Zander Anding carried the bulk of the load on Burroughs’ opening drive, setting the tone for the evening. Lining-up at quarterback and running out of the “Wiildcat” formation he took the Tribe down the field for an easy touchdown.
When Burbank countered with a 90-yard kickoff return and a short 4-yard TD drive of its own it appeared the rivalry game was going to be another close contest. When the game was still tied at 7-7 midway through the second quarter, some on the Indians’ sideline looked antsy.
Anding said he never worried.
“We knew we were the best conditioned team on the field – we have been all year,” he said. “Our coaches have prepared us physically and mentally and we knew they would tire out.”
Indeed, Burbank looked a step slower than Burroughs in the second half as the Indians pulled away for a 34-7 victory in the Pacific League finale for both teams played at Arcadia High School.
With the win, the Indians claimed a share of the league title for the third straight year.
Anding’s 73-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter put Burroughs up 14-7 at the half. His nine-yard run with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter made it a two touchdown lead, 21-7.
On the ensuing Burroughs drive, quarterback Brad Hunt faked a handoff to Anding and scampered 17 yards for a touchdown to put the Indians up 28-7 with 5:56 to go in the third quarter and the route was on.
Anding finished with 349 yards on 29 carries – topping the 300-yard mark for the fifth time in nine games. He crossed the 300-yard plateau on a hard earned four-yard with 3:55 remaining in the contest. Then he went untouched 46 yards for a TD on a run to the edge on the very next play to come within a yard of 350 yards on the night.
In total, Anding finished the regular season with 2,453 yards which is not only the best single-season mark in the school’s history, but the best single-season mark in Pacific League history as well. He also scored 25 touchdowns.
Burroughs (6-4, 6-1) now leads the all-time series with Burbank, 41-22. It has also won six of the last seven meetings between the two rivals. The Tribe’s win also knocked the Bulldogs (4-6, 3-4) from playoff contention.
“We don’t think about that stuff, we really try to treat it like another game,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said after the game. “We built this team with the focus of winning league and on winning in the playoffs and this was huge for both.”
Still, having been a part of the rivalry in some capacity for nearly three decades, Knoop understands the importance of the game to his team.
“We’ve told them they’ll tell their kids about the game and that they probably end up marrying someone who went to Burbank High” he joked.
Knoop added he is most proud of his team for overcoming a lot of obstacles this season, from an injury to Anding that largely contributed to the team’s lone league loss to having to play all of its games on the road because of construction to Memorial Field.
“It takes a special group of kids,” he said. “We are tired of buses to Luther (Middle School) for practice and tired of playing all of our games on the road, but we hope to do it awhile longer in these playoffs.”