By Rick Assad
One had the sense that after a 96-yard touchdown was scored on the opening kickoff by the visitors, the nonleague football game between Burbank High and Castaic wasn’t going to end happily.
It didn’t as the Coyotes added 32 more points and waltzed to a 39-13 triumph behind a punishing ground attack and an effective passing game at Kemp-Kallem Field on the campus of the Bulldogs as the school celebrated its 115th birthday on Friday night.
To be sure, Burbank, which has now lost three straight games to begin the campaign, played much better in the second half even though it scored just one touchdown when junior running back/linebacker Jacob Mendieta found the end zone on a two-yard run with 2:17 left in the third quarter that trimmed the lead to 31-13.
“That was another tough one. We struggled across the board. We had a much better attitude and approach in the second half,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “We just need to find a way to get that effort out of the gate. We can fix the mistakes, but the effort and attitude have to be where it was in the second half at all times.”
Burbank’s initial tally was made official when Mendieta added a four-yard scoring run as 1:31 remained in the opening half and senior Chris Aguirre added the extra point that made it 19-7.
The Coyotes (2-1) began the evening when senior wide receiver/cornerback Gage Gibson fielded the ball at the four-yard line and weaved his way 96 yards for the score.
The Bulldogs (0-3) took over at the Burbank 33-yard line and moved the ball to the Castaic 33 on seven plays.
On the eighth play, a fourth and two from the 33, junior quarterback Daniel Zacariaz, who had three passes intercepted, saw the snap from center sail high over his head as the Coyotes began their next drive at midfield.
Junior quarterback Tyler Lewis orchestrated a 50-yard, 10-play march that was capped on a six-yard run by Lewis as 4:31 was left in the first quarter and extended Castaic’s lead to 13-0.
Burbank found no traction on its next possession and resulted in a punt.
Lewis was picked off by junior wide receiver/cornerback Landon Williams as the Bulldogs had the ball at the Burbank 40.
Not much came of this drive as Zacariaz was intercepted on the seventh play.by junior wide receiver/strong safety Alexis Silva.
Luckily nothing came of this series as Burbank stopped the Coyotes on fourth and seven from the Burbank 35.
However, on the next drive, Castaic increased its lead to 19-0 when senior wide receiver/tight end/free safety Paul Lotz scored on a five-yard run with 3:54 left in the half.
The Coyotes pulled ahead 25-7 as Lewis capped a one-play drive with a 58-yard scamper as 1:15 remained in the second period.
Castaic wasn’t done as the Coyotes added another score, this time a 20-yard pass from Lewis to senior wide receiver/cornerback Lucas Milan with no time on the clock for a 31-7 edge.
The Coyotes’ final touchdown of the night was a three-run run with 3:44 left in the game by senior running back/free safety Jacob Pimentel that ended a 38-yard, five-play march as the visitors pulled ahead by 26 points after Lewis hit senior wide receiver/strong safety Ethan Zischke on the two-point conversion.
Burbank’s next nonleague game is Friday at 7 p.m. versus Fillmore on the road.