Five turnovers and a pair of defensive lapses just before halftime were simply too much to overcome as Burroughs High was pushed aside by Diamond Ranch 35-17 on Friday night in a nonleague football game at Memorial Field.
Three of the five miscues were turned in by senior tailback Chance Bell, who accounted for a game-best 260 yards on 34 carries and two scoring runs.
Bell, coming off a 235-yard, 46-carry effort, had a six-yard run with 2:03 left in the second quarter that gave the Indians (1-2) a 10-7 advantage.
Bell’s second touchdown was a 35-yarder and came with 4:41 left on the clock in the third quarter as Burroughs (294 total net yards) cut Diamond Ranch’s lead to 21-17.
That drive consumed 80 yards and covered seven plays.
The other two miscues were registered by senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda, who completed six of 18 attempts for 44 yards.
“We had five turnovers, three fumbles and two picks,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it’s going to be tough to win.”
With one minute left in the second quarter, Diamond Ranch (3-1) saw senior quarterback Justin Tong (14 of 29 for 283 yards) unload a 35-yard toss to junior wide receiver Alec Flanagan (54 yards on three catches) that capped a 63-yard, four-play march that made it 14-10.
Three consecutive incomplete passes by Zepeda and a punt gave the Panthers the ball but senior linebacker Nico Frugone recovered the fumbled kick at the Burroughs 49-yard line.
But on first down, Zepeda was intercepted by senior cornerback Trey Green and three plays later, it was 21-10 with 12.3 seconds left as Tong located senior wide receiver Carter Henderson (76 yards on two receptions) with a 60-yard bomb.
When sophomore running back Connor Clark (31 yards on 13 carries) found the end zone with a three-yard scamper and 2:18 remaining in the first quarter, Diamond Ranch led 7-0.
“We were hoping to do better in the second half,” Reily said. “We had a lot of mental mistakes on blocking assignments and alignment schemes.”
Reily went on: “We’re excited that we’re starting [Pacific] league play, but we wanted to begin it with a win.”
The Indians shaved the lead to 7-3 when junior Jonathan Rivas converted a 23-yard field goal with seven minutes left before the break.
Burroughs fell behind 28-17 with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter when Tong (63 yards on 11 rushes) drilled senior wide receiver Joseph Ryciak (26 yards on two catches) with a nine-yard strike.
That scoring drive began at the Indians 19-yard line and took five plays with two penalties called on the Panthers.
Diamond Ranch (384 total yards) then iced the contest as Clark danced into the end zone from two yards out and 2:14 remaining in the final quarter for a 35-17 edge.
Green snared four passes for 65 yards in the first half and add two receptions for 54 yards in the second half.
The Indians commence Pacific League action on Thursday against undefeated Hoover at Moyse Field on the campus of Glendale High with a 7 p.m. kickoff.