Tag Archives: Football

Burroughs Football Can’t Find End Zone, Lose To Crescenta Valley, 38-9

By Rick Assad


Good fortune wasn’t shining down on the Burroughs High football team when it faced Crescenta Valley at Moyse Field on Friday night.

Senior tailback Chance Bell injured his ankle in the opening half and senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda missed the second half with a right knee injury as the Indians lost 38-9 in a Pacific League showdown.

The Indians (4-4 and 3-2 in league) could muster only three field goals from junior kicker Jonathan Rivas.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Tailback Chance Bell (#22), who hurt his ankle talks with injured quarterback Hayden Zepeda. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons (7-1 and 5-0 in league) have given up 29 points in league play and will face Burbank, ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Division VIII and undefeated in league, on the road Friday.

“We made good adjustments at halftime,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We just had bad luck [with the injuries]. I was happy with the kids in how they battled. They were playing inspired football.”

Reily said Bell, who holds the school career rushing mark, wanted to play. “He’s a team-first guy,” he said.

Rivas’ first kick was a 22-yarder and came with 6:41 left in the initial quarter that cut the Falcons, ranked No. 10 in Division VI, advantage to 7-3.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bell was kept out of the end zone by the stubborn Falcons defense. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

When Rivas converted from 42 yards out and 27 seconds left before the half, Crescenta Valley’s cushion was shaved to 24-6 and his 43-yard attempt with 9:31 showing in the third quarter made it 24-9.

Bell battled and finished with a game-best 235 yards on 35 carries, but didn’t find the end zone.

It was a tough evening all around as the Indians managed just 298 total net yards.

Zepeda hit on seven of 15 pass attempts for 62 yards, but was intercepted by junior defensive back Grady Schilling, who returned the ball for a 45-yard touchdown and 3:18 left in the second quarter as the Falcons pulled ahead 24-3.

“If my MCL is only sprained, then I’m going to play in the next game [versus Muir],” Zepeda said. “If not, then I want to play in the Burbank game.”

Zepeda also said the offensive scheme was sound. “We had a good game play,” he pointed out. “But injuries happen. They’re part of the game.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior field general Hayden Zepeda about to pass the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Once again, Reily wanted to pass the football knowing the Falcons were going to key on Bell, who came into the contest having scored 25 touchdowns.

“We wanted a well-rounded game plan,” he said. “Spread the ball around.”

On Crescenta Valley’s first series, it drove 65 yards and was capped off by junior running back Joe Suh (team-best 155 yards on 16 carries), who had a 51-yard dash that made it 7-0 with 11:03 on the clock.

Senior kicker Alex Atanackovic’s 39-yard field goal with 4:10 left in the opening period ended a 53-yard march as the Falcons (338 total yards) took a 10-3 lead.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley’s defense is stifling, allowing three field goals in a 31-point win. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore quarterback Cole Doyle found senior wide receiver Will Rees with a 14-yard strike and 6:45 remaining before the half to make it 17-3.

With 6:25 showing in the third quarter, the Falcons then darted ahead 31-9 on Doyle’s one-yard keeper, ending a drive that began at the Crescenta Valley 22-yard line and consumed nine plays.

It became a 29-point spread after an 18-yard jaunt by sophomore running back Daniel Cho with 2:42 left in the contest.

The Indians will face Muir on the road on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Football Eases Past Glendale, 64-7

By Rick Assad


Because the Burroughs High football team was playing Glendale on Thursday night at Memorial Field, the coaching staff decided the team would be more diverse offensively.

It was in a sense, but old reliable, senior tailback Chance Bell, had another outstanding effort as the Indians routed the Nitros 64-7 in a Pacific League contest.

Bell ran for 332 yards on 16 carries which equaled his career-best total earlier this season against Hoover. For good measure, Bell also scored six touchdowns.

But senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda connected on 10 of 15 attempts for 106 yards and unloaded two touchdowns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda passed for 106 yards and two touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“Our game plan was to come out and throw the ball,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We feel comfortable with our run game, but we wanted to make an effort to throw the ball.”

A running clock began with one minute left in the second quarter after Burroughs led by 50 points.

The Indians (4-3 and 3-1 in league) pulled ahead 35-7 in the first quarter and then added 22 points in the second quarter.

Bell’s one-yard carry with 10:06 left capped a 60-yard, six-play drive to make it 7-0.

