Burroughs Football Slips Past Westchester

Bears remain unbeaten, improve to 3-0

(Photo courtesy Phil Hatten).

Rain and grass fields seem like foreign terms for high school football teams in Southern California.

Friday night Burroughs High had to deal with a pair of unusual conditions. Although it wasn’t the Bears’ top performance, they did enough to prevail in a 16-15 road win over Westchester High.

In the second half, the rain came down hard enough that players on both sides were having a tough time handling the ball.

One player who seemed to be better prepared was Burroughs junior Ethan Hubbell, who intercepted three passes, including a pick-six that was later taken away due to a penalty play.

Hubbell, who plays on offense and defense, noted his mistakes instead of his positives.

“It was much harder (in the rain). I need to start practicing that,” Hubbell said. “I was dropping balls that I should have caught. I blamed it on my gloves, but it isn’t the gloves, it is me.”

Burroughs (3-0) found itself behind after the opening kickoff as Westchester’s Noah Evans went 98 yards. The host Comets also converted the two-point conversion.

The Bears tied things with 7:50 left in the first quarter, as Ryan Hernandez scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chris Kulikov. Kulikov completed 12 of 24 passes for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Burroughs took a 10-8 lead with 11:52 left in the first half as Brody Kemp kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Westchester (1-2) fought back as quarterback Waltee Orr scored on a 3-yard run with 2:47 left in the first half to make it 15-10.

But the Bears bounced right back as Dilan Webster made something out of what looked like just a short pass. He ended up earning every yard the hard way, going 58 yards for the touchdown.

“It was difficult, but it was another thing for this young group to learn from,” Burroughs coach Jesse Craven said of playing in the rain and on natural grass. “They (Westchester) have a lot of talent, and they gave us a lot of problems and we knew that was going to happen.”

Neither side scored in the second half as the game was mostly played in the middle of the field.

Marcus Manahan had a late first-half interception.

Hubbell intercepted his first pass late in the third quarter and ran it back in for a touchdown. However, a penalty flag took away the touchdown.

He also intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter and once again late in the fourth quarter as Westchester threw the ball in desperation, hoping to find a way to come away with the win.

Burroughs will host Hueneme High next Friday at Memorial Field.