It was a game that just a week ago some pondered if it would even take place.
But after nearly a year and a half since their last encounter, Burbank and Burroughs met on the football field at Memorial Field.
After a very slow start, the Bulldogs rallied from a halftime deficit to knock off the Bears 25-7 Friday night.
Burbank didn’t play last week after someone within the program tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the Bulldogs to cancel their scheduled game against Muir.
“We knew if we start slow it is to be expected. Resiliency has been our word, part of our core values and we’ve been preaching it. To see it all come full circle tonight is huge,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “The kids bought in. They believed in the message. The 7 a.m. Zoom meetings in November when we didn’t even know if we were going to have a season and they still showed up.”
Burbank has now won four of the last five games between the two schools. Burroughs holds the series lead 43-29.
Burbank quarterback Aram Araradian, who has seen varsity action all four years of his career, finished stronger than he started.
He completed 18 of 36 passes for 212 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.
“We can make a million excuses, COVID, this that, players opting out, family problems, family trauma and you can say we didn’t practice last week, but I thought it comes down to heart and our guys have been working hard. Due to the quarantine, we had to go through this past week, we started kind of slow. In the second half, we kind of calmed down and soaking up that environment. Just having fans for the first time, especially in a game like this against our crosstown rivals, there is no better feeling.
Sophomore Jagg Richer was a big target. He had nine receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Both teams could not take advantage of each other’s mistakes in the first half as the two teams combined for three blocked punts, none of which resulted in points on the board.
One punt that didn’t get blocked was returned 60 yards for a touchdown by Burbank’s Brandon Pena. But a penalty took six points off the board, leaving the game scoreless.
Senior Luke Rogers, who led Burroughs with 84 yards rushing in 18 carries, got his team on the board with 1:05 left in the first half, scoring on a 6-yard run.
“This is a really special game and a lot of it comes down to who wants it more. We came out flat in the second half,” Rogers said.
Araradian and Pena hooked up on a 26-yard touchdown with 3:34 left in the third period to give Burbank a 12-7 lead after the Bulldogs failed the two-point conversion.
Dylan Robinson added a 7-yard run with 8:49 to play. Brayon Crawford capped the scoring on a 2-yard run following yet another blocked punt. His touchdown came at the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter.
Burroughs coach Jesse Craven praised his kids for a hard-fought game.
“The whole game we battled. We put ourselves in some bad situations special teams-wise. Games like these, it is about momentum. We had the momentum and they fought back and we lost momentum,” he said.
Craven said he hopes his team will turn a negative into a positive.
“We need to grow as a program, players, coaches, everyone to be able to finish out games. There are good things to grow on,” he added.