Tag Archives: Aiden Forrester

Burroughs Remains Undefeated After 38-21 Triumph Over Harvard-Westlake

By Rick Assad

Each week there has been a hurdle for the Burroughs High football team to leap over and each week it’s ended with success.

On Friday night against Harvard-Westlake at Ted Slavin Field on the Studio City campus, the Indians used a 25-point outburst and eventually held off the Wolverines 38-21 in a nonleague game.

Quarterback Nicholas Garcia flips the ball to running back Jon English. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Harvard-Westlake came out early and took command 7-0, only to see Burroughs rally and tally four straight touchdowns.

A season ago, the Wolverines came into Memorial Field and claimed a 24-point victory over the Indians.

The tandem of senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia and senior wide receiver Carson Cardenaz tied it at 7-7 with 6:30 left in the opening quarter when Garcia put together a 73-yard, seven-play march that culminated in a five-yard toss.

“We play everyone better every week throughout the season and everyone gets better,” said Garcia, who passed for 272 yards and connected on 23 of 35 attempts with one interception of the first four teams the Indians have faced. “When we get Glendale, we’re going to get all their sophomores. Once we get CV [Crescenta Valley], everything’s going to get real quick.”

It was physical on both sides of the line of scrimmage. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A 17-yard strike to Cardenaz from Garcia made it 13-7 with 3:55 remaining in the initial period that capped a 53-yard, eight-play trek.

In short order the Indians’ advantage became 19-7 when Garcia drilled his favorite target, Cardenez (163 yards on 12  receptions) with a 24-yard pass as 7:57 was left in the second quarter, concluding a 43-yard, three-play drive.

With 5:47 showing before halftime, Burroughs (4-0) used a 34-yard, four-play drive and bolted ahead 25-7 after Garcia hit senior wide receiver Aiden Forrester (59 yards on six catches with an eight-yard toss.

“I just want to push my team forward. I want to get them as far as they can go,” said sophomore wide receiver John Alajijian, who snared three receptions for 45 yards. “Where ever the coaches need me. I can play all four receiver spots. I’m like a utility guy.”

Nicholas Garcia is a nifty runner and very elusive. The senior has scored a rushing touchdown in every game this season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After taking a 7-0 lead on the game’s first series when junior quarterback Evan Roderick (13 of 27 for 212 yards with one pick) drilled junior tight end Jack Weisskopf with a three-yard pass and 11:14 left, the Wolverines (1-3) shaved the advantage to 25-14 when Roderick hit sophomore wide receiver Jason Thompson (81 yards on six receptions) with an eight-yard toss and 1:53 left before the break.

Harvard-Westlake’s first scoring drive began at its 48-yard line and consumed three plays, while the second touchdown was a 10-play, 59-yard march.

A 65-yard pass play from Roderick to senior wide receiver Brendan Kang (87 yards on four catches) trimmed the Burroughs’ lead to 25-21 with no time left in the third quarter and took two plays.

At this juncture and only 12 minutes left in the game, the Indians (501 total net yards) knew they were in for a battle and responded by scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter.

With the ball resting at the Burroughs 35-yard line, Garcia methodically moved the team down field.

The key gain was Garcia’s 24-yard scamper that placed the football at the Harvard-Westlake 24-yard line.

Three plays later, Garcia (108 yards on 11 carries) ended the seven-play excursion with a 20-yard burst and 9:13 left that made it 31-21.

The Indians’ lead was extended to 38-21 when sophomore running back Jon English (110 yards on 24 carries) waltzed into the end zone on a nine-yard carry and 3:31 left, which ended any hope Harvard-Westlake (355 total yards) would rally.

Burroughs will begin its Pacific League schedule next Friday night at 7 p.m. with a game against Glendale at Moyse Field.

Burroughs Begins Season With 59-18 Win Over Visiting Hueneme

By Rick Assad

 

As season openers go, this wasn’t perfect, but it was more than satisfactory as the Burroughs High football team turned away Hueneme 59-18 in a nonleague match at Memorial Field on Thursday.

Much of the night belonged to quarterback Nicholas Garcia, who passed for five touchdowns and ran for another.

