Two weeks ago the Burbank High football team learned it would not be facing league rival Arcadia High due to an Apache player testing positive for COVID-19.
So with few options to choose from on short notice, Burbank found a familiar foe that was facing the same scenario. Thus, a game was scheduled against Serrano High of Phelan, the same team that knocked the Bulldogs out of the 2019 CIF playoffs.
That game was played at Burroughs’ Memorial Field. Friday night the venue changed as Burbank played on their home turf. But the result did not change as Serrano muscled its way to a 48-12 victory.
“We wanted to give our kids an opportunity. We knew how big they were. There were no surprises,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “We’re going to take on all challengers. That’s what we are about. It was a good experience for the kids to compete. We’ll get better from it.”
Serrano was very strong on both sides of the line. Its defense held Burbank to minus 16 yards rushing. Serrano’s offensive line is anchored by Garrett Di Giorgio, who signed with UCLA and stands 6-foot-7 and weighs more than 300 pounds.
Bulldogs quarterback Aram Araradian was under constant pressure. He finished 10 of 22 for 146 yards and was intercepted three times.
Serrano coach Casey Maholcic said he was glad they were able to play Burbank again.
“I want to thank Burbank High for letting us come down. We were without a game and heard their opponent dropped out,” Maholcic said. “They are a phenomenal program and they play good football. If it wasn’t for Burbank we would have just four games.”
Serrano scored on the first play from scrimmage as running back Payton Cornell surprised everyone by throwing a 60-yard touchdown pass to JJ Rider.
Serrano added to its lead on the last play from scrimmage in the first quarter as Jaishawn Wright somehow found a way to change directions a few times and evade Burbank tacklers en route to a 79-yard touchdown run.
Wright wasn’t done as scored on an 81-yard early in the second quarter as he made a sharp change in direction to stun the Burbank defense.
Serrano went up 28-0 before Burbank scored with 2:51 left in the first half as Araradian hooked up with Zakk Estrada on a 4-yard touchdown.
Burbank’s other touchdown came by way of special teams as Brandon Pena returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
Burbank will host Crescenta Valley next week.