By Rick Assad
BurbankNBeyond Staff Writer
Poor field position and turnovers were at the heart of Burroughs 18-8 setback to visiting Arcadia in the Pacific League opener at Memorial Field on Friday night. The Apaches received a gift touchdown early in the second quarter and tacked on two more scores in the same frame to secure their first win against Burroughs since the Indians joined the league in 2006.
Burroughs (0-4, 0-1) eventually located the end zone with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter when senior running back Garrett Manoukian scored on a two-yard run. Quarterback Andrew Williams found wide receiver Conor Joyce on the two-point conversion as the Indians closed within 10 points but would not get any closer.
If the Indians, who accumulated 244 total net yards, could have produced a few more drives similar to the 59-yard, six-play march, perhaps the end result would have been different.
Williams’ 39-yard pass to Jake Gnasso (54 yards on two receptions), who made a terrific grab, placed the football at the two-yard line setting up Manoukian’s short burst.
After forcing Arcadia to punt, the Indians took over at their 19-yard line and promptly drove to the Arcadia 33, but on fourth and nine and time dwindling away, a pass from Williams (13 of 19 attempts for 139 yards) didn’t find its target.
“We’re not going to do too much with that offense,” said Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop, referring to the miscues. “We’ve got to grow up. Our goal is to fight through the 0-4 blues, but I was proud of the last two drives.”
Arcadia and Burroughs have been co-league champions the last two seasons and each hopes to duplicate the feat this year. The Indians had won six consecutive contests against the Apaches but turnovers doomed their fate on this night.
“They had a few missnaps on offense,” Arcadia Coach Chris Long said. “That changed field position. That was the big difference in the ball game.”
Burroughs committed four turnovers on the evening compared to just two for the Apaches. That was the major focal point in the game since Arcadia could only muster 119 total yards of offense against a tough Indians defense.
Arcadia (1-3, 1-0) got on the board first when a poor snap from the Burroughs center sailed over Williams’ head at the five-yard line. Williams was able to touch the ball, but lost it, and after another Burroughs player touched it and bobbled it, the ball was finally pounced on by Nick Rohr in the end zone for a touchdown. The point after was blocked and Arcadia led 6-0.
A seven-yard punt on the ensuing possession by the Indians’ Jario Gomez gave the Apaches the ball at the Burroughs 13-yard line.
Running back Jake Medel (39 yards on 15 rushes) scooted five yards on first down and added two yards before running up the middle for a six-yard touchdown with 3:49 left in the second quarter. Medel’s run on the two-point conversion was stopped short as the Apaches increased their lead to 12-0.
Williams, who returned to action after being injured in the first game of the season against Paraclete, was pulled in favor of junior Angel Manzanero (two of six for 25 yards and an interception) but he had problems of his own.
With the ball at the Indians 29-yard line and first down, Manzanero was sacked and fumbled. The ball was loose and squirted backward before being recovered by Arcadia’s Joey Willm at the 18.
Five plays later, running back Sheldon McKinley (43 yards on 16 carries) scored on a one-yard leap with 1:04 remaining until halftime. The extra point was blocked and Arcadia took an 18-0 advantage into halftime, a lead they would not relinquish.
Burroughs returns to Memorial Field on Thursday for a 7 p.m. clash against Glendale as the Indians search for their first win of the season.