The Indians essentially did what they wanted in the opening half as they forged ahead 46-12 at the intermission, while the second half was played with a running clock.

The Indians’ running game was potent against the Vikings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A season ago, the Indians went 2-8 with their only win on the field coming against Glendale and the other victory was a forfeit by Hoover, which didn’t field a team over the latter portion of the season after some of its players were involved in an on-campus fight.

The Tornadoes won’t have a football team for two seasons.

So this was a good way to commence the season even if it was against a short-handed Vikings bunch that dressed about 20 players, with many playing offense and defense, which is truly tough.

“It being the first game, there was a lot of first-game issues at all phases and that’s the stuff that we need to clean up,” second-year Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said. “We are still growing  We are still learning all phases, and I really like this team. We have a lot of weapons. We need to focus on using them properly and not getting ahead of ourselves. As games go on, we’re going to use that and being efficient.”

What is Holdren’s overall goal for the team? “We want to be the best we can be,” he noted. “That means to be the best football players we can be. I’m more concerned with us reaching our full potential.”

Garcia sparkled in the opening half when he connected on 12 of 22 attempts for 182 yards with four scoring passes.

Burroughs accounted for five passing touchdowns in a blasting of Hueneme. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In short order, the Indians (551 total net yards) moved ahead 6-0 on their initial possession as Garcia drove the squad 74 yards on eight plays, capping the excursion with a 10-yard strike to senior wide receiver Carson Cardenaz (45 yards on four receptions) as 9:45 remained in the initial quarter.

“We just executed. We have a lot of things to work on, on offense, especially,” said Garcia, a senior who passed for 205 yards while hitting 14 of 24. “It was a good team win. Our guys hustled and played with a lot of heart.”

Garcia went on: “We’re taking it one practice at a time. If we do good in the practice, that’s a goal we accomplished,” he said. “If it’s a sloppy practice, if we’re not executing, guys messing around, whatever, it’s not a great practice. So we come out the next day and take it day by day.”

Burroughs recovered a pooch kick at the Viking 45 and two plays later, bolted ahead 13-0 when Garcia found Cardenaz with a 22-yard strike as 8:52 was left.

After forcing a Vikings punt, Garcia guided the Indians 12 plays while covering 75 yards as junior running back Luke Rogers (32 yards on eight carries) scored from four yards with 3:53 remaining for a 19-0 edge.

For the most part, the Burroughs’ defense kept Hueneme quarterback Ethan Neos in check. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With 1:56 left in the first quarter, Garcia (65 yards on six rushes) was off to the races as he bolted 53 yards down the left sideline to make it 26-6.

Garcia’s 16-yard bullet to two-way threat, senior wide receiver/defensive back Aiden Forrester capped an eight-play, 68-yard march as the Indians’ lead became 33-12.

“I love playing defense. That’s super fun for me. I actually started off as a sophomore catching kick returns for varsity. Now that I’m on offense, defense and kick return, I’m going to try and juggle it all without being super gassed during the game because I don’t want to let my teammates down and I don’t want to mess up because I’m tired. I want to continue doing everything.”

Forrester, who had one interception against Hueneme, said the team should be improved.

“I think we’re definitely going to be better,” he said. “I wouldn’t say go all the way. I think if we play together as a team, like we did tonight, we’re going to be better.”

It’s a fight for the football. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What do the Indians need to do in order to improve?

“They’re little mistakes and that we’re there right now, but we need to put in a little more effort and then practice on the details and then we’ll be good,” Forrester said.

The next time Burroughs had the ball, Forrester (114 yards on three carries and 57 yards on three catches) needed one play to burst through for an 83-yard score as 9:16 remained in the second quarter and the Indians’ advantage was extended to 39-12.

When Garcia’s 20-yard aerial found Forrester with 4:56 was left before the half, the Indians, who marched 49 yards and consumed six plays, held a 46-12 edge.

The second half began as the opening half did, with a touchdown as Garcia rifled a 23-yard toss to sophomore wide receiver Elijah Aldana-Pere (55 yards on four receptions) as 9:14 remained in the third quarter as the Indians shuffled ahead 52-12.

