By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor
Behind a determined effort from Garrett Manoukian, the strong running of Israel Montes and the physical blocking of the offensive line, Burroughs won its first game of the season defeating Glendale, 24-7, Thursday night at Memorial Field. Manoukian rushed for 169 of his game-high 174 yards in the fourth quarter alone while Montes ran for 172 on 23 carries as the Indians snapped their four game losing streak.
“I really wanted it. I wanted to finally get this team rolling,” said Manoukian, who carried the ball just eight times in the game and averaged 22 yards a carry. “We were at a low point in the season and I just wanted to get some yards and get the offense pumped up.”
Trailing 7-3 early in the fourth quarter, the Indians exploded for 21 unanswered points and sent the Nitros home with their seventh consecutive loss in the series.
“The first half wasn’t so good,” Montes said. “The second half we stepped it up real good. This should make us more confident because the offensive line did what they had to do and me and Garrett ran the ball better.”
With the exception of one breakdown, the Indians defense played a near perfect game. Things look bleak for Burroughs after Glendale’s Michael Davis scored on a 57-yard touchdown run with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
Facing 2nd and 3 from the Nitros 43, Davis took a handoff on an end-around only to be caught at the ankles by Manoukian. Davis slipped through Manoukian’s grasp, reversed his field, and sprinted up the Glendale sideline in front of an enthusiastic group of Nitro players and coaches. Davis’ score gave Glendale its first points and the lead but in turn shook up the Indians from their doldrums.
On the ensuing possession, Manoukian took matters into his own hands and single-handedly willed the Indians back in front. After only one carry of five yards through the first three quarters, Manoukian rushed for 79 yards on five plays in one drive punishing Nitro players who got in his path of destruction. How he finished the drive will be talked about for a while amongst the Burroughs faithful.
First and goal from the Glendale 7, Manoukian broke up the middle for the touchdown. Flag on the play; holding against the Indians. Touchdown nullified.
First and goal from the Glendale 12, Manoukian again breaks up the middle for a touchdown. Flag on the play; holding against the Indians. Touchdown nullified.
First and goal from the Glendale 20, Manoukian blasts through the Glendale defensive line, cuts left and out runs the Nitros down the sideline taking a would-be tackler with him into the end zone. No flag. Touchdown Burroughs with 9:40 left for a 10-7 lead.
Three’s a charm. When there is a will, there is a way. Refuse to lose. Pick your slogan, Manoukian ran like a man possessed that inspired and sparked the Indians.
“I was like, ‘I got to be the guy that gets this whole thing going,’” Manoukian said. “You got to really want it and I wanted it. It’s my senior year and I want a successful season.”
After a sack by the Indians’ Ermar Cruz on third down, Glendale was forced to punt on the next possession.
Burroughs (1-4, 1-1) took over on its own 24 and gave Montes three handoffs that resulted in 31 yards. Two plays later, Manoukian busted loose again on a 41-yard touchdown run that brought delirium into the JBHS stands with 3:57 remaining.
Glendale (1-4, 0-2) mounted a final charge but the Indians’ Marquette Williams intercepted a deep pass to thwart any comeback.
Manoukian broke off another huge gain of 49 yards and Montes applied the final blow with a 27-yard touchdown scamper to give Burroughs a 24-7 lead with 1:51 remaining.
For three quarters, it was the Indians defense that looked invincible shutting down the Nitros offense. Manoukian was all over the field defensively with a host of tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Not a bad night at the office for a player who hadn’t played football since his freshman year.
Burroughs established its running game on the first possession of the contest. The first eight plays and 11 in total went through Montes as he gained 54 yards leading to a 24-yard field goal from Jairo Gomez.
The Indians dominated the first quarter in time of possession (11:27) to Glendale’s 33 seconds and only one offensive play. It became a defensive struggle for the next two quarters until the “M and M” boys stepped up and led the fourth quarter surge.
“The win was important for the team. We had the 0-4 doldrums,” Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. “Izzy (Montes) likes to win and he plays hard. He’s a great running back. Garrett (Manoukian) is tough as nails. He plays hard and I hope he rubs off on some of the guys. He sparked our guys to play better.”
Burroughs next plays at Crescenta Valley on Thursday at 7 p.m.