadia Senior Raeshawn Roland (6), the Apaches couldn’t stop the rival Falcons in a title-deciding season finale.
Winning the Pacific League title for the second time in three years, the visiting Crescenta Valley Falcons (9-1, 6-0 in league) beat the Arcadia Apaches (8-2, 4-2) 49-28 Friday night in Arcadia. The Falcons ran the ball effectively against the Apaches, scoring all but one of their seven touchdowns on the ground.
“It was part of our game plan,” said Falcons coach Paul Schilling about his team’s running game. “We have a great offensive line, so we put it behind them.”
Falcons Junior Omri Edwards (31) led the Falcons with 115 yards on 18 carries, while senior fullback Tyler Hill (12) battered in three touchdowns for CV. Quarterback Cole Doyle (18) had two rushing touchdowns of his own, completing 13 of 17 passes and adding a passing touchdown to Senior Brandon Beardt (30) late in the fourth quarter.
“Everything was just going our way,” said Doyle, who celebrated with his team after the final whistle. “We’re Pacific League champs…that’s something we’re going to remember for the rest of our lives.”
The score might have been more lopsided had it not been for Raeshawn Roland’s performance on all sides of the ball. Roland caught six passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, once up the middle in the second quarter and once on a fade route in the fourth. “I just want to work harder, go to playoffs, and have more games like this,” said Roland.
Roland also contributed defensively, intercepting a deep pass with eight minutes to go in the first half. But his most impressive play came in the third quarter, when he returned a kickoff 98 yards down the left side for a touchdown. “My coach was telling me at practice to go up the middle and bounce outside… the hole opened up, and I got there,” he said.
Down by two touchdowns, a red zone turnover with just over three minutes left in the second quarter sunk the Apaches. On third-and-goal after driving 85 yards, quarterback Max Davila (18) found a hole up the middle and ran towards the end zone. As he dove towards the goal line, a Falcon defender knocked the ball loose, swatting the ball beyond the end zone and giving the Falcons possession at their own twenty-yard line.
“We had some things go against us at the end of the half, I think that would have made the game a little different,” said Arcadia Coach Andrew Policky about the fumble. Though he was disappointed with the loss, Policky praised his team’s effort in the second half. “They kept fighting, stayed in the game, made some plays offensively. We just couldn’t get enough stops.”
Though they lost a chance at a Pacific League title, the Apaches qualified for the CIF playoffs for the first time since 2012, and will head to Oak Park Friday night at 7 p.m. “I’m excited, it’s been a while since we’ve been in the playoffs,” said Policky.
Sophomore Jahlique Stephens (22) is optimistic about his team’s chances. “I feel like we’re gonna take over,” he said. “We got the talent, we got the line, and the coaching. I feel very confident going into playoffs.”
As for Roland, he’s not ready to end his career on a loss. His goal for the postseason: “Get a ring.”