Senior running back Adrian Leon (52 yards on seven rushes) scored the Indians’ final touchdown, a 15-yard tally with 9:14 left in the fourth period as Burroughs had a 47-point cushion.

Hueneme junior quarterback Ethan Neos (nine of 20 for 101 yards and one interception) had three scoring passes with two landing into the hands of junior wide receiver Manuel Ortiz (50 yards on four receptions) that covered 10 yards and came with 2:15 left in the first quarter that cut the lead to 26-6 and a 22-yard bomb with 3:45 showing in the fourth period that sliced the edge to 59-18.

Neos also proved to be a slick and steady ball-carrier as he accounted for 58 yards on 10 carries for the Vikings (185 total yards).

The Indians will host Victor Valley next Friday night at Memorial Field with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Burroughs Football Ready to Put Recent Past in Rear View Mirror

The last three years have not been easy for the Burroughs High football team as the Indians have failed to move on to postseason play, something that has not happened since the days of playing in the Foothill League more than a decade ago.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

But the Indians plan to change that and get back to the days when being a regular playoff participant was customary.

Burroughs qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs eight of the first 10 years in the Pacific League after leaving the Foothill following the 2005-2006 school year.

“This team this year is a special group of guys that have come together. We focused on that in the offseason. We tried to build a cohesive group that, one wants to play together and two is having fun doing it,” second-year coach Rand Holdren said. “I think this team is capable of a lot of special things this year. It’s been a joy to coach this group. This staff has put in a lot of hours this offseason. I think it is the best staff in the Pacific League and they are giving their all and the kids have put (the work) in. It has been extremely productive this offseason.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burroughs was very young last year when it went 2-8. Thus the Indians have a lot of talent back from that squad.

Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia (5-foot-10, 171 pounds) takes over the role full time this year after seeing time at the position last year and has greatly improved according to Holdren.

Junior running back Luke Rogers (5-8, 181) returns as the Indians’ main tailback, the same role he played last year.

Garcia will have lots of passing targets. Senior Ellington Simmons (6-3, 196) and sophomore Elijah Aldana-Pere (6-2, 165) offer large targets.

Seniors Aiden Forrester (6-0, 185) and Carson Cardenaz (5-10, 164) will play in the slot and offer quick options. Some may remember that Forrester returned the opening kickoff against rival Burbank for a touchdown last year.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The offensive line is solid led by senior Allen Arriaga (6-3, 246). Caden Cardenaz (5-5, 174) will play center. Sophomore Jose Olivares (6-2, 244),  senior Eric Quintero (6-1, 225), senior Michael Pentland (6-4, 195), junior Brandon Sowers (6-3, 240) and senior Henry Diaz (6-1, 218) will fill in for the rest of the line.

Defensively, the Indians are led by Forrester, who will start at safety. Simmons will also see time at safety. Senior John Alajijian (5-8, 140) should hold down a spot in the secondary along with Aldana-Pere. Seniors Clayton Stricker (6-0, 144) and Diego Castellon (5-6, 135) are two more solid defensive backs.

Diaz, who is a captain, will lead the group of linebackers. Carson Cardenaz also figures to be part of the linebacking crew, as will Rogers.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The defensive line will include many of the same players on the offensive line. Oliveros, Pentland, Sowers, and Quintero figure to be the key players rushing the opposing quarterbacks.

Holdren said he knows getting back to the playoffs won’t be easy, but he is optimistic.

“Burbank and CV are always going to be tough. Muir is stacked. You don’t know what is going on at Arcadia. That will be interesting,” Holdren said.  “I know Glendale has put in a lot of work this offseason. I like our chances in the league this year. This is going to be a fun year. This is an exciting team to watch.”

Burroughs Football Falls to Muir

The defense hasn’t been the problem for the Burroughs High football team in recent weeks.

That was the case again Friday when the Indians faced Muir High.

Unfortunately turnovers put the Indians in a few situations that proved costly in a 36-0 loss.

