Tag Archives: Duncan Smith

Burbank Can’t Keep Pace With Hart, Falls 49-28

By Rick Assad

For a second, if you closed your eyes and went back in time you may have thought Friday’s football game between Burbank High and Hart was a battle in the Foothill League.

It wasn’t and when it was over the Bulldogs didn’t have enough gas in the tank and lost to the Indians 49-28 in a nonleague match at Memorial Field.

Senior quarterback Matthew Porras had two scoring passes in a 49-28 loss to Hart. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Each team is gunning for the CIF Southern Section playoffs, but on this warm night the Indians made more big plays than the Bulldogs, who last met Hart in 2005.

Burbank (1-2) started strong and led 14-0 in the first quarter as sophomore wide receiver Brandon Pena raced 95 yards on the initial kickoff to make it 7-0.

Burbank’s lead became 14-0 with 4:38 left as senior quarterback Matthew Porras (10 of 24 for 126 yards with three interceptions) and senior running back Chadz Vang (26 yards on three catches) hooked up on an 11-yard scoring pass that made it 14-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, senior wide receiver Michael Colangelo went 97 yards that sliced the lead in half.

Hart’s offense accounted for six touchdowns against Burbank, including Ethan Blair, who had one. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians (2-1) evened it at 14-14 when junior quarterback Zach Johnson, who was playing in only his third varsity game, threw the first of five scoring passes, this time hitting senior wide receiver Jacob Montes (87 yards on six receptions) with a five-yard bullet as 9:12 remained in the second quarter.

From this point, Hart outscored Burbank 35-14 including 14-0 in the fourth period.

“They made the momentum plays. They made critical plays at big moments and we didn’t,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “They executed in the big moments and we didn’t. That wins football games.”

The Indians (372 total net yards) then moved ahead 21-14 on a two-yard scurry by senior running back Ethan Blair (106 yards on 24 carries) as 5:07 remained before the half.

The Bulldogs had a tough time running the ball against the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The teams then exchanged turnovers which led to Burbank tying the contest at 21-21 when Vang located the end zone on a 15-yard scamper and 1:51 left before the break.

“It was a dog fight and that’s what we expected,” Colman said. “We knew we were going to play a really good team. A really well coached team. It was a test for us to get ready for the playoffs. We have to learn from this so when we’re in the playoffs, we have to be ready for it.”

Hart’s opening drive of the second half ended with a seven-yard toss from Johnson (18 of 29 for 252 yards) to Colangelo (46 yards on four catches) as 6:55 remained as the Indians led 28-21.

Matthew Porras ran for 55 yards on 17 carries. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

On Hart’s next series, Johnson capped the drive that began at the Hart 31-yard line with a 34-yard strike to junior wide receiver Drew Munoz and came with 2:24 left that gave the Indians a 35-21 edge.

“They’re a very talented team. They’re very good,” said Hart coach Mike Herrington, who is in his 30th season of the Bulldogs. “We had a hard time containing their quarterback.”

The Bulldogs (213 total yards) came within 35-28 when Porras (55 yards on 17 carries) and senior tight end Duncan Smith (73 yards on three catches) hooked up on a 52-yard play as 58.8 seconds remained in the third.

Hart’s lead became 42-28 with eight minutes on the clock in the fourth as Johnson hit Munoz (96 yards on four receptions) with a 23-yard strike and it became 49-28 with 5:32 left when Johnson found Munoz with a 25-yard toss.

Burbank’s next game is a Pacific League encounter against Hoover at home on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Burbank Football Opens Season With 45-12 Rout Over Monrovia

By Rick Assad

 

No Burbank High football team in its long and proud history has played a game in the middle of August, but on Friday night at Memorial Field, that’s exactly what took place.

The Bulldogs, who won the Pacific League title and reached the CIF Southern Section Division VII semifinals in 2017 and the Division VIII championship game the year before, opened up the new campaign on a high note by taking out Monrovia 45-12 in a nonleague match.

Burbank senior quarterback Matthew Porras was nothing short of spectacular.

Senior quarterback Matthew Porras threw for six touchdowns and five in the first half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras is a dual threat capable of churning out significant yardage on the ground.

Against the Wildcats, Porras threw for 256 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.

Five of the scoring tosses came in the first half as the Bulldogs scurried out to a 32-0 advantage and were never headed.

Monrovia (97 total net yards) came out in the second half and scored on a 90-yard kickoff return by sophomore cornerback/strong safety Adam Perry.

The Wildcats then cut the deficit to 32-12 when junior running back Maury Rams IV (13 yards on seven rushes) scored on an 11-yard burst with 9:05 left in the third period.

