By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor
This wasn’t in the plans for Burbank Coach Richard Broussard. Two games into the season, the first-year football coach lost his two best offensive players due to injuries, senior running back James Williams and senior quarterback Ryan Meredith. The great news, however, is that Burbank is 2-0 with a big game coming up on Friday at Canyon at 7:30 p.m.
Williams, a commit to Washington State, and Meredith, a rapidly developing college prospect, were looking to lead a potent Bulldogs’ offensive attack to prolific heights.
Meredith suffered a high left ankle sprain late in a 26-14 victory at Ayala. The following week, Williams injured his right knee on the opening kickoff against Bell Gardens in which BHS toughened out a 15-14 road win.
With Pacific League action looming ahead in one week, Meredith has been diagnosed as day-to-day while Williams’ sparkling career is over. A recent MRI showed a tear of the MCL and ACL ending the superstar’s high school career.
“Start of the season has been crazy,” Broussard said. “We lost two key guys on offense but we get to see what our defense is made of. They have answered the call both games and are the main reason we are 2-0.”
Sophomore Andy Reyes has been a bright spot for Burbank with 23 tackles. Sophomore Guy Gibbs has filled in admirably at quarterback with senior Tony Toledo and sophomore Jake Kelley sharing the duties at running back.
Next up is Canyon who is 1-2 on the young season. Then Burbank ends its four-game road trip with a contest at league-foe Pasadena on Sept. 26.
“Canyon is going to be a challenge for us, which is why we scheduled them,” Broussard said. ”They have a solid multiple formation offense. Their defense is hard-nosed and stout.”
Burbank 15 Bell Gardens 14
No Ryan Meredith. No James Williams. No problem. The Bulldogs survived a scare Friday night as they fended off Bell Gardens without the services of their two star players. Meredith sat out nursing a badly sprained ankle while Williams got hurt on the opening kickoff.
Tony Toledo’s one-yard touchdown run and back-up quarterback Guy Gibb’s 33-yard TD pass to Dorian Housholder was all the scoring that BHS would need. The Bulldogs’ defense came through preventing a two-point conversion attempt by Bell Gardens with 50 seconds left in the game. Burbank is now 2-0 and next plays at Canyon on Sept. 19 with a bye this week.
Burbank 26 Ayala 14
Ryan Meredith threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs won their season opener on the road. Meredith connected on a 13-yd pass to Nick Cantong to give BHS the early 6-0 advantage in the second quarter. With Ayala leading 7-6 entering the second half, Meredith found Dorian Housholder on a five-yard touchdown pass to reclaim the lead 12-7. Cantong returned an interception for a pick-six to make it 19-7 with six minutes to go in the third quarter. Meredith capped off a 14-for-25 performance with a 30-yard TD pass to Tony Toledo during the early part of the 4th period.