“We didn’t execute. We’re doing things defensively. We have to move the ball on offense. I’m going to look at it and fix whatever the problem is,” Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said.

Burroughs (1-6 overall, 1-3 in league) intercepted Muir quarterback Brian Love twice in the first half.

Aiden Forrester got the first interception, which was late in the first quarter.

Henry Diaz then got a second-quarter interception that was deep in Muir territory.

Burroughs had the ball at the Muir 18-yard line, but could not punch its way onto the scoreboard.

Muir’s first touchdown came on a 33-yard run from Jahlique Stephens. Stephens is a rare four-year varsity starter as he played his first two years of his high school career at Arcadia High.

Muir went up 14-0 at the 3:43 mark of the second quarter when Calen Bullock picked up a fumble by teammate Aryonis Harrison and raced to the end zone.

The Mustangs took advantage of a Burroughs turnover to add a 19-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

“Defensively we played lights out tonight,” Muir coach Antyone Sims said.

Muir (6-1, 3-1) got a 43-yard touchdown run from Aulonzo Bailey early in the fourth quarter.

Burroughs’ next drive ended when Muir’s Chuck Shull made a fine defensive read to intercept Burroughhs quarterback Nathan Piper.

Shull returned the interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

Burroughs’ Luke Rogers carried the ball 21 times for 49 yards to lead his team.

Burroughs Football Plays Crescenta Valley Tough, Loses 28-7

By Rick Assad

 

A stout defensive effort in the first half kept the Burroughs High football team within striking distance of undefeated Crescenta Valley on Thursday night at Moyse Field in Glendale.

What occurred over 21 seconds early in the third quarter helped the Falcons pull away and ultimately win 28-7 in a Pacific League encounter.

A 37-yard scramble by senior quarterback Cole Doyle made it 14-0 with 9:41 left and it became 21-0 when junior quarterback Nick Garcia was intercepted by junior defensive back Vincent Parrott, who raced 53 yards into the end zone as 9:20 remained.

Nick Garcia gets rid of a pass as linebacker Daniel Cho gives chase. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Falcons (6-0 and 3-0 in league) then forged ahead 28-0 when the Indians were held to one yard on a trick play when junior wide receiver Aiden Forrester connected with Garcia on fourth and six from the Crescenta Valley 45-yard line.

Doyle capped a five-play, 54-yard march with a one-yard sneak as 3:19 was left in the third.

“Their D-line was super strong,” first-year Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said of the Falcons. “They’re a well coached team. They’re very good at what they do.”

The Indians (1-5 and 1-2 in league) scored their lone touchdown when Garcia (28 yards on five carries) galloped 30 yards as 32 seconds was left in the contest.

Burroughs’ defense kept the Falcons at bay during most of the opening half with the exception being when Doyle (126 yards on 21 carries) tacked on a nine-yard run with 12 seconds left in the first quarter that made it 7-0.

Luke Rogers had 47 yards on 21 carries against the Falcons. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians (171 total net yards) forced the Falcons to punt on their opening drive and later picked off Doyle (14 of 21 for 146 yards with two interceptions) on Crescenta Valley’s third possession.

Crescenta Valley (335 total yards) punted on its fourth and fifth series and at times seemed frustrated at not being able to move the ball.

Likewise the Indians had a tough time advancing the ball, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort and were within scoring range twice.

Burroughs moved from the Falcons 30-yard line to the Crescenta Valley 18 when Garcia attempted a 35-yard field goal that drifted wide left with 4:16 on the clock.

“In the first quarter we got into the red zone two times,” Holdren said. “We’ve gotta finish in the red zone. I’m proud of our kids for fighting all the way through. We went into the half 7-0. We’re finding pieces that work.”

On a drive late in the first quarter that began at the Burroughs 42 and advanced to the Falcons 17, ended when Garcia’s pass fell incomplete on fourth and six.

Colby Rees catching the ball for the Falcons. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs sophomore running back Luke Rogers is its top ground-gainer, but didn’t have much space to run, finishing with 47 yards on 21 rushes.

The same would hold true for senior quarterback Nathan Piper and his backup, Garcia, who were harassed most of the evening.

