Tag Archives: Duncan Smith

Burbank Football Outlasts Tustin, 55-42

When Burbank High found out it earlier in the week that it would host Tustin High in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs, Bulldogs coach Adam Colman was disappointed to say the least.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“In Week 5 or 6 we started looking at other teams in our division and we saw Tustin with all these yards and we were like ‘What do they do’ and I was like ‘Oh no, anybody but them,’” Colman said.

Colman’s nightmare turned out to not as scary as once thought as Burbank outlasted the visiting Tillers 55-42 at Memorial Field Friday night.

Tustin (8-3) operates from a wing-T offensive behind a large offensive line and Colman said he couldn’t recall Burbank having beaten a wing-T team in the past decade or so that he has been part of the program.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“It’s tough. You can’t prepare for it. You can’t get 11 scout team guys that weigh 300 pounds and just beat yourself up in practice,” Colman said.

But he praised his team for overcome obstacles.

“They battled and came ready to play. It’s a testament to the program we have built in all the years behind. We’ve learned from (losses to) Dominguez, Norwalk.”

Burbank (9-2) will now face top-seeded South Hills of West Covina next week at Covina District Field. This is the same venue Burbank pulled off an upset of Northview High last season in the quarterfinals.

Early on it appeared Friday’s contest would be a battle between Burbank running back Chadz Vang and Tustin’s KC Carr III. Carr finished with 28 carries for 339 yards and four touchdowns.

Vang had 17 carries for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Perhaps the play that turned the tables in Burbank’s favor came late in the third quarter when Louie Torres intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. That gave Burbank a 42-31 lead and most importantly a lead by more than one possession.

“I came down and right when I turned around the ball was right there and I just ran,” Torres said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank got a great effort from junior quarterback Matthew Porras. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 282 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Drew Pendleton had six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Junior Eric Harutyunyan had six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Tight end Duncan Smith, also a junior, had five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Vang had five receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown.

To see a larger picture click on the picture:

Burbank Football Beats Burroughs, Wins Pacific League Title

Burbank High’s football team a year ago was arguably the best in school history and it couldn’t do what the 2017 Bulldogs did Friday night.

Playing against rival Burroughs, Burbank completed the Pacific League season unbeaten by winning 41-14 over the Indians.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“When you believe in something and everyone buys in you accomplish great things.  I’m just really proud of them,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said of his team.

Burbank (8-2, 7-0) didn’t get things rolling right away as Burroughs played tough defense all night.

Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Porras finished 21 of 32 for 239 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

An interception by Evan Osegueda prevented Burbank from scoring on its first drive.

Burroughs (4-5, 3-4) struggled to move the ball offensively in the first half, even though it was playing solid defense.

“Our dudes hung in there. With the injuries that we sustained, I couldn’t be more proud (of my team),” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “Hats off to coach Colman and his staff. Boy, did he inherit a big team full of athletes. We practiced against a couple of different fronts that we thought they’d be giving us and that’s exactly what they came out and gave us.”

Burbank broke up the scoring as Porras and fellow junior Duncan Smith hooked up on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds left in the first half. It was the first of three touchdowns the pair would team up for.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“Everyone has been working together,” Porras said of his team. “All the hard we’ve been doing in the offseason and during the season, we’ve been all doing it for this moment.”

After Porras and Smith combined on Burbank’s second touchdown, Porras hooked up with Kaydon Spens on an 18-yard pass for the Bulldogs’ third touchdown.

“We worked so hard for this from the summer until now,” Smith said. “We expected this and to finally accomplish it is great.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs fought back as Charlie Rodriguez ran back the ensuing kickoff to make it 21-7 with 4:01 left in the first half.

The Indians cut the deficit early in the third quarter when Burroughs junior quarterback Nathan Piper was able to sneak the ball past Burbank’s defense to a wide open Gavin Aguilar, who scored on a 66-yard pass play. Piper finished 9 of 16 passing for 158 yards.

But Burbank’s defense would not be fooled again.

