Garces’ strip and subsequent score put the Bulldogs (1-5, 1-2 in league) up, 16-10, just 25 seconds after Burbank quarterback Kevin Hunter found Eric Blatz for a 15-yard touchdown.
With a two-point run by Hunter, that score cut the Falcons’ lead to 10-8.
On the kickoff return following Garces’ touchdown, Crescenta Valley fumbled again, giving Burbank almost identical field position, at the Crescenta Valley 31 yard line.
At the 9:32 mark of the fourth quarter, Justin Folk finished the 31-yard drive with a three-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead 22-10.
The Falcons forced a big turnover themselves when Tyler Lopez recovered his second fumble of the game at the Burbank 16 yard line with 8:10 to play. It set up Karsen Reedy’s two-yard scoring run to make the score 22-17, but Burbank was able to hang onto the ball down the stretch to secure the win.
“The defense won us the game basically, they just gave it to the offense and we executed,” Blatz said. “It feels awesome.”
Crescenta Valley (3-3, 1-2) was coming off a big win against defending league champion Burroughs, and dominated the Bulldogs in the first half defensively, holding them to just 102 yards of offense.
The Falcons took a 7-0 lead at the 7:24 mark of the first quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Scott Thompson to tight end Matt McKenzie.
They ran out of time at the Bulldogs’ 6-yard line at the end of the second quarter, however, and settled for a 23-yard Rana Parsanj field goal as time expired.
“I thought in the first half we missed out on opportunities that we let away, certainly,” Zarrillo said. “They just did not materialize.”
Burbank got 99 yards rushing from Korey Turk and 60 yards rushing from fullback Darian Walker.
Walker was particularly instrumental in pushing the ball down the field in the Bulldogs’ 81-yard drive to open the third quarter.