Piper completed 10 of 27 attempts for 109 yards with one interception, while Garcia didn’t complete a pass in five attempts with one pick.

“We’re trying our best to get it out quick and make the proper read,” Holdren said. “It’s hard to read the field. I’ve been there.”

Burroughs next travels to Muir for a Friday night Pacific League battle that kicks off at 7 p.m.

Burroughs Football Plays Much Better Against Canyon

By Rick Assad

 

For the second straight game, the Burroughs High football team allowed 50 points, but in Friday’s encounter versus Canyon at Memorial Field, the Indians looked much better after mustering three touchdowns in a 50-21 setback in a nonleague match.

Senior quarterback Nathan Piper (13 of 26 for 69 yards) scored on a one-yard run that made it 15-7 with 2:01 left before the half.

Senior quarterback Nathan Piper had a one-yard scoring run against Canyon. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Piper’s score, which capped a 19-play, 78-yard drive, was the first points for the Indians, who were blanked on the road against West Ranch, 54-0, in the season opener.

Junior Aiden Forrester picked off a pass and returned the ball 83 yards that cut Canyon’s lead to 29-14 with 6:53 left in the fourth quarter.

When Forrester, who has extraordinary speed and quickness, ran back the kickoff 97 yards, it shaved Canyon’s edge to 43-21 with 2:35 showing.

“Special teams was great,” Burroughs first-year coach Rand Holdren said. “The effort is what’s important that we can take away. We had a rough outing last week. This week we really focused on working to finish and sell out.”

Holdren liked the effort. “These kids are learning. They fought together,” he said. “These boys acting like a team. Being proud to be out here. I’m proud of them.”

Sophomore running back Luke Rogers garnered a team-best 48 yards on 17 carries for the Indians (0-2).

Yardage on the ground was hard to come by for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Cowboys (1-1) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as junior quarterback Aydyn Litz tossed three scoring passes in the first half.

Canyon took a 7-0 lead with 10:09 on the clock when Litz tossed a lateral to senior running back Shawn Gallagher, who unloaded a 50-yard laser to junior wide receiver Aiden Corcoran.

After a mixup in the Indians’ backfield that resulted in a safety with 1:16 left in the opening frame, the Cowboys were ahead 9-0.

When Litz (13 of 22 for 252 yards) found senior wide receiver Nico Shields (118 yards on six receptions) with a 75-yard strike early in the second quarter, Canyon moved in front 15-0.

With 1:45 left before the break, Litz connected with senior wide receiver Carson Strickland (66 yards on two catches) on a 60-yard toss that gave the Cowboys a 22-7 edge.

Canyon ran and threw the ball effectively in a 50-21 win. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Litz capped off the first-half scoring with a 10-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver James Mendibles (23 yards on two receptions) with 25.1 seconds left as Canyon pushed the lead to 29-7.

Senior running back Jake Acquaviva (147 yards on 17 rushes) tacked on a four-yard scoring romp with 5:24 left in the contest that put the Cowboys (542 total yards) in front 36-14.

When Litz crossed the goal line from a yard out with 2:50 showing in the game it became 43-14.

Senior running back Caleb Magno found the end zone on a 10-yard sprint that ended the scoring with 1:14 left and made it a 29-point differential for the Indians (96 total yards).

Burroughs’ next game will be Thursday against Harvard-Westlake when it hosts the Wolverines with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Burroughs Football Ready to Get Down to Business

Missing the CIF Southern Section playoffs the last two seasons was tough on the Burroughs High football program after the Indians had been a regular playoff participant over much of the past decade.
First-year coach Rand Holdren realizes turning things around won’t be easy, but he feels the only direction his team is headed is up.

Holdren, who takes over for Mike Reily, is an offensive-minded coach who has most recently worked at Alemany High in Mission Hills after a stint at Harvard-Westlake in North Hollywood.

Former Burroughs Head Coach and current Defensive Coordinator Keith Knoop (left) with current Head Coach Rand Holdren. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“The guys were a little beaten down after last year. I want to get them all going in the same direction. That’s been our goal and mindset since day one,” Holdren said. ” We’re going to need all hands on deck. We don’t have any of the five star or four-star players or all that fancy stuff. We’re a group of guys that work together and that’s how we’re going to win ballgames.