It was 14-0 after Bell’s 49-yard jaunt and 8:58 on the clock, and became 21-7 with 6:48 showing on a 10-yard Bell burst.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior tailback Chance Bell equaled his career best with 332 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“The line and receivers are doing a great job for me,” said Bell, who had six carries of 20 yards or more. “Everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Burroughs (479 total net yards) took command 28-7 after a Glendale (1-6 and 0-4 in league) punt traveled minus eight yards as the drive started at the Glendale 10.

Three plays later, Bell, who had 285 yards at the intermission on 12 carries, found the end zone on an 11-yard dash with 5:12 showing.

On the next series, the Indians scored on Zepeda’s 13-yard aerial to junior wide receiver Gavin Aguilar (44 yards on four catches) with 1:07 remaining to make it 35-7.

The Nitros were held on fourth and seven at the Indians 17-yard line, which set up Bell’s 83-yard sprint that included several zigs, zags and field reversals before he danced into the end zone with 8:59 left before the half.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Ben Peters added a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior Jonathan Rivas was set to boot the extra point, but senior reserve signal-caller Gabriel Pellot instead added the two-point conversion to make it 43-7.

Bell was asked if he can see the holes before they open up.

“The game does slow down for me,” he said. “When I find the hole, I go for it.”

When Zepeda found senior wide receiver/running back Sammy Duran with a 10-yard toss and 7:22 on the clock, Burroughs darted ahead 50-7.

The Nitros were again stopped on fourth down, this time they needed two yards for the first down from the Glendale 28-yard line.

It took Bell one play to scamper in from 27 yards as 5:53 was left before the break and the Indians held a 57-7 lead.

The cushion became 64-7 when junior running back Ben Peters (35 yards on six rushes) delivered a six-yard run with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Glendale’s only tally was a 74-yard pass from junior quarterback Sebastian Gonzalez to junior wide receiver Luis Alvarez about four minutes in the opening period that cut the lead to 14-7.

Burroughs travels to Glendale High’s Moyse Field on Friday night for a match against Crescenta Valley. The game commences at 7 p.m.

Burbank Football Has Record-Setting Outing, Beats Hoover, 77-16

By Rick Assad


It took eight plays from scrimmage for the Burbank High football team to score three touchdowns.

The lead was 28 points heading into the second quarter as the Bulldogs capped the night with a record-scoring performance en route to a 77-16 Pacific League victory over Hoover on Thursday at Memorial Field.

Senior quarterback Guy Gibbs connected on 19 of 22 passes and finished with 386 yards.

“I want to thank my linemen,” said Gibbs, who had four first-half touchdown passes. “They give me the time to throw. We executed really well in the first half.”

Gibbs said despite the lopsided score, Hoover is much better than in year’s past. “They did improve a lot. They came out and played.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Quarterback Guy Gibbs tossed four touchdowns in 77-16 win over Hoover. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (4-2 and 3-0 in league) compiled 531 total net yards while limiting the Tornadoes to 177 yards.

A running clock was initiated early in the third quarter.

“We wanted to get after it,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said. “We wanted to play with effort. We executed what we do in practice. I think we should always score when we do that [execute].”

The running clock should have begun at the start of the third as the Bulldogs were ahead 56-13.

It took three plays and 52 yards for Burbank to lead 7-0 when junior running back Darnell Williams (40 yards on four carries) found the end zone on a four-yard run and 11:47 left.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nick Warren (#6) shaking hands with lineman Scott Breslin. Warren scored three touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead became 14-7 after a two-play, 58-yard drive when Gibbs found senior wide receiver Forest Fajardo (game-best 188 yards on seven receptions) with a 40-yard strike as 9:55 remained.

A three-play, 30-yard march ended when Gibbs found Williams (32 yards on three catches) with a 16-yard toss and 7:06 left on the clock for a 21-7 lead.

With 1:40 remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were ahead 28-7 when Gibbs located Fajardo with a 29-yard missile.


Forest Fajardo caught seven passes for 188 yards and two scores. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead was extended to 35-7 with 19.8 seconds left in the opening period when senior defensive lineman Mathew Villagran blocked a punt which senior linebacker Jake Kelley recovered in the end zone.

It ballooned to 42-7 when senior running back Quinton Smith fumbled at the Hoover 31-yard line which Villagran pounced on.

Four plays later, senior running back Nick Warren (29 yards on eight rushes) ran it in from three yards out as 9:29 remained in the second quarter.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 42 points when Gibbs drilled senior running back Andy Reyes with a 27-yard bullet and 3:53 on the clock.

