The play took only a few seconds, but that was more than enough time for Crescenta Valley Coach Jim Beckenhauer to ride an emotional roller coaster.
Beckenhauer watched in disbelief last Friday as Falcon receiver Aaron Erickson caught a 33-yard touchdown pass while lying flat on his back in the end zone.
The pass appeared to have been intercepted by Pasadena's DeShawn Miles, but the ball dropped into Erickson's hands, giving Crescenta Valley a 17-13 win.
"When he (Erickson) first ran the pattern I thought, 'All right, we got em,' " Beckenhauer recalled. "Then the kid (Miles) recovered and I thought, 'Oh, geez.'
"So when the ball dropped into Aaron's hands, I couldn't believe it. There was 6:48 left. I remember that distinctly because I looked at the clock and wished it was 1:48."
The Falcons (6-1), off to one of their best starts, will play Glendale on Friday.
Net results: The La Canada High girls' volleyball team appears to have regained the form that helped the Spartans win four consecutive Rio Hondo League championships from 1984-87.
La Canada, which finished second last season, was 8-2 overall, 6-0 in league play entering Tuesday's match against Temple City. The Spartans, who will play host to South Pasadena this afternoon, are 46-4 in league play over the past five years and have not lost a league match at home during that period.
"This is the best collective talent I've ever had," said La Canada Coach Bobbie Estes, who has been coaching volleyball at the school for 10 years.
La Canada is led by a trio of seniors, including setter-outside hitter Erin Weaver and outside hitters Amy Colyar and Jenny Pasqua.
Title run: Hoover senior Eliazar Herrera was the top Glendale-area finisher in last weekend's Mt. San Antonio College cross-country invitational.
Herrera placed third in the team sweepstakes race in a personal best of 15 minutes, 7.4 seconds, finishing behind Agoura's Bryan Dameworth (14:41.8) and Arroyo Grande's Luis Quintana (14:45.9).
Herrera's effort will make him one of the favorites in the Southern Section 4-A finals Nov. 18 at Mt. SAC. Herrera is expected to be challenged by Abe Valdez of Camarillo (fourth in 15:14 at the invitational) and Dave Hartman of Canyon (fifth in 15:15) for the title.
Jump start: Tracey Wade of La Canada has qualified for a national equestrian competition that will be held next month in New Jersey.
Wade, 16, is one of 15 competitors who qualified for the National Horse Show by winning a medal in last month's McLay Western regional championships at the Flintridge Riding Club.
Rebuilding blocks: Bill Garrison knew that rebuilding the once-proud St. Francis football program was not going to be accomplished in one season, but that didn't make last Saturday's 49-0 loss to powerful Loyola any easier to handle.
"Last week was obviously very difficult to take, but I'm in for the long haul, not for just what happens in one year," said Garrison, who is in his first season with the Knights. "I do believe the program is continuing to take steps forward, though they may be very small steps."
Loyola (6-1, 2-0) limited St. Francis (1-6, 0-2) to minus-three yards on offense.
"They (Loyola) played football on Saturday," Garrison said. "I don't know what we played but it wasn't a whole lot of football. We need to start taking care of some of the things we can take care of."
Things won't get any easier for St. Francis. The Knights will meet Notre Dame (6-1) on Friday.
"The sun's going to come up," Garrison said. "That's what everyone keeps telling me."
Passing phase: Claremont's game plan against Occidental last Saturday was obviously slanted toward stopping tailback Gary Little, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rushing leader.
Occidental Coach Dale Widolff wasn't surprised.
"Based on this year, you have to say, 'Let's make them throw the ball. They haven't shown that they can throw it well,' " Widolff said.
Occidental, however, showed it could air things out as quarterback Tony Werbelow helped the Tigers to beat Claremont, 44-14.
Werbelow completed 11 of 14 passes for 198 yards and threw three touchdown passes to tight end David Grossklaus.
Getting defensive: Prospects don't look too bright for the Whittier Poets, who meet Occidental and the Tigers' top-rated defense Saturday.
Last week, Whittier's offensive line surrendered 11 sacks against Azusa Pacific, which cruised to a 31-6 nonconference victory over the Poets (1-6).
Senior linebacker David Hodges has been a consistent performer all season for Occidental. The Tigers are also benefitting from the play of freshman linebacker Brent Blakeman and freshman safety Rick Mock, who have worked their way into the starting lineup.
Saturday's game at Whittier is the first of two contests between Occidental and the Poets this season. Under SCIAC rules, each team plays one opponent twice so Occidental and Whittier will square off again on Nov. 11 at Occidental.
"I don't like it," Widolff said, "but I like it over the alternative, which is either spending a lot of money to play someone out of the area or staying close to home and playing Division II schools, which are scholarship schools."
You dropped a bomb on me: Glendale Coach John Cicuto says that there is nothing mysterious about his team's 26-10 loss to Los Angeles Southwest last Saturday.
"We had plenty of opportunities to score, but we just didn't execute," Cicuto said. "Everything that could go wrong kind of went wrong."
Vaquero receivers had a particularly rough day, dropping seven passes. Quarterback Ronnie Lopez finished with nine completions in 23 attempts for 94 yards.
"It was matter of them wanting to do it so bad, they just weren't relaxed," Cicuto said. "They make those catches nine out of 10 times."