Holdren will benefit from having longtime head coach Keith Knoop on his staff as his defensive coordinator.The Indians open the season Aug. 23 on the road against West Ranch of Stevenson Ranch.
Burroughs, which has 14 seniors, returns starting quarterback Nathan Piper (6-1, 170), who Holdren said had a good summer. Junior Nick Garcia (5-9, 170) also impressed Holdren and could see some time at quarterback.

Nathan Piper returns as the Indians’ quaterback. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior David Garza (5-8, 150) and sophomore Luke Rogers (5-6, 145) have impressed as ball carriers.
Seniors Johnny Factora (5-11, 155) and Andrew English (5-9, 195) and junior Alex Perez (5-10, 145) look to be passing targets for Piper.
The offensive line is young, but appears to have a lot of potential.
Senior Ferdy Hernandez (6-2, 250) is the veteran of the group. Junior Donovan Reyes (6-4, 205) will certainly offer trouble to opposing teams due to his size. The Indians also have junior Oscar Pette (6-3, 280), junior Allen Arriaga (6-2, 240), junior Eric Quintero (6-1, 220) and sophomore Austin Sowers (6-3, 240).
The Burroughs defensive line will feature many of the same players that play on the offensive line.

Daniel Foxx figures to be a leader for Burroughs on defense. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior Daniel Foxx (5-10, 190), junior Henry Diaz Jr. (6-0, 200) and senior Alex Deptula (6-0, 170) have all looked solid as linebackers according to Holdren.
The defensive secondary figures to feature many of the players the Indians use offensively in the backfield and as receivers.

Juniors Ozzy Perez (5-10, 150), Ellington Simmons (6-3, 180), Aiden Forrester (5-10, 168), Chance Spinks (6-0, 150)  all could see a role in the secondary. With a young team, Holdren is setting realistic goals for his team.
“For us it is to reach our full potential,” he said.

Piper Sets School Record as Burroughs Football Beats Glendale 81-14

Nathan Piper’s intentions before the Burroughs High football game at Glendale High Thursday night were simply to help lead his team to victory.

Piper did that and a lot more as the Indians defeated the Nitros 81-14 in a Pacific League contest.

The junior quarterback completed 28 of 32 passes for a school record 430 yards and four touchdown passes. The previous record was set by future University of Washington quarterback J.K. Scott in 1996, who threw for 418 yards in a playoff game against Dominguez High of Compton.

“I didn’t know I had the record. After the first drive in the third quarter I got pulled out,” said Piper, who also had a rushing touchdown. “That’s when coach said he had good news and bad news for me and that I’d be coming out.”

Charlie Rodriguez tries to push past Glendale’s Karl Steckermeier. (Photo By Salvador Cabezas)

Burroughs (3-2) also set a school record for the most points scored in a single game.  The Indians had 623 yards of offense, also a school record. The previous school record was 610 yards against Arcadia in 2008.

“Nathan will be the first to tell you that it’s a team effort,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said.

Burroughs got four rushing touchdowns from Ben Peters, who finished with nine carries and 114 yards.

Cerain Baker had 11 receptions for 233 yards and three touchdowns.

Burroughs backup quarterback Andrew English even got involved in the action and scored two rushing touchdowns. He finished with 40 yards in four carries.

Ben Peters had four touchdowns for Burroughs. (Photo By Salvador Cabezas)

Sophomore Aiden Forrester returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown following a kickoff.

David Lennstrom had a 37-yard touchdown reception from Piper.

The Indians led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter and 49-0 at halftime. The third quarter was not played with a running clock, as is customary when teams trail by 35 or more points at the intermission.

While Burroughs players celebrated the victory, Reily said the celebration won’t last too long.

“We have a big football game next week against Crescenta Valley,” he said. “We’re going to celebrate this one for the next 10 or 12 hours or so and then watch some film and get ready for next week.”

