A stout defensive effort in the first half kept the Burroughs High football team within striking distance of undefeated Crescenta Valley on Thursday night at Moyse Field in Glendale.
What occurred over 21 seconds early in the third quarter helped the Falcons pull away and ultimately win 28-7 in a Pacific League encounter.
A 37-yard scramble by senior quarterback Cole Doyle made it 14-0 with 9:41 left and it became 21-0 when junior quarterback Nick Garcia was intercepted by junior defensive back Vincent Parrott, who raced 53 yards into the end zone as 9:20 remained.
The Falcons (6-0 and 3-0 in league) then forged ahead 28-0 when the Indians were held to one yard on a trick play when junior wide receiver Aiden Forrester connected with Garcia on fourth and six from the Crescenta Valley 45-yard line.
Doyle capped a five-play, 54-yard march with a one-yard sneak as 3:19 was left in the third.
“Their D-line was super strong,” first-year Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said of the Falcons. “They’re a well coached team. They’re very good at what they do.”
The Indians (1-5 and 1-2 in league) scored their lone touchdown when Garcia (28 yards on five carries) galloped 30 yards as 32 seconds was left in the contest.
Burroughs’ defense kept the Falcons at bay during most of the opening half with the exception being when Doyle (126 yards on 21 carries) tacked on a nine-yard run with 12 seconds left in the first quarter that made it 7-0.
The Indians (171 total net yards) forced the Falcons to punt on their opening drive and later picked off Doyle (14 of 21 for 146 yards with two interceptions) on Crescenta Valley’s third possession.
Crescenta Valley (335 total yards) punted on its fourth and fifth series and at times seemed frustrated at not being able to move the ball.
Likewise the Indians had a tough time advancing the ball, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort and were within scoring range twice.
Burroughs moved from the Falcons 30-yard line to the Crescenta Valley 18 when Garcia attempted a 35-yard field goal that drifted wide left with 4:16 on the clock.
“In the first quarter we got into the red zone two times,” Holdren said. “We’ve gotta finish in the red zone. I’m proud of our kids for fighting all the way through. We went into the half 7-0. We’re finding pieces that work.”
On a drive late in the first quarter that began at the Burroughs 42 and advanced to the Falcons 17, ended when Garcia’s pass fell incomplete on fourth and six.
Burroughs sophomore running back Luke Rogers is its top ground-gainer, but didn’t have much space to run, finishing with 47 yards on 21 rushes.
The same would hold true for senior quarterback Nathan Piper and his backup, Garcia, who were harassed most of the evening.
Piper completed 10 of 27 attempts for 109 yards with one interception, while Garcia didn’t complete a pass in five attempts with one pick.
“We’re trying our best to get it out quick and make the proper read,” Holdren said. “It’s hard to read the field. I’ve been there.”
Burroughs next travels to Muir for a Friday night Pacific League battle that kicks off at 7 p.m.