By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Ground hog day is still five months away but it sure felt like yesterday. A strong, physical and talented Camarillo team invaded Memorial Field on Thursday evening and soundly defeated Burroughs, 48-14. A year ago the Scorpions played a similar flawless game in a 51-13 home victory against the Indians.
“We need to play four quarters. For the first half we played with these guys,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “We knew how good they were.”
Camarillo has won four consecutive league titles and a fifth is a definite possibility. Burroughs competed much better this time around as they finished their non-league slate.
With Pacific League action beginning in one week, Burroughs showed improvement in its offensive game while the defense struggled against a superior opponent. It didn’t make things any easier for JBHS with several starters not playing due to injuries or academic issues.
“This was a rough game. But they were a pretty good team,” senior quarterback Andrew Williams said. “I’m still confident that my team can do what they have to do.
“But we are still not a complete team yet. Once we become more of a complete team I feel like things will start moving better.”
Burroughs (1-2) was missing several starters, five to be exact, on the defensive side of the ball. Add to the mix that Williams did not have starting tailback Javier Pineda by his side offensively because of sore ribs nor Hunter Guerin who suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter, and suddenly the Indians’ passing game became the focal point.
Williams did all he could completing 17 of 23 passes for 231 yards including touchdowns of 71 and 42 yards to senior wide receiver Conor Joyce.
The Indians came out of the gate quickly driving 65 yards only to stall on fourth-and-one at the Scorpions 23-yard line.
Camarillo took its first offensive possession of the game and converted a fourth-and-three at its own 45-yard line. On the very next play quarterback Jake Constantine threw a 52-yard touchdown pass that deflected off one Scorpion receiver to another that resulted in a 7-0 lead.
Burroughs responded driving 76 yards in five plays to tie the game on Williams’ 42-yard pass to Joyce who sprinted up the left sideline untouched for a touchdown.
Williams also connected with Guerin on a 36-yard screen pass and Michael Ospina (62 yards on 18 carries) had a 12-yard gain in the scoring drive.
After an evenly played first quarter and a 7-7 ball game, Camarillo took control outscoring JBHS 20-0 in the second period behind two touchdowns and a pair of field goals from 32 and 34 yards.
Camarillo (2-1) added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to essentially put the game away leading 41-7.
A beautifully thrown deep pass from Williams right into Joyce’s bread basket resulted into a 71-yard touchdown that showed the vast improvement in the Indians’ passing attack. Joyce finished with 136 yards on five catches.
“The passing game was pretty good,” Williams said. “The guys did a pretty good job the first half but if we can start finishing games out stronger then I believe my passing can open things up for the run more.”
“We ran our offense a lot better tonight,” Knoop added. “We executed the things we worked on which was great.”
One of the bright spots for Burroughs was the debut of senior transfer Hawkins Mann. The All-State lineman from Idaho took to the field for the first time this season and dominated much of the game at defensive end. Mann had two sacks and multiple tackles. Several times he knocked down players who ended up staring at the stars in the September sky.
“We know the new guy we got is a heck of a football player,” Knoop said. “He’s going to be a scary dangerous dude in the Pacific League. I don’t even know if some of the better teams can block that guy.”
The Indians now begin preparations for a seven-week stretch of league games starting with a tilt at Glendale next Friday at 7 p.m.
“Every game counts now. We just have to get better,” Knoop said.