By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank
There was no doubt that Monday’s “Powder Puff” flag football game between Burbank High and Burroughs at Memorial Field would be taken seriously.
In a contest claimed by the Indians, 19-0, on a warm afternoon, the Burroughs girls showed when the two rival schools are involved in any kind of competition; the idea is always to come out on top.
And while this isn’t a varsity sport, when the clock struck triple zero the scene resembled a Pacific League title-clinching performance.
The event, which only seniors are allowed to participate in, is a collaborative effort between the two schools with the proceeds divided equally.
Because the game, which was played in 25 minute halves, was on Burroughs’ home field, the Indians were able to get on the grass at least an hour before the start, while the Burbank girls’ arrived about a half hour later.
From the outset it seemed Burroughs, which had more and louder fans in the stands, accounted for 176 yards on the ground and finished with 236 total net yards.
The Indians took a 6-0 lead on their second series, and on the initial play running back Paula Galicia, who finished with 111 yards on 14 carries, dashed 33 yards to the Burbank 10-yard line.
After a six-yard loss by Galicia, and an incomplete pass from quarterback Caitlin Cottrell (two of seven for nine yards), who toiled on the volleyball team, running back Taylor Sumner-Bailey (44 yards on nine carries) danced into the end zone from 16 yards out and 14:25 left in the opening half. Sumner-Bailey’s conversion was unsuccessful.
“All of our girls worked hard for five weeks,” Burroughs coach Keith Recchia said. “All of our girls played hard and wanted to win. Our five student coaches (Conor Joyce, Jacob Lopez, Sean Johnson, Bradley Peppmuller and Angel Manzanero) all did a great job of getting the girls prepared for the game.”
Sumner-Bailey, who played on the soccer team and hopes to continue in college, was prepared from the outset.
“We came out early and wanted to play,” she said. “We know how to cut and run. I think that really helped us.”
The Bulldogs gained no yards through the air, but did have 173 yards rushing, were dealt a severe blow when with a few seconds left in the first half, Galicia intercepted a pass deep inside Burbank territory.
The two-play drive began at the Burbank 20-yard line, and after Galicia lost four yards, quarterback Madison Ahmani (three of seven for 39 yards) found wide receiver Daisy Reyes with a 24-yard toss as time expired. The play gave the Indians a 12-0 lead, and Galicia’s conversion made it 13-0.
“We really wanted to win this game,” said Galicia, who plays on the basketball team and would like to continue at the college level. “It’s nice to win even more because it’s Burbank,” she said. “It’s been a while since we’ve beaten them [in the Powder Puff game]. I also think it’s an advantage when you’re an athlete, and we had many of them on the team.”
The Indians’ advantage became 19-0 when Aimee Rodriguez came up with a pick which gave the Indians the football at Burbank’s five-yard line.
Three consecutive running plays lost seven yards, but on the fourth play Kailee Groveman hit Daniela Gonzalez with a 12-yard pass and 15:34 left, but Sumner-Bailey’s conversion failed.
Burbank’s best scoring opportunity came on its last possession as it advanced within one yard, but was unable to get off a final play because the clock ran out.
Running back Elizabeth Gevorkian, who is on the track team, had 41 yards on that 70-yard, five-play excursion and finished with 43 yards on five rushes.
Quarterback Sharis Ghazeri, who is on the basketball team, didn’t complete a pass in four attempts but had 15 yards on three carries, and Ashley Linda, also on the hoop squad, punted well, but their combined efforts still fell short.