It may be a cliché to say that defenses win championships.
But it is a cliché that Burbank High football coach Richard Broussard, like many coaches, believes in. Broussard saw his team record 11 sacks Friday as Burbank defeated previously unbeaten Arcadia 26-16 in a Pacific League contest at Memorial Field.
“Defense is all I can say. That’s my quote. We did a good job of bottling them up. I’m so proud of the guys,” Broussard said.
Burbank (5-2 overall, 4-0 in league) was well prepared for the Arcadia combo of quarterback Max Davila throwing screen passes to receiver Raeshawn Roland. Roland, a silent commit to the University of Wyoming, finished with three receptions for 13 yards.
“We knew that was their go-to play when they were in trouble,” Broussard said. “I was proud of the film study and the practice. We practiced so well.”
The defenses on both sides were so good that both offenses had difficulty getting into a rhythm.
As a result, the two teams combined for 11 turnovers .
“We’re battling for a league title and so were they. That was a great game,” Broussard said. “The guys came to play. They put in an amazing effort. Those kids played with passion and enthusiasm. That is what football is all about.”
Burbank (5-2) fell behind earlier as Arcadia took advantage of an early fumble in the red zone. The defense held the Apaches to just a field goal though.
Struggling to get the offense going, Burbank put defensive back Andy Reyes in at quarterback to start the second quarter. Reyes eventually got the Bulldogs on the board with 10:36 left in the first half by moving a file of defenders six yards into the end zone on a keeper.
Burbank added to its lead late in the first half when Drew Pendleton picked up a fumble by an Arcadia receiver and returned it 85 yards.
But Arcadia fought back to score a touchdown with 4.8 seconds left in the half as quarterback Max Davila hooked up with John Freeman-Lee on 14-yard pass.
But that was the last offensive touchdown Arcadia would score as Burbank’s defense held the Apaches’ running game to a minus 3 yards for the game. Davila who was pressured all night had 23 carries for no positive yards and star sophomore running back Jahlique Stephens was held to minus five yards on 11 carries.
Burbank extended its lead to 19-10 when Darnell Williams scored on a 6-yard run with 9:50 left in the third quarter.
Forest Fajardo’s second interception of Davila was returned 29 yards for a touchdown with 7:37 left in the third quarter, giving Burbank a 26-10 advantage.
Burbank will play at Pasadena High next Friday night.