There aren’t too many games left in the high school football season and the Burbank High football team knows there is no more room for error in order to keep a playoff streak alive.
The Bulldogs have been to the CIF Southern Section playoffs every year since 2012 with the exception being last year when the season was cut short for everyone due to COVID-19.
Thursday night the Bulldogs got a lead and were able to deliver even though it took long than expected in a 41-19 Pacific League victory at Arcadia.
“Now we set up a big showdown with CV and then with Burroughs to wrap it up. We’re starting to play playoff football this week,” Burbank Adam Colman said. “We love to be in that situation. We earned the opportunity to play next week for something meaningful.”
A loss against Arcadia would have virtually ended any hopes Burbank had of making the playoffs.
But the Bulldogs (2-6 overall, 1-2 in league) overcame their early mistakes in pulling through.
“We had a lousy practice this week, both days. People were in and out of the trainers office,” said junior receiver Jagg Richer, who had six receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. “So this was a great team win. We came together. We were up at halftime and we had a good halftime speech by the coaches. We got hyped up and came out here and did our thing.”
Richer scored the game’s first touchdown, a 12-yard pass from junior quarterback Dylan Robinson with 7:31 left in the first quarter.
Arcadia (3-4, 0-3) tied things up a six as its quarterback, Jonathan Maldonado, scored on a 3-yard run with 2:17 left in the first quarter.
Maldonado added a 6-yard touchdown at the 11:16 mark of the second quarter to give Arcadia a 12-6 lead.
It was the only lead the Apaches would have though.
Burbank came right back and less than a minute re-took the lead as Robinson scored on a 5-yard run. The extra point by Freddy Cardenas put Burbank in front, 13-12.
Robinson hooked up with fellow junior Jonathan Powell on a 22-yard touchdown with 2:05 left before halftime. That gave Burbank a 20-12 advantage.
The Bulldogs had a chance to make the fourth quarter more relaxing. Late in the third quarter Burbank had the ball at the Arcadia 7-yard-line. But the Bulldogs fumbled the ball away.
Arcadia countered on its first play after the turnover by nearly scoring as Dylon Larsuel broke off on a 42-yard that was only stopped thanks to a diving tackle by Powell who was the last man Larsuel had to beat.
The turning point came on the third play of the fourth quarter as Nick Franco intercepted Maldonado and broke Arcadia’s momentum.
Powell scored on a 4-yard run on fourth down with 7:02 to play to finally make Burbank feel comfortable.
Burbank’s Jake Ferrat forced Maldonado to fumble on Arcadia’s next drive, resulting in a turnover as Jacob Mendieta recovered.
With the momentum in its favor, Rony Preza ran right up the middle to score on a 28-yard run with 6:42 to play. This made it 34-12.
Arcadia did rally to cut Burbank’s lead to a pair of touchdowns. But Robinson finished the night with a 7-yard run with 1:26 to play.
Burbank will face Crescenta Valley next Friday at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.