By Tom Crowther
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor
Zander Anding finally had the look of a man who has carried his team through four weeks of league play as he spent time in the training room at Burroughs High School on Friday, ice packs draped or taped to several parts of an aching body.
Through three weeks of Pacific League play, the star running back and the Burroughs ground game had made it look almost too easy. The offensive line had opened-up holes, ranging in size from small creases to small valleys, and star Anding had done the rest. Things finally came a little tougher, Thursday, against Crescenta Valley High.
The Falcons gave a much better effort than they had in the second half against the Pasadena Bulldogs the prior week. They slowed the Indians enough in the first half that despite a pair of costly turnovers on promising drives, they were within four points of Burroughs at the half.
The Falcons also stayed committed to trying to stop the run, stacking players near the line and staying in running lanes in an effort to slow Anding. Ultimately he did what great players do, he took over in the second half and Burroughs ultimately stayed unbeaten in league with a 35-22 win over CV.
Anding accounted for 79 yards of an 82-yard drive for the Indians when they went up comfortably 21-10 to open the second half. And when the Falcons had stormed to within one score late in the game, he countered with a 65-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession.
He had earlier broken a 93-yard run for a TD following an Eli Peppmuller interception of Falcons’ quarterback Zac Wilkerson had halted a CV drive but pinned the Indians back at their own seven-yardline early in the second quarter.
Anding topped the 300-yard mark for a fourth straight game, tallying 368 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons. Though he needed just 20 carries to reach those totals, he really had to dig deeper against CV than he had in previous contests where it appeared opponents were in slow motion compared to the 6-foot, 185 pound running back. 204 of his 368 yards came in the second half.
The senior has 1873 yards in seven games. He has 19 touchdowns in four league contest. In all likelihood he will topple 20 TDs in league and he will break the school’s single season rushing mark of 2001 yards next week when the Indians play Muir High. It is only the eighth week of the season.
Peppmuller had a huge night for Burroughs (4-3, 4-0) as well, not only getting the crucial interception but also throwing a 69-yard touchdown to Jose Pereya on an option play. Ike Nwachie caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Brad Hunt as well.
The Falcons were sharp through the air as Wilkerson completed 21 of 27 passes for 287 yards, Nick Ruiz hauled in eight receptions for 110 yards and Marro Lee had nine receptions for 84 yards. Lee also had 120 yards on 28 carries for Crescenta Valley (4-3, 2-2). The Falcons, however, saw their league title hopes all but officially die with a second league loss. They still must conclude their season against rival and once beaten Arcadia High School in a few weeks.