The Bulldogs took a 56-13 advantage into the locker room after Warren scored on a four-yard burst and 20.6 seconds left.

Is this what you call  Face masking??? and not called.   (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Darnell Williams running hard. Williams had 40 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive interceptions led to touchdowns to begin the second half as Hoover sophomore quarterback Andrew Rangel (six of 18 for 101 yards) was picked off by junior defensive lineman Anthony Lira, who returned the ball 64 yards to make it 63-13 with 11:36 on the clock.

With 10:28 showing, Villagran raced 32 yards after an interception to make it 70-13.

“Our defense played well and really boosted that number [points],” Broussard said.

Senior running back Joey Miller (40 yards on two carries) added a 29-yard scamper and 5:27 left in the third quarter that made it 77-13.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Gibbs can also run with the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Tornadoes (3-3 and 0-3 in league) scored on a 78-yard sprint from Rangel (46 yards on eight carries) with 10:34 left in the initial period that evened it at 7-7 and Rangel’s 20-yard toss to junior running back Maurice Herrera (five yards on three carries) and 3:19 left in the second quarter cut the lead to 49-13.

Senior Johnny Hernandez booted a 32-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the final quarter to make it 77-16.

The Bulldogs will host Arcadia next Thursday in a league match with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Receiver Hernandez Was Smart And Effective

By Rick Assad


When the Burroughs High football team needed yards through the air, wide receiver Erick Hernandez was the man for the job.

During his three-year varsity career at Burroughs, Hernandez proved to be a dependable and clutch receiver, finishing with 83 catches for 1,284 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Hernandez, named Pacific League first-team, Offensive Player of the Year and All-Area first team as a senior, added a pair of non-receiving scores for a total of 24.

Hernandez isn’t especially tall at 5-foot-11 or big at 165 pounds, but was quick and often found holes in the defense that allowed him to snare 36 passes for 532 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs wide receiver Erick Hernandez putting on a move against Pasadena. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

It just so happened that the Indians advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals and Hernandez was a major factor in the team’s success.

The season opened with a road setback to powerful and talented Calabasas, and then saw Burroughs win nine straight regular-season games and two in the playoffs before losing to host St. Francis 21-7.

Hernandez, who will play football for Division I-AA St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, could catch the short and intermediate pass, but his specialty was the long toss.

“The deep passes have always been my favorite,” said Hernandez, who snared 32 passes for 564 years with 10 touchdowns, eight via receptions and was named the Burroughs Most Valuable Player as a junior. “I get to have a lot of freedom with what I do on the deeper routes as far as setting up the defender. So my speed, route running ability and hands showed on those deep routes.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez was a dynamic two-way player and will continue his career at St. Francis University. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs went 11-2 and 7-0 in league play for the undisputed title.

“I thought we put Burroughs back in the spotlight,” Hernandez said. “We showed we can compete with extremely talented teams like Calabasas and we showed perseverance throughout the entire season because we were able to win a lot of games without certain key players who were injured.”

Hernandez, an Exercise Physiology major, continued: “Overall I was happy with the outcome of the season, but I do wonder what would have happened had we stayed healthy.”

Aside from his wide receiver duties, Hernandez also played in the secondary. “I have always felt comfortable playing receiver,” he noted. “I had a very aggressive mindset because I always felt like I was in control. On defense I felt that the best thing I could do was to go 100 percent all the time for the benefit of the team, even if I was somewhat uncomfortable on that side of the ball.”

Hernandez always tried to outthink the defender. “I think the best trait I brought to the FEAST was my football IQ,” he said. “That was also due to the years of experience I had on the varsity.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez (#2) in action versus city and Pacific League rival Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Facing rival Burbank on the gridiron was an experience unto itself.

“The first two years I played Burbank on the varsity level the nerves got to me a little bit and I wasn’t comfortable,” Hernandez admitted. “This year was very different because of the teammates I was surrounded with. I felt complete confidence in myself as well as the team. I came out with a very different attitude for that game and just my senior year in general. I felt like I matured a lot over those first two years on varsity, which all came together my senior year.”

A pair of victorious league encounters remain imbedded for Hernandez. “The two games that stood out to me most my senior year from a personal stand point is definitely Arcadia and Burbank,” he noted.