Darnell Williams scored the first of his two touchdowns at the 3:31 mark of the third quarter to give Burbank a 28-14 advantage. Williams finished with 152 yards in 30 carries.

Burroughs running back Ben Peters had 45 yards in 11 carries.

Burbank, which will play in the CIF Southern Section Division 7, will learn its playoff fate Sunday afternoon when the Southern Section releases its pairings. The Bulldogs should expect to have a home game as a result of winning the league title outright.

 

Burroughs, which was slated to play in Division 8, will hope it has done enough to convince the CIF committee that it deserves a place in the playoffs as an at-large entry.

 

Burroughs, Burbank Football Ready to Clash on Friday

By Rick Assad

Situated slightly less than two miles apart, Burroughs High and Burbank are long and fierce rivals, regardless of the sport or event.

On Friday night at Memorial Field, these two will face off on the football field for the 69th meeting in the annual Big Game, which commenced in 1949.

This time, there is a slightly unique twist because it is believed to be the first time that both schools are being coached by alumni of their respective schools.

Adam Colman, the first-year coach at Burbank, is a former Bulldog quarterback, while Mike Reily, the second-year Burroughs coach, was once an offensvive lineman for the Indians.

Drew Pendleton is a two-way threat for the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that will be cool, but it’s about the kids,” Colman said of the upcoming match and the fact he and Reily will be on each team’s sideline. “Being a part of the Big Game, growing up watching it, playing in it, it’s an experience. It’s a fun experience for everyone, no matter what role you’re in.”

Colman knows Burroughs, with a 4-4 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the Pacific League, will be ready.

“They’ve got a really good team,” he said. “They’ve got an amazing offense. They’ve put up huge numbers all year. I think our defense will be up for the challenge.”

Reily’s squad has suffered some key injuries, but he won’t use this as an excuse.

“You’ll see who gets cleared and then game plan with those individuals and have a plan B,C and D if certain individuals are not able to go,” Reily said.

Reily knows the Bulldogs own a share of the league banner after holding off Muir 38-31 last Friday.

“Burbank is the team in the league,” Reily said. “They’re the big daddies. It is never ideal to go into that type of a game with the injuries that we have sustained, but that’s part of the deal.”

Burroughs quarterback Nathan Piper will be ready to face Burbank on Friday. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Reily is quietly confident in his staff and team.

“Our football coaching staff has a lot of experience, a lot of football IQ,” he said. “I have no doubt that we’ll be able to come up with the schemes that will help make us successful. It’s just a matter of being able to get those kids healthy enough to execute that scheme.”

Burroughs leads the all-time series 42-26 over Burbank, but the Bulldogs, who are 7-2 and 6-0 in league, have claimed four of the last five games.

Burbank is led offensively by quarterback Matthew Porras. The junior has thrown for 1,770 yards with 20 touchdowns has five interceptions and rushed for 307 yards with two scores.

Senior tailback Darnell Williams has the most yards on the ground with 577 and has tallied eight touchdowns.

Darnell Williams is Burbank’s top rusher. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Chadz Vang has accumulated 325 rushing yards with three touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton has snared 39 passes for 754 yards and eight scores.

Junior Erick Harutyunyan has 19 receptions for 263 yards and four scores and junior tight end Duncan Smith has 461 yards on 37 catches for six touchdowns.

Burbank’s defense is spearheaded by Pendleton, a linebacker with 63 tackles, including 45 solo.

Senior defensive back Christian Fajardo has 43 tackles including 31 solo, senior linebacker Blake Quinteros has 41 tackles, 23 solo with three sacks, Smith, a defensive end, has 32 tackles with 21 solo and five sacks and senior defensive lineman Anthony Lira has 33 tackles with four sacks.

Senior Andrew Rovira has converted 28 extra points and nailed three of six field goals. He kicked a 48-yard field goal last week.

Junior Nathan Piper is a capable quarterback for the Indians, and if given time, will find his receivers.

