Kelley Leads Burbank Football to Victory

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(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

Looks can be deceiving and Burbank High junior Max Kelley certainly showed he’s a much better football player than his height and weight would suggest.

Kelley scored both touchdowns for the Bulldogs in a defensive battle that the Bulldogs held on to win 13-10 over visiting St. Genevieve at Memorial Field Friday night in a nonleague contest.

The 5-foot-5, 135-pound Kelley caught the game-winning touchdown with 1:12 left to play, on a 27-yard pass from junior quarterback Daniel Zacariaz.

“We were just trying to go deep and it happened,” said Kelley. “It was magical.”

Kelley also scored in the first half, as he took a 4-yard reverse into the left corner of the end zone with 7:54 left before the intermission.

Kelley, who is cousins with former Burbank All-CIF linebacker Jake Kelley, has given Burbank followers a chance to experience memories of the Vang brothers once again. Chadz and Vincent Vang, who graduated in 2020 and 2021 respectively, both of which were small but made a number of big plays in their careers.

“I’ve heard a few (people) say you look like the Vang brothers,” Kelley said. 

Burbank coach Adam Colman complimented Kelley. “There’s a reason he wears number six,” Colman said referring to Chadz Vang’s number.

The win improves Burbank to 2-3 overall. Pacific League play begins in two weeks as the Bulldogs will have a bye next week. “I believe if you do things the right way, good things will happen in the long run. It can be challenging when you lose the first three games, it is hard to trust the process. For them to buy in and believe that it is going to work out, now they are seeing the reward for that is really great.”

Zacariaz finished 14 of 26 passing for 189 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Junior running back Joseph Caballero led Burbank with 64 yards rushing in 16 carries. Fellow junior Jacob Mendieta had 38 yards in 12 carries.

“They finally looked like the team we know we can be,” Colman said. 

    Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center