Tag Archives: Duncan Smith

Burbank Makes the Effort, But Loses To Downey, 35-7

By Rick Assad

Burbank High and Downey came into Friday night’s nonleague football game with identical 1-1 records.

The Bulldogs bolted out of the gate and beat Monrovia 23-8, but then lost to Canyon 14-6.

The Vikings were defeated by powerhouse Santa Margarita 56-0, but bounced back with a 42-35 triumph over Hart.

Quarterback Matthew Porras scored the only touchdown for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross. A. Benson)

It was apparent early that Downey’s schedule was much more demanding as the No. 7th-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division IV, handled the Bulldogs 35-7 at Memorial Field.

Burbank avoided the shutout when quarterback Matthew Porras scampered in from 12 yards out as 3:55 remained in the fourth quarter.

Porras, a junior, completed 15 of 26 passes for 124 yards, but was intercepted twice by senior free safety Nicholas Whitney in the opening half.

Senior running back Darnell Williams gained 34 yards on 20 carries against Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another Bulldog highlight was senior cornerback Kaydon Spens picking off junior Kijon Foots in the second quarter.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton grabbed five catches for 55 yards and junior tight end Duncan Smith nabbed six for 53 yards for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they went 10-4 overall before losing in the Division VIII title game.

Burbank has a bye next week, but will host Glendale on Sept. 21 to commence the Pacific League portion of its schedule which culminates Nov. 3 when it meets city rival Burroughs.

“This is the best team we’re going to play all season,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “This is a young team and it’s still learning.”

Colman, who played quarterback for the Bulldogs a number of years ago, said that he was pleased with the effort.

“I’m proud of how they fought and that’s pride,” he said. “That touchdown at the end was important. We moved the ball well, but we didn’t convert in the red zone.”

Burbank’s defense was on the run most of the night versus the Vikings, who won 35-7 in a nonleague game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Downey senior running back Baraq Ross finished with a game-best 202 yards on 19 carries and tallied four rushing touchdowns, including three in the second half when the Vikings outscored the Bulldogs 21-7.

After Burbank (1-2) punted on its initial possession, Downey took over at the Burbank 33-yard line.

Four plays later, Ross found the end zone on a one-yard carry as 8:55 was left for a 7-0 lead.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton snared five passes for 55 yards. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The next time the Vikings (2-1) had the ball, Foots unloaded a 62-yard pass to wide receiver Whitney (89 yards on four receptions) and 5:21 left in the first period as it became 14-0.

Downey’s advantage was extended to 21-0 on its first series of the second half when Ross broke off a 70-yard sprint down the left sideline for a touchdown with 10:55 remaining in the third quarter.

It’s off to the races for Pendleton against highly-ranked Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson).

Burbank (212 total net yards) followed that with a march from its own 40-yard line to the Vikings five when Porras (54 yards on 11 carries) failed to complete a pass on fourth down.

Burbank senior running back Darnell Williams accounted for 34 yards on 20 carries.

The Vikings (524 total yards) proceeded to make it 28-0 when Foots, a quick and agile quarterback who passed for 213 yards on 15 of 22, drove the team from their five-yard line and used 13 plays with a five-yard run by Ross the capper as 1:53 was left in the third quarter.

Downey powered ahead 35-0 with 8:10 on the ticker in the fourth frame when Foots directed the Vikings 62 yards as Ross located the end zone with a 17-yard dash.

Burbank Football Still Has Winning Look

Many faces and names have changed, but the Burbank High football team is looking to put together a season that could be comparable to the one the Bulldogs had a year ago.

Last season Burbank went 10-4 and had arguably its best season in school history, reaching the Division 8 CIF Southern Section title game, falling to Yorba Linda in the final.

The Bulldogs lost many key players to graduation, but still, return a handful that played a key role on last season’s team.

Burbank High’s New Football Coach Adam Colman. ( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Former Bulldog quarterback and second-year teacher Adam Colman has taken over as head coach from Richard Broussard after winning a league title on the junior varsity level a year ago.

“For me my goals start with winning league.  I know we’ve graduated a lot, but that’s always been a goal for me. It’s a challenge. We’re not the favorites, but anything can happen,” Colman said. “Over the past 10 years I think four or five teams have won league. Last year we were the favorites and it didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter until you put the pads on and you play.

“We’re young, so for me the ultimate goal is to get better every week, as well as better every day. I’m a big believer in John Wooden’s approach. Success is the best of what you are capable of,” Colman said. “ My goal is to not have any regrets and to walk away saying we were the best team we could be and be happy with that.”