The Indians actually trailed 14-0 early but came back for a 47-21 victory in the regular-season finale over the rival Bulldogs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez and teammate bask in the glory after a touchdown. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Why was Hernandez, whose favorite routes were the comeback and post, able to fully blossom in 2015?

“As far as being a receiver, my wide receiver coach Dwayne Frampton definitely took my game to the next level,” he said. “What set me apart my senior year was the extra work I did in the offseason and lifting with my trainer Thomas Abich. And obviously a lot of credit goes to my coaches at Burroughs who spent countless hours with the team and myself day in and day out.”

The Indians played before several large crowds at Memorial Field. Did Hernandez hear the cheering throng?

“As far as the crowd, I could only really hear certain people when I was on the sideline,” he offered. “The constant roar I heard on the field felt like silence my senior year, but after we scored or made a big play, of course I heard the roar of the crowd. I appreciate our fans more than anything. The support we received my senior year was tremendous. It made this past year very special.”

Awunganyi And Garcia Have A Day To Remember

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


It’s unlikely that Burroughs High’s Robert Awunganyi or Branden Garcia will ever forget the day they signed their letter of intent to play college football.

This Wednesday on campus, Awunganyi signed with Colorado State while Garcia inked his name to play for Tabor College.

Tabor is a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and is a four-year private Christian liberal arts school in Hillsboro, Kansas.

Awunganyi, a wide receiver and free safety, was a threat to find the end zone from anywhere on the field, while Garcia, a middle linebacker, led the Indians in tackles the last two seasons, and was a fierce competitor who wasn’t afraid to get on players who were slacking.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Robert Awunganyi (left), Keith Knoop and Branden Garcia (right) on their signing day. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

What was it like on signing day? “It was fun,” Awunganyi said. “I went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up only once, but then I went back to sleep.”

Awunganyi went on: “I got to school at 7 a.m. and I signed at 2:15 p.m. in the quad. It’s a new chapter in my life.”

Indeed it will be for the transfer from Riverside Arlington, who played only one season at Burroughs, but whose impact was felt from the day he arrived on campus.

“The first day we saw him, we knew that he had all the tools to play football at a high level,” said longtime Burroughs coach Keith Knoop, who recently retired of the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Awunganyi. “The only question was, how long would it take for him to learn the offense and defense. But he picked it up fast.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Awunganyi, who will attend Colorado State and Garcia, who will attend Tabor College, show their letter of intent. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Awunganyi, who has a 3.6 grade-point average, had scholarship offers from Illinois, Kansas, University of Texas El Paso, San Diego State, San Jose State, Wyoming, Idaho, UC Davis, Hawaii, Fresno State and Stony Brook in New York.

Garcia, at 5-8 and 200 pounds, was highly decorated and was recognized for his play as he was named second team All-Pacific League and All-Area.

A leader and captain, Garcia led the defense in tackles the last two seasons and posted 78 total tackles this season, including 12 solo.

“Branden was part of that great senior class and was a leader on the junior varsity team as a sophomore,” Knoop said. “He called the plays on defense and made sure that everybody was lined up properly. He’s a great young man.”

How did Colorado State stand out in Awunganyi’s mind? “It’s mostly the coaches and how they interacted with the players and how they treated me when I had my recruiting trip,” he said. “The coaches made it real easy for me.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Back-to-back leaders. Garcia was a defensive stalwart while Awunganyi could do everything. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Mike Bobo is the Head Coach and the Rams finished 7-6 this season including a 28-23 bowl loss to the University of Nevada.

Awunganyi’s and Garcia’s play helped the Indians finish 10-2 overall and 7-0 in league action, while reaching the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals.

Because there was so much talent on this year’s squad, Awunganyi, who has been timed at 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, his numbers are impressive but not eye-popping.

Awunganyi caught 15 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns and carried the ball four times for one score.

But it was when he had his hands on punts and kickoffs that Awunganyi really shined.

On 14 kickoff returns, Awungani accounted for 454 yards and two touchdowns and on 14 punt returns, he had 272 yards and one score.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Garcia and Awunganyi display their college caps on signing day. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Was there one thing that stood out during Awunganyi’s football season?

“The thing I’m probably going to remember the most was playing with a new team. They were all great and so were the coaches. That team played hard.”

Did one game stand out? “That would be the Burbank game,” Awunganyi said. “I’ll cherish that memory for a long time.” The Indians prevailed over their city rivals 47-21.

No doubt it’s going to take special and unique players to replace Awunganyi and Garcia.

