With a strong core of seniors who have been together for a long time, the Burbank High football team knows the consequences of losing in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The extra motivation appeared to help the Bulldogs out Friday night as they easily wore down visiting Brea-Olinda 52-32 in the first round of the Division 8 playoffs.
“I just want to out with a bang. There’s a lot of seniors on this team. We play every game like it could be our last game,” Burbank quarterback Guy Gibbs said.
Gibbs played perhaps the best game of his career, as he completed 18 of 23 passes for 278 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I’m so proud of him,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said of Gibbs. “We saw some things that we liked and we felt we could execute and we went after it.”
Burbank (8-3) will travel to Covina to face Northview High, a 38-6 winner over Chino.
Brea Olinda (4-7) actually scored on the first play of the game as Noah Rivera ran back the opening kickoff.
“That’s the third time it has happened,” Broussard said of his team, which has won all three of these games. “It’s funny because Gibbs said ‘It’s alright, we’re fine.’”
Sure enough Burbank was fine.
Andy Reyes helped the Bulldogs by recording a sack in the end zone, resulting in a safety. On just the second play of the ensuing drive, Joey Miller ran for a 34-yard touchdown. It was one of four touchdowns on the night for Miller, who entered the game with four touchdowns during the regular season.
“The whole team is coming together. We’re going to make a run for it and go deep in the playoffs and hopefully the championship game,” Miller said.
Miller has been able to see the ball more now that star receiver Forest Fajardo has missed the last two games with a rib injury.
“When someone goes down, someone has to step up and the coaches put a lot of trust into me,” Miller said.
Miller also scored on touchdown receptions of 58 and 54 yards and returned a kickoff 55 yards.
Junior Drew Pendelton wasn’t far behind. He had a pair of touchdown receptions and added two points on a sack that resulted in a safety.
Pendelton had eight receptions for 105 yards.
Burbank went up 45-16 with 5:21 left in the third quarter to put the game essentially out of reach.
Jake Kelley, who intercepted a pass on defense, scored on a six-yard pass from Gibbs.