By Aaron Valdez
When the playoff brackets were released a couple weeks back, there was some controversy brewing in the Pacific League.
Despite falling in their head-to-head match-up and having a worse record than cross-town rivals Muir, the Pasadena football team qualified for Division XI CIF while the Mustangs were left out in the cold.
However, the Bulldogs went on to validate their playoff berth by dropping the bombshell of the evening and defeating No. 2 ranked Santa Paula 33-22 on the road Friday.
It was undeniably Pasadena’s best effort of the season, jumping out to a 20-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Pasadena’s tremendous opening quarter was powered by Malachi Langley, who was a terror on the Cardinals defense. The senior rushed for 249 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Though it didn’t have much success in league action, Pasadena’s triumph this playoff game could possibly serve as testament to how competitive the Pacific League was, which includes Arcadia, Burbank, Crescenta Valley and, of course, Muir.
The Bulldogs never looked back for the remainder of the game and marched on to the CIF quarterfinals. They will square off against Beaumont (7-4 overall, 2-3 Mountain Pass League) at home on Friday at 7 p.m.