Ben Peters is dynamic and will be tough to handle. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

When the Indians run the ball it will likely be in the hands of senior Ben Peters, a prolific running back who has topped 300 yards in several games.

Peters also toils at linebacker and defensive back.

Joining Peters in the backfield is senior Hakeem Hickman, who has been highly productive and also plays linebacker.

Senior wide receiver/defensive back Cerain Baker will not play after being ejected during the Indians’ 49-14 win over Hoover last week.

Seniors Gavin Aguilar, Charlie Rodriguez, Devin Harrison and David Lennstrom are steady targets for Piper and all play defensive back except for Rodriguez, who plays linebacker.

If it’s a close game, it could be decided by the foot of senior place kicker Jonathan Rivas.

Burbank Football Holds Off Muir, 38-31, For Share Of Pacific League Title

By Rick Assad

There were moments of high drama and extreme tension, but in the end pure relief and exultation by the Burbank High football team.

It took everything the Bulldogs had and then some in order to hold off Muir 38-31 in a Pacific League match on Friday night at Memorial Field and with the victory a share of the league title.

Chadz Vang scored on an 18-yard touchdown in the first half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which is a game in front of Crescenta Valley and Arcadia (5-1 in league) will now face its longtime rival Burroughs next Friday at 7 p.m. hoping to win the banner outright.

“Being a champion isn’t just being a front runner or being ahead,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “It’s facing adversity. That’s been us all year. You’re not born to be a champion. You have to fight to be a champion and they did that tonight.”

Andrew Rovira nailed a 48-yard field goal just before the half. (Photo by Brandon Buckley)

Colman knows the Bulldogs will be challenged by the Indians.

“League championship on the line. Playoff berth on the line. It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “They want to prove something and do something special. We’re not done yet.”

The Bulldogs (7-2 and 6-0 in league) led 21-7 after the first quarter, were tied 24-24 at halftime and 31-31 heading into the fourth quarter.

The winning touchdown came with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter when junior quarterback Matthew Porras hit junior tight end Duncan Smith (51 yards on four receptions) with a three-yard toss that finalized a 71-yard, four-play drive.

“We knew they were going to come out strong,” said Porras, who completed 13 of 20 attempts for 223 yards. “They did and they just kept fighting. We kept fighting, too.”

Burbank’s defense had a key stand in the game’s final drive. Here lineman Duncan Smith makes a tackle. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The go-ahead tally began at the Bulldog 29-yard line and saw junior running back Chadz Vang contribute a 39-yard scamper and Porras a 25-yard pass to junior wide receiver Erik Harutyunyan (65 yards on three catches).

How will the Bulldogs remain focused for the final regular season game?

“We just practice hard like we always do,” Porras said. “Go through everything. There’s no reason to share.”

When it mattered the most, Burbank’s defense shined as the Mustangs drove from their 16-yard line to the Bulldog seven-yard line as time expired.

Burbank (443 total net yards) scored on its opening series when senior tailback Darnell Williams (40 yards on 13 carries) found the end zone on a two-yard run as 9:32 remained for a 7-0 lead.

Matthew Porras ran and threw effectively for the Bulldogs in a 38-31 win over the Mustangs. (Photo by Brandon Buckley)

The second time the Bulldogs possessed the ball, it became 14-0 when Vang (139 yards on 15 rushes) raced in from 18 yards and 4:47 left.

Burbank extended its advantage to 21-7 after an eight-yard spurt by Williams with 17.4 seconds left.

A 48-yard field goal by senior Andrew Rovira evened it at 24-24 as the clock hit triple zero.

Muir came within 14-7 when senior running back Jonathan Stephens (104 yards on 13 carries) exploded for a 76-yard sprint and 3:41 remaining before the half.

When junior quarterback Brian Love (15 of 29 for 271 yards) uncorked a 50-yard pass to junior running back Aryonis Harrison, the Mustangs (451 total yards) drew within 21-14 as 10:34 remained.

It was even at 21-21 on Love’s 20-yard strike to junior wide receiver Jalique Stephens (49 yards on three receptions) as 5:35 was left. Harutyunyan’s fumble after a 12-yard reception made the score possible.

