A day after hearing about the rivalry game in neighboring Glendale end in a major upset, Burroughs High football coach Jesse Craven was concerned it could happen to his team too.
It did. Heavily favored Burroughs was stunned by a Burbank High team that was nearly flawless in a 30-27 victory in ‘The Big Game’ at Memorial Field Friday night.
“They had a plan. We knew they wanted to control the clock, and they played it to perfection. They executed,” Craven said. “I’m proud of our guys for their fight to get back in the game. We had too many mistakes on our end, but give Burbank credit. We knew they were a good team.”
Burroughs entered the game with a 7-2 record, 3-1 in the league. Burbank was 3-6 and 1-3 in the league. Thursday night, heavily favored Hoover High (7-2 entering the game) fell 18-13 against rival Glendale, which had yet to win a game.
Burbank senior quarterback Dylan Robinson scored four touchdowns for the Bulldogs, all of them 1-yard runs.
“We used about four new plays, but it was plays that we had before we modified and incorporated into different things,” Robinson said.
Robinson marched his team down the field on the first drive of the game, which ended with his first touchdown of the night at the 6:16 mark of the first quarter.
He punched in a second touchdown with 7:46 left in the first half to make it 13-0.
Burroughs junior quarterback Chris Kulikov fought to get his team back in the game as he scored on a 25-yard run with 3:56 left in the first half to make it 13-7.
Burbank added a 35-yard field goal by Chris Aguirre with 4.6 seconds left in the half to give the Bulldogs a 16-7 lead at halftime.
“We dressed some stuff up a little bit, but it was about executing what we do. It is about controlling the trenches, controlling the clock. It was huge to control the tempo,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “I preach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. On top of that is competitive greatness. He defined that as being your best when best is required. That sums up how we played tonight.”
Kulikov hooked up with Dilan Webster on a 10-yard touchdown pass at the 11:08 mark of the third quarter to cut the lead to 16-13.
Later in the quarter Burbank’s Zakk Estrada intercepted a Kulikov pass in Burroughs territory.
The Bulldogs used 10 plays and a lot of the clock, with the end resulting in Robinson’s third one-yard run of the night. This once again gave Burbank a 10-point lead at 23-13.
On Burroughs’ ensuing drive, the ball was snapped over the head of punter Brodie Kemp, who ended up falling on the ball at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Robinson scored yet another 1-yard touchdown.
Burroughs was in a hole, but the Bears fought back. Kulikov scored his second touchdown of the night on a 29-yard run with 10:47 left to play. He later hooked up with Webster on a 64-yard touchdown with 5:48 left, cutting the deficit to a field goal.
But Burbank did what it needed to do by converting several critical first downs that allowed to clock to wind down and eventually expire.
Burbank High’s season is over. However, Burroughs at 7-3, is expected to be selected for the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The Southern Section will release the playoff brackets on Sunday.