By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor
Sophomore Chance Bell rushed for 175 yards on 19 carries and junior quarterback Andy Amela threw for 170 yards in his quarterbacking debut but Burroughs was ultimately overmatched in a 53-31 loss to Calabasas Friday night at Memorial Field.
The 22-point differential was quite deceiving as the Indians fought and rallied throughout the game only for the Coyotes to pull away in the fourth quarter and ice the contest. Calabasas relied on the ground attack of Chris Brooks who rushed for 194 yards and five touchdowns and Erik Hillman who gained 179 yards and ran for two scores.
“Our tenacity kept us in the game. We literally looked like a JV team against those guys. Realistically that’s a good team we played,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “We didn’t quit playing. Our kids kept battling and battling. That’s the best thing. We executed the things we needed to. If we keep getting better a little every week, we will be a great team by week 10.”
The Indians broke out to a quick 7-0 lead when Amela connected with junior Hunter Guerin on a 21-yard pass across the middle that Guerin hauled in for the season’s first touchdown. Anthony Archuleta intercepted a pass on Calabasas’ opening drive giving Burroughs great field position resulting in Guerin’s touchdown.
A 32-yard field goal by Andres Aguilar gave the Indians a 10-7 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter. After a Calabasas touchdown, Burroughs countered to take a 17-14 lead early in the second quarter when Bell scampered in from six yards out.
Bell had a 14-yard run on the previous play and Amela hooked up with Erick Hernandez on a 36-yard pass completion setting up Bell for the touchdown.
Calabasas took control of the game scoring two touchdowns to close out the first half with a 27-17 lead. The visitors from the newly created Canyon League scored again in the third period to increase their advantage to 33-17.
Bell, a transfer from Las Vegas, ignited the Burroughs crowd with nifty runs of 19 and 25. Guerin then sprinted to the house on a 37-yard touchdown run to bring the Indians back to within nine.
Calabasas, a morbid program in the past now filled with multiple transfers from Westlake and Oaks Christian, took a 40-24 lead into the fourth quarter on a 35-yard burst up the middle by Brooks with 19 seconds left in the third period.
The Indians refused to go away. On the first play from scrimmage to begin the final quarter, Aidan Anding weaved his way to a 62-yard touchdown jaunt that again closed the gap to within nine at 40-31.
But the Coyote’s superior size and athleticism proved to be too much for Burroughs as they scored two more touchdowns on lengthy time-consuming drives to end any hope by the Indians.
“They were a good team but we could have done better on both sides of the ball,” Amela said.
Amela finished 11-for-17 for 170 yards, 119 of which came in the first half. It was an impressive start for Amela who showed poise and mobility despite having zero experience at the position.
“It felt really cool,” Amela said after the game. “I had jitters and nerves but my ‘O’ line came to me and helped me out telling me to be calm and they had my back.”
“This was his first varsity football game. He was playing linebacker on the JV team last year,” said Knoop. “He is a smart kid and he wants to get better. He learns every day and comes out and works.”
As for Bell, well, let’s just say Burroughs finally has an answer for Burbank’s star running back, James Williams. Bell should become a household name at JBHS for the next three years.
“He’s special,” Knoop said. “He’s a baby and he’s got gifts.”
Michael Ospina rushed for 50 yards on seven carries for the Indians while Anding ran for 60 and caught four passes for 60 yards.
Burroughs (0-1) plays host to Rosemead (0-2) next Friday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Field.