In a back-and-forth battle, Burbank prevailed 38-31 over Muir. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Mustangs (5-4 and 3-3 in league) then surged ahead 24-21 on a 19-yard field goal from Cain Hernandez with 25.3 seconds on the clock.

Burbank raced ahead 31-24 with 7:21 left in the third period on a 24-yard pass from Porras to Smith that capped an eight-play, 59-yard march.

Harrison’s 43-yard punt return and 23 seconds remaining in the third period leveled it at 31-31.

Though Burbank senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton didn’t score, he had six receptions for 107 yards.

Burbank Football Blows Out Crescenta Valley, 37-20

By Rick Assad

There is now only one undefeated football team in the Pacific League and that’s Burbank High.

The Bulldogs played their best overall game this season against Crescenta Valley after posting a 37-20 victory on Friday night at Moyse Field.

Burbank (6-2 and 5-0 in league) pulled ahead 7-0 after the first quarter and led 27-0 at halftime.

Burbank quarterback Matthew Porras uncorked two touchdown passes in 37-20 win over host Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Doug Brown)

Crescenta Valley (7-1 and 4-1 in league), which came into the contest having collected 12 straight league triumphs and is ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division VI, drew within 27-14 with seven seconds left in the third quarter and 30-20 late in the fourth quarter.

“So proud of the kids. The adversity they’ve been through and we talked about it before the game,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “Last year’s team was the furthest we’ve gone in CIF history [losing in the championship game] and we were senior heavy. A lot of these kids were forgotten. And so it’s a kind of chip on your shoulder.”

Burbank’s defensive line was one difference as it kept junior quarterback Cole Doyle on the run all evening.

Senior tailback Darnell Williams had three scoring runs in the opening half versus the Falcons. (Photo by Doug Brown)

Right out of the gate, the Bulldogs took advantage of excellent field position after the Falcons were forced to punt from their one-yard line.

Burbank took over at the Crescenta Valley 21-yard line and after an 18-yard pass from junior quarterback Matthew Porras to junior tight end Duncan Smith, senior tailback Darnell Williams punched it in from three yards as 9:13 remained in the first quarter.

Burbank (375 total net yards) extended its lead to 13-0 on a one-yard burst from Williams as 11:43 was left in the second frame.

The key plays on the 76-yard, five-play march were a 31-yard strike from Porras to senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton that placed the ball at the Falcon 40-yard line and a 40-yard catch by Pendleton (144 yards on seven receptions) that put the ball at the one-yard line.

Linebacker Blake Quinteros puts on the heat as CV quarterback Cole Doyle tries to pass. (Photo by Doug Brown)

Burbank’s lead swelled to 20-0 when Porras orchestrated a 68-yard, 11-play excursion that was capped off when Williams (52 yards on 20 carries) found the end zone on a four-yard scamper with 5:42 on the clock.

“That’s a great team,” Colman said of the Falcons, who gained 297 yards. “There’s a reason they’re 7-0. They haven’t faced adversity like we have. We knew if we stuck around and be competitive, that we had that on our side. We’re used to adversity.”

The advantage became 27-0 when Porras (17 of 24 for 287 yards and one pick) drilled Smith (37 yards on three catches) with a four-yard bullet and 11 seconds left.

The tally was made possible on an interception from senior defensive back Louie Torres, who had two picks.

Defensive back Louie Torres intercepted Cole Doyle twice. (Photo by Doug Brown)

Colman also praised the defense and specifically the defensive line.

“They did a great job,” he said of senior Anthony Lira, junior Karo Koshkaryan and Smith. “They’re all over the place. In the backfield and creating havoc. When you’ve got guys and they’re big guys, it’s tough to see over them.”

The Falcons played much better in the second half, but the deficit was simply too much.

Doyle’s one-yard keeper with 6:32 left in the third quarter trimmed the lead to 27-7 and came after Porras was intercepted by sophomore outside linebacker Chase Center, who also recovered a Porras fumble.