Mike Reily Ready for New Role at Burroughs

By Jim Riggio

The Burroughs High football team might have a different person wearing a head set this fall, but things don’t figure to be too much different now that Mike Reily has stepped in as the head coach in place of Keith Knoop.

Knoop stepped down after 19 years as the head coach following last season and Reily, a longtime assistant, was recently promoted into the head job.

Mike Reily is the new Burroughs football coach.

Reily, who graduated from Burroughs in 1994 and earned a scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, returned to his alma mater to teach in the social sciences department 15 years ago. He has been an assistant football coach for 14 of those 15 seasons.

“Over the course of time I’ve served several different roles,” said Reily, who academic all-conference honors three times while at UNLV. “I’ve coached the offensive line for all 14 of those years. I’ve coached the defensive line for a handful of those years. This past season I served as (Knoop’s) his offensive coordinator. For the last handful of years, I’ve been the assistant head coach. “

Reily, who was in an offensive lineman in his playing days, said he and Knoop have for years shared the duties of running football conditioning before the start of the regular school day the last few years.

“Even though football season is over, I still look after them every day,” said Reily, who was a second-team Western Athletic Conference selection at a junior at UNLV. “We’re excited, fired up and moving forward and ready to get to work.”

Reily, who also teaches economics, said the promotion isn’t something he was looking for in particular.

“This is something I never knew if it was going to be in my future, but when Keith stepped down that opportunity presented itself and I decided to take it,” Reily said. “Keith has been fantastic. He’s been coaching for 24 years and 19 as the head coach. You aren’t going to find many places where a guy has been the head coach in one place for 19 years. It’s pretty rare these days. He’s been a great mentor to me and he’s one of my best friends. He’s been a good example of how you do things over the years.”

As a result, Burroughs won’t look much different under Reily.

“There’s a few things I’ll try to put my touch on, but we’ve had a successful program,” Reily said of changes. “I don’t see any reason to make any drastic changes. Things have been moving smoothly.”

Burroughs, Burbank Football Teams Receive More Honors

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


As expected, the honors continued to spill in for both the Burroughs High and Burbank football teams as 23 combined players and one coach were named to the All-Area team.

Keith Knoop, recently retired after 19 years as the Indians’ leader and who collected his 100th career win this season, was selected Coach of the Year, while 14 of his players were tabbed, including eight on the first team.

They include senior quarterback Steven Hubbell, who threw for 1,820 yards with 27 touchdowns.

Hubbell, a shooting guard on the boys’ basketball team, added six scores and 250 rushing yards while leading Burroughs to the Pacific League title with a 7-0 mark.

The Indians, who had a 10-game winning streak, advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals, but lost to St. Francis on the road.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Keith Knoop, recently retired as the Burroughs football coach, was named the All-Area Coach of the Year. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Also on the squad was junior tailback Chance Bell, who ran for an area-best 1,378 yards with 23 rushing scores.

Bell, who had six receptions for 83 yards, was also named All-CIF and Pacific League Player of the Year, and helped the Indians finish 10-2.

Senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez was another All-Area first team member after snaring 36 passes for 532 yards with 13 touchdowns. Hernandez was a Pacific League first team selection.

Also making the All-Area first team was senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi, who had 1,079 all-purpose yards, three interceptions with 38 tackles, and was named to the Pacific League first team and was an All-CIF pick.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior quarterback Steven Hubbell accounted for 33 touchdowns. Hubbell was named to the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Another member to the All-Area first team was senior offensive lineman Anthony Garcia, who was the Co-Pacific League Lineman of the Year and an All-CIF selection.

Senior offensive lineman Bryce Martinez, who was named the other Pacific League Lineman of the Year, was also selected to the All-Area first team.

Senior linebacker Connor Garden (six sacks, 66 tackles, two picks and one fumble recovery) was selected to the Pacific League first team, was an All-CIF member and an All-Area first teamer.

Senior defensive lineman Cole Gurley, who was tabbed the Pacific League Co-Defensive Player of the Year and All-CIF selection after posting 59 tackles and 10 sacks with one fumble recovery, was also an All-Area first team member.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior tailback Chance Bell had an all-area best 1,378 rushing yards with 23 touchdowns. Bell made the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Making the All-Area second team from Burroughs was senior wide receiver Cade Borland (36 receptions for 430 yards with four scores) along with senior offensive lineman Justin Gonzalez, who was named to the Pacific League first team.