Offensively, Burbank returns three skill position players that played key roles a year ago.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior Darnell Williams (5-9, 185), the younger brother of Washington State running back James Williams, will get a chance to be Burbank’s go-to back. The last two seasons he shared the bulk of the carries with Nick Warren, who graduated.  Williams had 101 carries for 528 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.

Senior Drew Pendleton (6-1, 195) is also back as a receiver and linebacker.  He had 24 receptions for 465 yards and six touchdowns last season. Defensively, Pendleton had 76 tackles. Junior Erik Harutyunyan (6-2, 185) is also back. He had 18 receptions for 205 yards in 2016. Defensively, he had 48 tackles.

Senior Anthony Lira (6-3, 240) is clearly the leader of the offensive and defensive lines and will play left tackle.

Senior Kaydon Spens (6-2, 190) who had 16 tackles last season will see time as a receiver and as a defensive back.

Junior Matt Porras (5-10, 185) takes over at quarterback. He is the younger brother of Danny Porras, who was a baseball and football star for the Bulldogs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colman said Porras is a fast learner.

Porras will have another quality passing target in junior tight end Duncan Smith (6-4, 215). Smith, like Harutyunyan, played on two CIF Southern Section finalist teams as he is also a Burbank basketball player.

Burbank is also expecting big things from senior Blake Quinteros (5-10, 190) who showed promise last season at running back when he was healthy. He will also hope to fill the void of Jake Kelley at linebacker. Kelley led the team with 115 tackles.

Protecting Burbank’s skilled offensive position players will be juniors Karo Koshkaryan (6-2, 225) and center Kris Azizkhani (6-1, 295). Junior Esper Alsayegh (6-0, 260) and sophomore Armando De La Cruz (5-8, 210) also figure play key roles on the offensive line.

Defensively Burbank will have many of the same players on offense. Senior Louie Torres (6-1, 165) is one player that figures to play a key role in the secondary. Christian Fajardo (5-8, 180), younger brother of last season two-way star Forrest Fajardo,  is another who could see significant time in the secondary.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colman said sophomore Ali Maaz (5-7, 150) has a nose for the ball and will be looked upon to take a role amongst the linebackers.

Senior Andrew Rovira (5-10) returns as the kicker and will add punting duties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burbank Boys’ Basketball Team Creates Another Miracle

Playing for one CIF Southern Section championship in a major sport isn’t enough to satisfy Burbank High during the 2016-17 school year.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Duplicating the effort of the football team, the Bulldogs boys’ basketball team has also advanced to a championship contest.

Friday night the host Bulldogs pulled off one of the greatest victories in school history in any sport by defeating third-seeded Rancho Mirage 76-71 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA semifinals.

Rancho Mirage enjoyed a tremendous height advantage in that no Burbank starter was as tall as the shortest starter for the visitors.

“They’ve been talking to us ever since we got into the playoffs. They’ve been telling us nonstop to stay focused and take one game at a time, don’t let it slip away. They’ve been really good mentors for us,” Burbank’s Faraz Khandaker said of the football players. “We’ve been battling with size since we were sophomores. Sometimes it is heart over height.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (23-8) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs were down 40-27 with 2:26 left in the first half as Rancho Mirage star Charles Neal was on fire. Neal scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half.  Michael Woods hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half to cut the deficit to 41-35.

Every time it looked like Rancho Mirage (28-4) was on the verge of pulling away, Burbank would answer back.

The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 2:50 left on a three-pointer by Woods to make it 68-67. He finished with a game-high 30 points.

Rancho Mirage re-took the lead twice more before Burbank went up 72-71 on a goaltending call following a shot by Thomas Clark.

“I feel like in the second half we pulled it together,” Woods said. “Nobody wants to go home, we want to keep playing. I never thought this was going to happen. Coach (Jamayne) Potts came in and he helped us out. We were struggling my freshman and sophomore year.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Potts said keeping his team under control was the key.

“I told them one at a time don’t panic. I said play harder, play smarter, but don’t panic,” the second-year Burbank coach said. “That’s what they did.”

Burbank will face Brentwood in the CIF championship game at a site, time and date to be determined.

It will be Burbank’s first appearance in a CIF championship in basketball since 1926, when the Bulldogs lost 12-8 to Anaheim in the Class C title game. As a school, Burbank will be looking for its first CIF title since 1993 when the boys’ tennis team captured the Division 3 crown.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank has two just two players, sophomores Eric Harutyunyan and Duncan Smith, who also played on the football team.

“Too bad the football team couldn’t get it,” Woods said of a CIF title. “We saw how the football team felt. We just have to go as hard as we can to bring one to the city of Burbank.”

Khandaker and Clark each had 12 points. Ben Chavez had eight points, Abdullah Kobaissi had six, Cameron Sweeten five and Henrik Anassian three points.