It took one play for the Falcons to get within 27-14 when Doyle (102 yards on 14 rushes) raced 60 yards as seven seconds remained in the third period.

Burbank answered with a 28-yard field goal from senior Andrew Rovira, who capped the 54-yard, 13-play march.

Doyle (10 of 32 for 160 yards and two picks) then drove the Falcons from their eight-yard line and ended the drive with a 39-yard toss to senior tight end Austin Novak (49 yards on two receptions) that made it 30-20 after Doyle’s two-point conversion pass failed with 5:21 on the clock in the fourth period.

The Bulldogs added a touchdown that made it 37-20 when Porras found senior running back Blake Quinteros with a three-yard strike as 2:35 remained.

Burbank will play host to Muir next Friday at Memorial Field and commences at 7 p.m.

Burbank Football Wins Big Over Hoover

A week after opening the Pacific League season with a one-sided victory, the Burbank High football team had to get back to reality Thursday night.

Although the Bulldogs weren’t as sharp as a week ago, they easily defeated Hoover High 47-14 at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“It was a little different environment than last week obviously. The energy after playing at home, it was hard to get up this week,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said.

Burbank (3-2 overall, 2-0 in the league) took a few plays to get settled in.

Eventually, quarterback Matthew Porras hooked up with Drew Pendleton on a 46-yard touchdown with 10:03 left in the first quarter.

Porras, who played in just the first half, finished 11 of 14 passing for 272 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception. He did this despite playing having a cold much of the week.

“We could have done better. I had an interception,” Porras said. “Our line did well and our defense did well.”

Colman praised his quarterback.

“He’s been sick all week. It starts in practice,” Colman said. “We’re running sprints and he’s in the front. He’s been taking a ton of Vitamin C just to get healthy.”

Porras hooked up with Erik Harutyunyan on a 15-yard touchdown at the 5:07 mark of the first quarter.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Darnell Williams had a two-yard touchdown run later in the quarter.

Porras hooked up with tight end Duncan Smith on a 45-yard touchdown at the 5:38 mark of the second quarter to make it 26-0.

Porras and Harutyunyan connected once again with 34 seconds left in the first half to make it 33-0.

Ironically, Burbank got the ball back after a series of incomplete passes from Hoover.

That gave Porras once chance to get to the end zone with 6 seconds left in the half.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

He took advantage as he found Drew Pendleton in the right corner of the end zone to make it 40-0 with no time remaining in the half.

After Hoover fought back to score a pair of touchdowns in the second half with a running clock, Chadz Vang scored on a 23-yard run with 3:20 left in the fourth quarter.

 

Burbank Makes the Effort, But Loses To Downey, 35-7

By Rick Assad

Burbank High and Downey came into Friday night’s nonleague football game with identical 1-1 records.

The Bulldogs bolted out of the gate and beat Monrovia 23-8, but then lost to Canyon 14-6.

The Vikings were defeated by powerhouse Santa Margarita 56-0, but bounced back with a 42-35 triumph over Hart.

Quarterback Matthew Porras scored the only touchdown for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross. A. Benson)

It was apparent early that Downey’s schedule was much more demanding as the No. 7th-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division IV, handled the Bulldogs 35-7 at Memorial Field.

Burbank avoided the shutout when quarterback Matthew Porras scampered in from 12 yards out as 3:55 remained in the fourth quarter.

Porras, a junior, completed 15 of 26 passes for 124 yards, but was intercepted twice by senior free safety Nicholas Whitney in the opening half.

Senior running back Darnell Williams gained 34 yards on 20 carries against Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another Bulldog highlight was senior cornerback Kaydon Spens picking off junior Kijon Foots in the second quarter.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton grabbed five catches for 55 yards and junior tight end Duncan Smith nabbed six for 53 yards for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they went 10-4 overall before losing in the Division VIII title game.

Burbank has a bye next week, but will host Glendale on Sept. 21 to commence the Pacific League portion of its schedule which culminates Nov. 3 when it meets city rival Burroughs.