Also making the All-Area second squad was senior linebacker Branden Garcia (78 tackles) and senior defensive back Devlin Jimenez (three interceptions, one and a half sacks with 59 tackles), who was selected to the Pacific League second team.

Other Burroughs players making the All-Area second team were senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel, who was named Pacific League second team after posting 52 tackles with five picks and junior offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain, who was named to the All-CIF and Pacific League first team.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank defensive back Andy Reyes set a school record for tackles with 132. Reyes made the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which went 6-5 and 5-2 in league play, fell to Compton Dominguez at Moyse Field in Glendale in the opening round of the CIF playoffs, was also represented on All-Area first team and they include junior defensive back/wide receiver Forest Fajardo, who was tabbed Pacific League first team.

Fajardo had five picks with 57 tackles and added 24 receptions for 372 yards with seven scores.

Junior linebacker Andy Reyes, who was named Pacific League Co-Defensive Player of the Year and All-CIF while setting a school record with 132 tackles, also had four sacks and four fumble recoveries, was also was picked for the All-Area first team.

Making the All-Area second team was senior wide receiver Max Weisman, who was named Pacific League first team and had 25 receptions for 369 yards with four scores, senior kicker Andrew Hank (43 of 46 extra points with two field goals) and senior defensive lineman Jha’rod Horhn (44 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles), and was named to the Pacific League first team.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Forest Fajardo excelled offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. Fajardo was tabbed All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Other Burbank players who made the All-Area second team were senior linebacker David Medrano, a Pacific League second team pick who had 82 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery and junior offensive lineman Tim Han, who was named to the Pacific League first team.

Also making the squad were junior defensive back Miguel Vasquez, who was tabbed Pacific League second team and collected 61 tackles, one pick and two fumble recoveries and sophomore tailback Darnell Williams, who finished with 585 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 14 passes caught for 146 yards and is a member of the Pacific League second team.

Longtime Burroughs Football Coach Keith Knoop Steps Down

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


In what seems like a surprise, longtime Burroughs High football coach has resigned his position. Knoop, who just completed his 19th season at the helm, announced his decision via Twitter:

It read: “Want to say thank you to everyone I have meet [met] who has made my coaching stint at John Burroughs great. I have stepped down as head coach.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop has decided to step down. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Knoop’s team came off a wildly successful season in which it went 9-1 during the regular season and 7-0 in Pacific League play. This was the first time since 2006 that the Indians (10-2) reached these figures.

Knoop, who has coached for 29 years, also picked up his 100th career win this season, which ended with a 21-7 loss to St. Francis in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals.

No one has been named to succeed Knoop, who captured five Pacific League titles during his tenure.

Burroughs, Burbank Football Teams Enjoy Success

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Some goals were reached while others were not as Burroughs High and Burbank each made the CIF Southern Section football playoffs, but neither won the Southeast Division championship.

Still each team had successful seasons and despite several outstanding players graduating, next year looks to be equally fulfilling.

The Indians claimed their first-round match against visiting Norwalk, 16-9, but then fell to host St. Francis 21-7 in the quarterfinals.

For the Bulldogs, the 41-21 opening-round loss to Dominguez Compton at Moyse Field in Glendale ended their season.

There were many highlights including Burroughs capturing the undisputed Pacific League crown after going 7-0 and finishing 9-1 during the regular season, the first time since 2006.

Seven times the Indians surpassed 40 points or better with a high of 65 points versus visiting Glendale.

Burroughs, which averaged 44.6 points during the regular season, also had a 10-game winning streak after losing its initial game to host Calabasas, 45-25.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior quarterback Steven Hubbell accounted for 33 touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior quarterback Steven Hubbell had a season that will long be remembered as he accounted for 33 total touchdowns.

A skilled basketball player, Hubbell capped his career by passing for 1,820 yards including 27 touchdowns with six interceptions.

A crafty and agile runner, Hubbell, who hit 146 of 223 pass attempts, ran for 250 yards and scored six touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez was once again the leading pass-catcher, hauling in 36 receptions for 532 yards with 13 scores, and had 844 all-purpose yards.

