By Rick Assad
Because of a COVID-19 case on the team, it took a week longer before the Burroughs High football squad could begin the 2021 season.
On Friday night at Los Angeles Valley College, St. Genevieve played to its strengths which is a hard-hitting defense and a rugged and sturdy running attack, and after four quarters were able to shut out the Bears 32-0 in a nonleague fray.
While the final score is certainly lopsided, the match was close at the half as the Valiants, which had whitewashed Canyon 28-0 in their season opener, only led 6-0.
“St. Genevieve is a really tough and talented team,” second-year Burroughs coach Jesse Craven said. “I’m proud of how our guys played. We have a lot to grow and learn from and we look forward to getting ready for next week.”
Burroughs had six possessions in the first half and one short field to work with on its fifth possession.
This opportunity came after the Bears were forced to punt from their 29-yard line.
On the kick, a fumble on the return by St. Genevieve gave the ball to the visitors at the Valiant 39-yard line.
On first down, junior quarterback Blake Dycus gained eight yards on a carry and senior running back Jon English (15 yards on 10 carries) lost a yard on second down.
After an incomplete pass from Dycus (10 of 20 for 30 yards and one interception) on third down, the Bears decided to go for it on fourth and three, but once again Dycus tossed an incomplete pass.
After three plays netted eight yards on Burroughs’ first series, a punt from sophomore Brodie Kemp followed.
The second time the Bears had the football starting at the Burroughs 13, Dycus was picked off on second down and eight from the Bears’ 13 by senior wide receiver/defensive back Kobe Mendez.
On the third series, Dycus moved the ball from the Bears’ 33-yard line to the Burroughs 42 when Kemp came in and punted.
At the end of the first quarter, St. Genevieve darted ahead 6-0 when senior running back Camdan McWright (67 yards on 12 rushes) found the end zone on a 13-yard gallop around the left end as 8:09 remained.
The sixth series of the opening half saw the Bears (0-1) commence the drive at the St. Genevieve 41-yard line.
The march lasted five plays and consumed four yards before Kemp was summoned to punt the ball away.
The second half began with the Valiants (2-0) using an eight-play, 45-yard drive for a 12-0 advantage.
The drive was capped when junior wide receiver William Parra barreled in from a yard out with 8:13 remaining.
Burroughs’ initial possession of the second half used three plays and lost nine yards and resulted in yet another punt from Kemp.
The second march of the second half began at the Burroughs 23 and saw the Bears gain 14 yards and cover four plays before Kemp punted.
The next time the Bears had the ball at the St. Genevieve 27, English, who also filled in at quarterback, was sacked for a loss and fumbled on third and nine from the Valiant 26, which gave the ball to St. Genevieve at its 32-yard line.
The Bears became tough and the drive stalled as the hosts were forced to punt the ball away from their 27-yard line.
On the Bears’ next series, which began at midfield, Dycus dropped back to pass on second and 15 and was tackled in the backfield.
The hit loosened the ball from Dycus, who fumbled which senior tight end/linebacker Khamari Michael scooped up and raced 32 yards for a score and 6:01 left in the fourth period as the Valiants pulled ahead 19-0.
When the Bears next possessed the football, the three-play drive netted five yards and ended with yet another Kemp punt from the Burroughs 33-yard line.
In short order, St. Genevieve used a quick-strike attack as it took two plays to cover 45 yards.
The score came after McWright sprinted 42 yards with 3:58 remaining in the game as the Valiants extended their lead to 26-0.
Twenty-eight seconds later the advantage became 32-0 when Dycus was again tackled and fumbled in the backfield on second and 10 from the Burroughs 37.
This time freshman tight end/defensive end Andres Carballo grabbed the ball and trotted in from 27 yards.
Burroughs had the ball one more time as the march began at its own 28-yard line and ended at the Bears’ 48 after five plays.
The next time Burroughs takes the field is next Friday at 7 p.m. versus Westchester in a nonleague battle at Memorial Field.