By Rick Assad
Three interceptions and two fumbles by the Burbank High football team proved too much to overcome on Friday night in a nonleague game at Memorial Field.
Add to the equation that the Bulldogs were playing a very good team in Golden Valley and a 35-14 final score was predictable.
Two games into this new season and Burbank is still looking for its first win, but it will come.
Coach Adam Colman is never one to shy away from good competition at home or on the road.
Colman’s feeling is these types of games prepare his club for the Pacific League and hopefully the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Yes, the Bulldogs lost by 21 points, but it’s not as though the team didn’t have ample opportunities to score or move the football down the field.
“Turnovers and third downs were the story of the night. We put the ball on the ground too much,” Colman said. “Then on third downs, offensively, we were in the red zone and gave up a strip-sack.”
Colman also addressed the defense, which had solid moments and some not so good.
“Defensively twice we had the quarterback sacked and he got away and threw a touchdown,” he said. “That’s a 21-point difference and that’s the game in three plays. We have to execute better in big situations.”
The Grizzlies (1-0) led 7-0 heading into the second quarter, pulled in front 21-7 at halftime and was in command 28-7 after three quarters.
After Golden Valley senior running back Jared Giles found the end zone on a one-yard run up the middle with 1:22 left in the first quarter, ending a 44-yard, seven-play march, the Bulldogs (0-2) evened the score at 7-7 with 11:05 showing in the second period when junior quarterback Dylan Robinson carried the football across the goal line from a yard out, capping a six-play, 80-yard drive.
On the ensuing kickoff, junior Rony Preza recovered the attempt at the Golden Valley 17-yard line, which gave the Bulldogs a short field to work with.
Now lined up in the backfield, Preza gained six yards on first down and after Robinson was stopped for no gain on second down, on third down, the signal-caller was tackled in the backfield for a 15-yard loss, and in the process fumbled the ball.
This play set up a 67-yard strike from junior quarterback Jaxson Miner to junior wide receiver Christopher Melkonian, who was ahead of the defense by at least 15 yards, with 8:15 left before the intermission for a 14-7 advantage.
Golden Valley extended its lead to 21-7 after a Burbank punt from its 23-yard line.
The Grizzlies took over at their 40-yard line and Miner proceeded to move his team over nine plays with the payoff being a seven-yard scoring dash by Miner with two minutes left on the clock before the intermission.
Burbank’s other touchdown came with 3:52 left in the contest as Robinson (14 of 22 for 199 yards with three picks) hoisted a 70-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Jagg Richer (94 yards on three receptions and one pick) that cut Golden Valley’s lead to 35-14.
On the first drive of the second half, Golden Valley moved in front 28-7 after getting the ball at the Burbank 48-yard line.
The drive consumed 10 plays including a 12-yard scoring toss from Miner (15 of 31 for 158 yards with one interception) to Melkonian (three catches for 87 yards) with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies seized command 35-7 with 4:44 left in the game when Giles galloped 36 yards, ending a two-play excursion that was made possible when Robinson was picked off for the third time and the ball at the Burbank 30-yard line.
Burbank hopes to get its first win of the season next week when it travels to La Salle in a nonleague match on Friday. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.