“This is the best team we’re going to play all season,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “This is a young team and it’s still learning.”

Colman, who played quarterback for the Bulldogs a number of years ago, said that he was pleased with the effort.

“I’m proud of how they fought and that’s pride,” he said. “That touchdown at the end was important. We moved the ball well, but we didn’t convert in the red zone.”

Burbank’s defense was on the run most of the night versus the Vikings, who won 35-7 in a nonleague game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Downey senior running back Baraq Ross finished with a game-best 202 yards on 19 carries and tallied four rushing touchdowns, including three in the second half when the Vikings outscored the Bulldogs 21-7.

After Burbank (1-2) punted on its initial possession, Downey took over at the Burbank 33-yard line.

Four plays later, Ross found the end zone on a one-yard carry as 8:55 was left for a 7-0 lead.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton snared five passes for 55 yards. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The next time the Vikings (2-1) had the ball, Foots unloaded a 62-yard pass to wide receiver Whitney (89 yards on four receptions) and 5:21 left in the first period as it became 14-0.

Downey’s advantage was extended to 21-0 on its first series of the second half when Ross broke off a 70-yard sprint down the left sideline for a touchdown with 10:55 remaining in the third quarter.

It’s off to the races for Pendleton against highly-ranked Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson).

Burbank (212 total net yards) followed that with a march from its own 40-yard line to the Vikings five when Porras (54 yards on 11 carries) failed to complete a pass on fourth down.

Burbank senior running back Darnell Williams accounted for 34 yards on 20 carries.

The Vikings (524 total yards) proceeded to make it 28-0 when Foots, a quick and agile quarterback who passed for 213 yards on 15 of 22, drove the team from their five-yard line and used 13 plays with a five-yard run by Ross the capper as 1:53 was left in the third quarter.

Downey powered ahead 35-0 with 8:10 on the ticker in the fourth frame when Foots directed the Vikings 62 yards as Ross located the end zone with a 17-yard dash.

Burbank Football Still Has Winning Look

Many faces and names have changed, but the Burbank High football team is looking to put together a season that could be comparable to the one the Bulldogs had a year ago.

Last season Burbank went 10-4 and had arguably its best season in school history, reaching the Division 8 CIF Southern Section title game, falling to Yorba Linda in the final.

The Bulldogs lost many key players to graduation, but still, return a handful that played a key role on last season’s team.

Burbank High’s New Football Coach Adam Colman. ( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Former Bulldog quarterback and second-year teacher Adam Colman has taken over as head coach from Richard Broussard after winning a league title on the junior varsity level a year ago.

“For me my goals start with winning league.  I know we’ve graduated a lot, but that’s always been a goal for me. It’s a challenge. We’re not the favorites, but anything can happen,” Colman said. “Over the past 10 years I think four or five teams have won league. Last year we were the favorites and it didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter until you put the pads on and you play.

“We’re young, so for me the ultimate goal is to get better every week, as well as better every day. I’m a big believer in John Wooden’s approach. Success is the best of what you are capable of,” Colman said. “ My goal is to not have any regrets and to walk away saying we were the best team we could be and be happy with that.”

Offensively, Burbank returns three skill position players that played key roles a year ago.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior Darnell Williams (5-9, 185), the younger brother of Washington State running back James Williams, will get a chance to be Burbank’s go-to back. The last two seasons he shared the bulk of the carries with Nick Warren, who graduated.  Williams had 101 carries for 528 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.

Senior Drew Pendleton (6-1, 195) is also back as a receiver and linebacker.  He had 24 receptions for 465 yards and six touchdowns last season. Defensively, Pendleton had 76 tackles. Junior Erik Harutyunyan (6-2, 185) is also back. He had 18 receptions for 205 yards in 2016. Defensively, he had 48 tackles.

Senior Anthony Lira (6-3, 240) is clearly the leader of the offensive and defensive lines and will play left tackle.

Senior Kaydon Spens (6-2, 190) who had 16 tackles last season will see time as a receiver and as a defensive back.