Senior wide receiver Robert Awunganyi added 239 yards on 15 catches and two touchdowns. Awunganyi finished with 1,079 all-purpose yards that included 454 yards on kickoff returns and 272 yards on punt returns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

JB senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi used his speed often. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Meanwhile seniors Cade Borland chipped in with 36 catches for 430 yards and four scores, Nick Mercado added 24 grabs for 243 yards with five touchdowns, Torin Harris hauled in 18 for 221 yards and three scores, while Hunter Guerin contributed 10 receptions for 134 yards and one score.

When junior tailback Chance Bell was healthy the Indians’ ground attack was solid. But Bell injured his shoulder late in the season and knee against the Lancers in the first-round playoff game, which kept him out of the contest versus the Golden Knights.

Bell carried the ball 178 times for 1,378 yards, tallied 23 touchdowns and snared six passes for 83 yards.

Senior Ash Hawkins had 254 yards with two scores, and junior Sammy Duran added 287 yards with two touchdowns.

The Indians’ defense was both hard-hitting, and fast and caused havoc whenever it was on the field.

Burroughs gave up 93 points in league play with host Arcadia scoring the most in a 39-34 defeat.

There were many ring leaders and they included senior linebacker Connor Garden, who had six sacks, two blocked field goals, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, 20 solo tackles and 46 assists.

Senior lineman Cole Hurley, who was injured late in the campaign, finished with 14 solo tackles and 45 assists, had a team-best 10 sacks and one fumble recovery.

Senior defensive back Devlin Jimenez collected 21 solo tackles, 38 assists, one and half sacks, three picks and two passes defended, while senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel chimed in with five interceptions, six passes defended, one fumble recovery, 26 solo tackles and 26 assists.

Senior linebacker Branden Garcia contributed 12 solo tackles and 66 assists, senior linebacker Josue Chicas Ortiz, who was also injured late, had three and a half sacks, two fumble recoveries, 11 solo tackles and 42 assists, while Awunganyi, a defensive back, finished with 23 solo tackles, 29 assists, three picks, 10 passes defended and one fumble recovery.

The Bulldogs went 6-4 during the regular season, 5-2 in league play which tied for second place with Crescenta Valley, and had a four-game winning streak.

But Burbank closed the campaign with consecutive losses to city rival Burroughs 47-21 and a 20-point setback to the Dons.

Junior quarterback Guy Gibbs connected on 101 of 218 attempts for 1,318 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven picks and continued to get better with each start.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank junior quarterback Guy Gibbs grew into the position, finishing with 14 touchdown passes. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore running back Darnell Williams had 585 yards on 122 carries with five scores, caught 14 passes for 146 yards and had 860 all-purpose yards.

Junior running back Nick Warren added 357 yards with four scores, sophomore Blake Quinteros finished with 401 yards and four touchdowns, and junior Andy Reyes added 169 yards with two scores and had 282 yards on kickoff returns.

Gibbs often found junior wide receiver Forest Fajardo, who grabbed 24 passes for 372 yards and seven scores and contributed 143 yards on kickoff returns and 126 yards on punt returns, while senior wide receiver Max Weisman had 25 catches for 369 yards with four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Noah Powell added 10 catches for 192 yards with three touchdowns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Andy Reyes, a running back/defensive back, stood tall for the Bulldogs. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs’ defense had one shutout against host Hoover 49-0, drilled Glendale 61-7, edged host Crescenta Valley 7-3, and downed host Arcadia 31-8.

Leading the defensive brigade was Reyes, a defensive back, who had 94 solo tackles, 38 assists, four sacks, four passes defended, four fumble recoveries and one blocked punt.

Junior linebacker Jake Kelley chimed in with 35 solo tackles, 19 assists, two fumble recoveries, one blocked field goal, one blocked punt, two sacks and two passes defended.

Fajardo, a defensive back, added 41 solo tackles, 16 assists, a team-high five picks and 14 passes defended, while junior defensive back Miguel Vasquez had 34 solo tackles, 27 assists, 11 passes defended, one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Senior defensive back David Medrano closed out the season with 39 solo tackles, 43 assists, two sacks, three passes defended and one fumble recovery, junior defensive lineman Damien Flores collected 25 solo tackles, 29 assists, two sacks, one blocked punt, one pass defended and one pick, and senior defensive lineman Jha’rod Horhn had 24 solo tackles, 20 assists and a team-high seven sacks.

Burroughs’ Winning Streak and Season Ends, 21-7

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


It certainly didn’t end as planned for the Burroughs High football team against St. Francis in a CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinal match at Friedman Field.

