By Rick Assad
Facing a winless Pasadena High football team at Memorial Field on a chilly Friday night saw Burroughs score in every quarter and waltz to a lopsided win.
After tallying 21 points in the opening frame, then adding three touchdowns in the next stanza, the Bears romped to a 62-0 thrashing of the Bulldogs in a Pacific League opener.
“I liked how we came out and executed on all three sides of the ball,” Burroughs coach Jesse Craven said. “We took advantage of opportunities on offense, defense and special teams and turned those opportunities into points.”
Senior quarterback Chris Kulikov accounted for four touchdowns, two rushing and two passing in the first half as the Bears (5-1 and 1-0 in league) bolted to a 41-0 lead.
On Burroughs’ first possession of the game, Kulikov led a four-play, 49-yard march which was capped off when senior running back/defensive back Noah Frenkel, who had a 14-yard carry on the drive, scored on an eight-yard run as 7:44 remained in the period.
The Bears moved ahead 14-0 when Kulikov, who only played in the first half, called his own number on a four-yard trot into the end zone as 2:40 was left in the quarter.
“I liked how we executed, and I liked the calmness and poise everyone played with,” said Kulikov, who completed 12 of 13 pass attempts for 204 yards.
The drive was made possible when senior wide receiver/cornerback Jake Scozzola intercepted Pasadena’s quarterback, sophomore Jason Fleagance III, as the Bears took possession at the Bulldog 47. Five plays later, Burroughs scored its second touchdown.
Pasadena fumbled the kickoff as the Bears began the drive at the Bulldog 35.
On the second play of the march, Frenkel pulled off a 21-yard burst and three plays later, Kulikov dotted the end zone after a two-yard run as 1:14 was left in the first quarter and the Bears were in front 21-0.
When Pasadena was forced to punt, Burroughs took over at the Bears 35-yard line and needed just five plays to make it 28-0 as Kulikov unloaded a 23-yard scoring toss to Scozzola, who finished with two interceptions, and 9:03 left in the opening half.
“That game was over pretty quick. I think it was a great way to start the league and send a message for the rest of the season,” said Scozola, who had five receptions for 67 yards. “I loved that we got some other kids some touchdowns like [sophomore] Jayden Valle, [sophomore] Elijah Ware and [sophomore] Matteo Tarca. They played well. But overall, it was a great game and now we prepare for Muir next week.”
Pasadena went for it on fourth and 10 from the Burroughs 32 but Fleagance’s pass fell incomplete.
Once again, only five plays were needed to locate the end zone as Kulikov delivered an 11-yard pass on first down to senior wide receiver/defensive back Ethan Hubbell (34 yards on three catches).
Kulikov added a 35-yard rocket to senior wide receiver/defensive back Aeneas Pichardo before Tarca scored on a five-yard run as 2:24 remained before halftime as the Bears pushed ahead 34-0.
After yet another punt by the Bulldogs (0-6 and 0-1 in league), Kulikov capped the half with a one-play, 35-yard scoring toss to junior tight end/linebacker Alex Valenzuela as 15 seconds was left, and Burroughs was in front 41-0.
Frenkel took the second half kickoff 81 yards as the hosts seized control 48-0 with 11:46 left in the third period.
With a running clock in the second half, the Bears scored two touchdowns and they included junior backup quarterback Rocco Mellilo’s seven-yard pass to Valle, a wide receiver/defensive back with 9:45 left in the fourth period for a 55-0 edge and a one-yard run by Ware, a running back/defensive back and 1:31 remaining for the final points of the contest.
The Bears will next face the Mustangs on the road in Pacific League action on Friday evening and the game will begin at 7 p.m.