 

Burroughs Football Drops 31-26 Decision To Arcadia

By Rick Assad

For at least one half, the Burroughs High football team seemed to be in control of Friday night’s Pacific League match at Arcadia.

Then it went south somewhat in the second half as the Indians were outscored 17-3 and lost 31-26.

Even so, Burroughs (319 total net yards) still had an opportunity to rally on its final possession, but Arcadia’s defense stiffened on fourth and two from the Apache 16-yard line after stopping senior wide receiver David Lennstrom on a sweep for a six-yard loss.

Burroughs quarterback Nathan Piper is about to hand the ball to Ben Peters, who had 180 yards on 40 carries. (Photo courtesy Stephen Garden)

“A lot of it had to do with us making the proverbial shooting ourselves in the foot,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “Their D line is a very active bunch and I think their defensive line played a more physical game in the second half than they did in the first half.”

Reily went on: “They gave us some fits more in that second half than they did in the first half,” he noted. “I don’t think it’s anything scheme-wise that they had done differently. It’s just us making a mistake here and there which just adds up to lost opportunities and lost points and then stalled drives.”

The potential winning drive began at the Indians 13-yard line and saw senior running back Ben Peters carry the ball 10 times for 45 yards.

Senior wide receiver Charlie Rodriguez caught nine passes for 55 yards, senior wide receiver Devin Harrison made three receptions for 22 yards and senior linebacker Hakeem Hickman recovered a fumble in the first quarter.

When Burroughs and Arcadia meet on the football field, it’s usually physical as Alex Perez makes the tackle. (Photo courtesy Stephen Garden)

“Defensively we made some adjustments and we were able to slow them down a little bit,” Arcadia coach Andrew Policky said of the second half. “They’re tough, physical up front and they run the ball. We made enough plays to get it done.”

The scoring began on the opening series as Burroughs (2-2 and 1-1 in league) used eight plays that covered 62 yards and was capped off when junior quarterback Nathan Piper (18 of 36 for 146 yards) hit senior wide receiver Cerian Baker (team-high 67 yards on five receptions) with a 23-yard strike and 9:13 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 edge.

On Arcadia’s initial series, it was forced to punt which set up the Indians at the Apache 45-yard line.

It took nine plays to make it 10-0 after senior Jonathan Rivas split the uprights on a 33-yard field goal as 3:16 remained in the first period.

Senior linebacker Hakeem Hickman recovers a fumble in the first quarter against Arcadia. (Photo courtesy Stephen Garden)

With 2:54 left in the same frame, Arcadia (3-2 and 2-0 in league) trimmed the lead to 10-7 on senior quarterback Max Davila’s seven-yard toss to junior tight end Jake Medders.

The Indians made it 16-7 on the ensuing kickoff when sophomore running back Aiden Forrester brought the football back 90 yards.

The Indians darted ahead 23-7 with 9:24 left on the clock in the second quarter when Peters, who ended his night with 41 carries for 190 yards, scored on a two-yard run.

Arcadia shaved the lead to 23-14 when junior wide receiver Rolandiss Whitener returned a punt 58 yards with 5:03 left before the intermission.

When Davila (13 of 27 for 175 yards) drilled Whitener (99 yards on four receptions) on a 50-yard slant that ended a four-play, 65-yard drive, the Apaches (202 total yards) drew within 23-21 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

“Rolandiss made some big plays for us tonight,” said Policky, who also coached Hoover for two seasons. “Punt for a touchdown. The home run on the slant route for a touchdown. Made a ridiculous circus catch down there on the last drive to get us that last field goal. Unbelievable individual effort by him.”

Arcadia stormed ahead 28-23 when senior running back Andre Lewis (35 yards on nine carries) dotted the end zone on a 17-yard burst with 8:28 showing in the third period.

Arcadia’s cushion was sliced to 28-26 with 4:23 left in the third quarter when Rivas nailed a 23-yard field goal that ended a 49-yard, 13-play march.

Senior Randy Ludwig’s 31-yard field goal attempt with 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter increased Arcadia’s lead to 31-26.

Burroughs will have a Pacific League contest at Glendale’s Moyse Field on Thursday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.