In the end, injuries to four starters were part of the Indians’ undoing Friday before a near-full house, falling 21-7, to the Golden Knights, who registered seven sacks on quarterback Steven Hubbell, who was harassed and hurried during much of the game.

“Both defenses played well,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “Those guys [St. Francis] are big and they can play. But we accomplished a lot and we have a lot to be proud of. I’m going to enjoy all the great things this team accomplished. This is a special group.”

Hubbell came in having tossed 27 touchdowns and four interceptions, but the Golden Knights, who will face top-seeded La Serna in the semifinals next week, held the senior to 128 yards on 21 of 34 with two interceptions.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver Nick Mercado tries to make a play in 21-7 loss to St. Francis in a CIF quarterfinal game. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

The No. 4 seeded Indians were riding a 10-game winning streak and a perfect 7-0 mark in the Pacific League, but managed one touchdown when senior running back Ash Hawkins scored on a one-yard run with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter that cut the Golden Knights’ lead to 14-7.

Burroughs tried an onside kick which St. Francis recovered at midfield, and cashed it into a 65-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Miles Bryant (11 of 17 for 174 yards with two picks and was sacked four times) to senior wide receiver Jasher Foster (92 yards on three catches) on second and 25 with 5:30 left that made it a two-score lead.

The Indians (10-2), who mustered 157 total net yards, including 29 yards on the ground, had two more possessions, but each resulted in a punt.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Burroughs quarterback Steven Hubbell looks down field for a receiver. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

Junior tailback Chance Bell, who was the leading rusher the last two seasons, didn’t suit up after suffering a knee injury in the opening-round victory over Norwalk, nor did junior center Tommy Howe, who broke his leg in the same game. The Indians were also without senior defensive lineman Cole Gurley and senior linebacker Josue Chicas Ortiz.

“If we had those players we’re a more dynamic group and we can do more,” Knoop said. “It might have been a different outcome.”

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi tries to use his speed against the Golden Knights. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

It was a defensive struggle as each team had trouble moving the football down the field, but the Golden Knights (245 total yards) scored on their second series as Bryant marched his team 42 yards on seven plays that was capped when senior running back Areg Nazarian (35 yards on 14 carries and 19 yards on four catches) had a 10-yard burst and 2:21 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The half ended with St. Francis compiling 100 yards on offense and a 7-0 lead, which made it imperative that the Indians come out strong in the second half.

It worked out that way as the Golden Knights turned the ball over when junior wide receiver Daniel Scott (32 yards on two receptions) gained 25 yards on a reception, but then fumbled which senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel recovered at the Burroughs 36-yard line.

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

St. Francis quarterback Miles Bryant passed for two touchdowns in a 21-7 win over the Indians. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

The drive began with Hubbell’s pass to senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez losing one yard, followed by Hubbell getting sacked for a six-yard loss and a five-yard run by Hubbell which  forced senior wide receiver Cade Borland (26 yards on five catches), who injured his arm late in the game, to punt the ball away.

“With all those guys missing, we had a different mental state,” said Hernandez, who had four catches for 21 yards. “We were playing more to survive. I think we ran out of gas. Stuff happens.”

Hernandez, who hopes to play college football, was pleased with the overall effort. “The defense played really well,” he said. “I think if we had those guys our offense would have been able to do more.”

(Photo By Ivan Galan)

Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop gathers the troops after the game. (Photo By Ivan Galan)

Senior wide receiver Nick Mercado, who led the way with 38 yards on four receptions, thought the Indians were going to pull off the upset.

“It definitely didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” he said. “It’s a different game if those guys are in the game. I’m not saying that we would have won, but it would have made a difference, and we would have been able to move the ball easier.”

St. Francis (9-3) then moved ahead 14-0 with 12.9 seconds left in the third quarter when Bryant found senior tight end/defensive lineman Sean Davitt (six sacks) alone in the end zone with a 16-yard offering.

On Burroughs’ next possession, Hubbell (12 carries for minus four yards) orchestrated an 86-yard march that Hawkins (two yards on two carries) climaxed with a short run, but that would be the only offensive highlight.

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi (13 yards on five receptions), who also wants to play college football and had an interception, felt the game could have gone in Burroughs’ direction.

“I was pretty disappointed,” he said. “Those players played hard. We made a couple of mistakes. It was pretty tough to take.”

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Hunter Guerin (17 yards on one catch) had a pick and accounted for 26 yards on seven carries to lead the Indians, who had 17 yards on the ground in the opening half.