The Burbank High football team went to bed Thursday night prepared to play Newbury Park on Friday night at Memorial Field.
But as the Bulldogs were getting through their classes a few twists and turns took place as Newbury Park had to drop out due to Covid-19 protocols and in its place came another Ventura County squad in Simi Valley.
Simi Valley isn’t known for having a rich football history. But it now has legendary coach Jim Benkert and a fine quarterback in Travis Throckmorton, who has committed to Oregon State University.
The visiting Pioneers were clearly a step above Burbank, winning 63-19 in the season opener.
“There’s a lot to learn from. That is high-level competition. Last-minute, we were just excited to be able to play football. There’s a lot we will take from this game,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said.
Colman was aware of Benkert’s success and had a general idea of what to expect. The fourth-year Simi Valley head coach who spent many years at Westlake High has won 280 games and five CIF titles in his career.
“Luckily they played Crescenta Valley in the CIF championship we saw that game. We figured it would be similar, but they were in the championship game then and I think they’re better now,” Colman said.
Throckmorton, who did not play the entire game, finished 16 of 23 for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
Burbank got on the board with 5:06 left in the first half as quarterback Dylan Robinson found Jagg Richer on a 67-yard touchdown pass, making it 28-6.
The Bulldogs trailed 42-6 at halftime.
Robinson and Richer hooked up on a 70-yard touchdown with 7:46 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 56-13.
The Bulldogs added another touchdown, a 1-yard run by Jonathan Powell with 2:17 left in the third quarter.
Simi Valley got four touchdowns from sophomore running back Caleb Alvary.