Junior Matt Porras (5-10, 185) takes over at quarterback. He is the younger brother of Danny Porras, who was a baseball and football star for the Bulldogs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colman said Porras is a fast learner.

Porras will have another quality passing target in junior tight end Duncan Smith (6-4, 215). Smith, like Harutyunyan, played on two CIF Southern Section finalist teams as he is also a Burbank basketball player.

Burbank is also expecting big things from senior Blake Quinteros (5-10, 190) who showed promise last season at running back when he was healthy. He will also hope to fill the void of Jake Kelley at linebacker. Kelley led the team with 115 tackles.

Protecting Burbank’s skilled offensive position players will be juniors Karo Koshkaryan (6-2, 225) and center Kris Azizkhani (6-1, 295). Junior Esper Alsayegh (6-0, 260) and sophomore Armando De La Cruz (5-8, 210) also figure play key roles on the offensive line.

Defensively Burbank will have many of the same players on offense. Senior Louie Torres (6-1, 165) is one player that figures to play a key role in the secondary. Christian Fajardo (5-8, 180), younger brother of last season two-way star Forrest Fajardo,  is another who could see significant time in the secondary.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Colman said sophomore Ali Maaz (5-7, 150) has a nose for the ball and will be looked upon to take a role amongst the linebackers.

Senior Andrew Rovira (5-10) returns as the kicker and will add punting duties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burbank Boys’ Basketball Team Creates Another Miracle

Playing for one CIF Southern Section championship in a major sport isn’t enough to satisfy Burbank High during the 2016-17 school year.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Duplicating the effort of the football team, the Bulldogs boys’ basketball team has also advanced to a championship contest.

Friday night the host Bulldogs pulled off one of the greatest victories in school history in any sport by defeating third-seeded Rancho Mirage 76-71 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA semifinals.

Rancho Mirage enjoyed a tremendous height advantage in that no Burbank starter was as tall as the shortest starter for the visitors.

“They’ve been talking to us ever since we got into the playoffs. They’ve been telling us nonstop to stay focused and take one game at a time, don’t let it slip away. They’ve been really good mentors for us,” Burbank’s Faraz Khandaker said of the football players. “We’ve been battling with size since we were sophomores. Sometimes it is heart over height.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (23-8) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter. The Bulldogs were down 40-27 with 2:26 left in the first half as Rancho Mirage star Charles Neal was on fire. Neal scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half.  Michael Woods hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half to cut the deficit to 41-35.

Every time it looked like Rancho Mirage (28-4) was on the verge of pulling away, Burbank would answer back.

The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 2:50 left on a three-pointer by Woods to make it 68-67. He finished with a game-high 30 points.

Rancho Mirage re-took the lead twice more before Burbank went up 72-71 on a goaltending call following a shot by Thomas Clark.

“I feel like in the second half we pulled it together,” Woods said. “Nobody wants to go home, we want to keep playing. I never thought this was going to happen. Coach (Jamayne) Potts came in and he helped us out. We were struggling my freshman and sophomore year.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Potts said keeping his team under control was the key.

“I told them one at a time don’t panic. I said play harder, play smarter, but don’t panic,” the second-year Burbank coach said. “That’s what they did.”

Burbank will face Brentwood in the CIF championship game at a site, time and date to be determined.

It will be Burbank’s first appearance in a CIF championship in basketball since 1926, when the Bulldogs lost 12-8 to Anaheim in the Class C title game. As a school, Burbank will be looking for its first CIF title since 1993 when the boys’ tennis team captured the Division 3 crown.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank has two just two players, sophomores Eric Harutyunyan and Duncan Smith, who also played on the football team.

“Too bad the football team couldn’t get it,” Woods said of a CIF title. “We saw how the football team felt. We just have to go as hard as we can to bring one to the city of Burbank.”

Khandaker and Clark each had 12 points. Ben Chavez had eight points, Abdullah Kobaissi had six, Cameron Sweeten five and Henrik Anassian three points.