By Rick Assad
A good old-fashion shoot-out took place on Thursday night at Memorial Field when Burbank High hosted Pasadena in a Pacific League football game.
Besides the 68 combined points, there were five turnovers, four by the home team, an abundance of penalty flags and even a safety, but when triple zeroes registered on the clock, the visitors prevailed 42-26.
Pasadena has at its disposal a high-powered offense, as it scored a touchdown on the last play of the first half to make it 24-8 and tallied a touchdown on the game’s final play to extended its advantage to 16 points.
Burbank (1-6 and 0-2 in league) proved to be a gutty squad as it closed to within 17-8 when junior quarterback Dylan Robinson (17 of 29 for 251 yards and three interceptions) hit junior wide receiver Jagg Richer (game-best 144 yards on eight receptions) with a 44-yard pass and 37.9 seconds left in the opening half.
Pasadena (5-2 and 2-0 in league) brushed aside that touchdown as it moved ahead 24-8 after senior quarterback Kaden Taylor (nine of 16 for 118 yards and one pick) found junior wide receiver Jason Sanford Jr. on a 34-yard “Hail Mary” aerial.
The drive started at the Pasadena 44-yard line and consumed four plays.
Pasadena took a 7-0 lead after marching 80 yards on 11 plays with Taylor’s one-yard scamper the capper as 2:10 remained in the first quarter.
Pasadena’s advantage swelled to 14-0 on senior running back Daylon Beasley’s two-yard burst with 8:26 remaining before the intermission. Beasley finished with 92 yards on 11 rushes.
Burbank broke the shutout with 6:42 left in the second quarter when Taylor (90 yards on nine rushes) was stripped and sacked in the end zone by senior defensive back Nick Franco for a safety that sliced Pasadena’s lead to 14-2.
Pasadena’s cushion became 17-2 when junior Andres Reyes converted a 33-yard field goal with 1:28 left on the clock in the second period after getting the ball at the Burbank 49-yard line on a shanked punt.
On this evening, Burbank was full of energy and fight. On fourth and goal from the Pasadena eight-yard line, the hosts dug deep into its bag of tricks and pulled within 24-14 with 6:53 left in the third quarter on a trick play.
On a reverse, Richer took a pitch from Robinson and then found senior tight end/wide receiver Jake Ferrat alone in the end zone.
That 11-play drive was made possible after junior defensive back/wide receiver Zakk Estrada recovered an onside kick at the Pasadena 36 to begin the second half.
“That’s one of those gut calls. We had run a similar play against Muir the week before,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “I learned when the kids are confident in something, you’ve just gotta trust them.”
On Pasadena’s next possession, it responded in kind as the visitors marched from its 19-yard line and ended the nine-play trek when Taylor unloaded a 33-yard strike to Sanford (67 yards on two catches) with 1:33 showing in the third period for a 30-14 edge.
Burbank wasn’t done scoring as Robinson (15 yards on 13 rushes) directed his club down the field 62 yards and seven plays later took the ball himself into the end zone from a yard out and 11:54 left in the match as the hosts cut the lead to 30-20.
“It was a much closer game than that. It was a close game and they [Pasadena] know it,” Colman said of the highly entertaining contest.
Colman added: “They fought. They kept battling. The defense played great,” he said. “I thought we were better than last week [loss to Muir 26-13] at least early.”
On Pasadena’s next series, it built a 36-20 lead on a short field as Taylor located Beasley (17 yards on three receptions) with a nine-yard toss as 10:06 remained.
Burbank wasn’t quite done yet, as Robinson found senior running back/wide receiver Giovanni Saenz (22 yards on two catches) with a 15-yard aerial as 5:45 remained, trimming the lead to 36-26.
The visitors tacked on the final touchdown of the evening after Robinson tossed his third and final interception.
A one-yard blast from senior running back Ahmad Jolley (game-high 129 yards on 20 carries) saw Pasadena march 40 yards down the field on five plays.
Pasadena senior wide receiver Mekhi Fox, who has committed to UCLA, had two catches for 17 yards.
Burbank can’t afford any more losses in league play if it has a chance to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
“We have to win our last three games,” Colman said. “Every game is a playoff. We love playoff football.”
Next Thursday Burbank begins its stretch run as it travels to Arcadia for a 7 p.m. matchup.