Thompson Leads Crescenta Valley to big win over Hoover
The Crescenta Valley Falcons used a burst of opportunistic scoring to defeat the Hoover Tornados 35-7 on Friday, September 23. Sophomore wide receiver, defensive back and place kicker Xavier Thompson had four offensive touchdowns and one interception on defense for the Falcons. His interception was a key part of Crescenta Valley pulling away from Hoover over the final minute of the second half.
The Falcons started strong, suffocating the Tornados run game and then scoring on their first offensive possession. Thompson ran the ball in from 6 yards out to break the seal. Six minutes later, Thompson ran a short slant and caught a pass from quarterback Jacob Deno as he slid into the end zone to give CV a 14-0 lead.
The Hoover defense struggled to consistently contain the Crescenta Valley attack. They held the Falcons in check after their opening possession until the second score, and also swarmed Deno for much of the first half.
Despite all of the defensive pressure, mental mistakes cost the Tornados, who were unable to capitalize on offense. Sophomore quarterback AJ Francisco turned the ball over twice in the first half - the first of which was a fumble following a high snap and miscommunication on the handoff.
One mental mistake not only cost Hoover possession, but it gave Crescenta Valley points. Junior defensive back Davion Halloway intercepted a Deno pass attempt in the end zone and had designs on running the ball out. Unfortunately for Halloway and the Tornados, he brought the ball out of the end zone and then retreated back across the goal line where the play was whistled for a safety.
The game was still within reach for Hoover with their deficit only two scores at 16-0, but the final minute of the first half was critical. The Tornados punted away from deep in their own territory with just over one minute on the clock, giving the Falcons possession near midfield as their own 48-yard line. Deno then connected with Thompson again - this time on a deep pass that resulted in a 52-yard touchdown pitch and catch.
Hoover’s Francisco had his second turnover of the half when his deep pass attempt was intercepted by Thompson. Deno wasted little time in connecting with Nathan Martinez for a 31-yard touchdown to push the Falcons lead to 29-0 with 34 seconds left in the half. Thompson would add a 20-yard rushing touchdown four minutes into the third quarter to trigger the running clock as the deficit for Hoover had reached 35 points at 35-0.
The Tornados continued to fight despite the large gap and the mercy rules in place. Their defense forced a fumble deep in Falcons territory and almost returned it for a touchdown. A few plays later Francisco plunged across the goal line to get Hoover on the board.
The Tornados will look to get back into the win column when they host Nogales next Friday night at 5:00 pm. Crescenta Valley will also be at home as they begin their first Pacific League schedule against Muir with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 pm.