“We came out a little flat,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of the start to the second half. “This is the third year in a row they’ve run a kick back on us. We gotta watch more film. It’s a first game after an eight-month layoff.”

Senior running back Chadz Vang is off and running in the sesaon opener. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Other than that, it was simply all Burbank, which extended its lead to 38-12 when Porras tossed a 19-yard strike to tight end Duncan Smith (four catches for 80 yards) with 5:36 showing, finalizing a nine-play, 73-yard march.

Burbank’s lead became 45-12 when senior offensive lineman Matthew Sanchez recovered the ball in the end zone with 6:22 left in the fourth period after Porras (98 yards on 19 carries) ran to the one-yard line, but fumbled.

The scoring parade started when Porras, who completed 19 of 30 passes, drilled senior running back Chadz Vang (53 yards on three receptions and 51 yards on seven rushes) with a 23-yard toss as 10:02 remained in the first quarter for a 6-0 cushion and capped an 85-yard, six-play march.

The Bulldogs won the battle up front and prevailed over the Wildcats. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“He played incredible,” Colman said of his field general. “That’s what you come to expect from him, being Player of the Year and everything. He’s a competitor. He’s highly intelligent. He understands what we’re trying to do and what the defense is trying to do.”

When Porras found Smith with a 35-yard aerial and 8:18 left in the initial frame, the advantage became 13-0.

After Porras located Vang with a 14-yard bullet and 11:53 left in the second quarter, Burbank’s margin was 20-0 as the Bulldogs (449 total yards) drove 76 yards and used six plays.

Porras then hooked up with senior running back Max Mendiata (41 yards on 12 carries) with an 11-yard pass and 6:18 showing as the Bulldogs pushed ahead 26-0 after moving the ball from the Monrovia 46-yard line while consuming nine plays.

The Bulldogs ended the opening half with a 10-yard offering from Porras to junior wide receiver Ben Burnham (three catches for 51 yards) with 14.4 seconds on the clock as Burbank marched 54 yards over 14 plays.

Senior wide receiver Erik Harutyunyan snared four catches for 30 yards, while junior tight end Seth Jones hauled in four receptions for 34 yards for Burbank, which will travel to Moorpark for a nonleague game next Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Burbank Football Looking for a Ring

The last two seasons have been arguably the best in school history for the Burbank High football team.
The Bulldogs still have a nice core intact from last season’s Pacific League championship team that went on to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs. A few players remain from the 2016 team that played for the Division 8 CIF title game.
So the level of expectation is quite high once again for Burbank, under second-year head coach Adam Colman.
The Bulldogs moved up two divisions and will now play in Division 5.
“Whatever division we got put in goes without saying we want to win a ring. We’ve gotten really close the last two years. When you get that close you can taste it,” Colman said. “(Winning) League is obviously a goal, but that’s a stepping stone to bigger things. We all want to win a ring. Whatever division we are in we can’t control that. All we can control is what we do on the field.”

Matthew Porras will lead the Burbank offense once again in 2018. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Quarterback Matthew Porras was the co-Pacific League Player of the Year a season ago. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound quarterback who threw 30 touchdowns and over 2,600 yards a year ago, lost a few passing targets, but will still have a great one in senior Erik Harutyunyan (6-2, 190). Harutyunyan has been a star on both offense and defense the past two seasons. An outstanding student and a three-sport athlete, Harutyunyan should be on the radar of every Ivy League school.

Erik Harutyunyan is a three-year starter on both sides of the ball. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The other big target Porras will have is senior tight end Duncan Smith (6-4, 240) who has offers from many major colleges, many of which are in the Mountain West Conference. Junior Ben Burnham (6-1, 175) is another receiver who could shine.
Colman said sophomore Brandon Pena (5-10, 165) could be a star if he continues to work hard.
Running the ball, Burbank returns senior Chadz Vang (5-5, 140) who is extremely quick and changes direction very easily. Junior Issac Glover (5-9, 195) will give Burbank a back who can pick up yards in short yardage situations.
Freshman star running back Jack Sapyta (5-10, 140), who is also an accomplished sprinter in track and field, is expected to begin the season on the junior varsity team along with sophomore quarterback Aram Araradian (5-11, 170). Araradian saw time on varsity last season and is ready to go if needed.

Duncan Smith gives Burbank a huge target at tight end. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank’s offensive line will be led seniors Kris Azizkhani (6-2, 300) and Esper Alsayegh (6-0, 260). Seniors Matthew Sanchez (5-11, 240), Oscar De La Cruz (5-10, 220) and junior Armando De La Cruz (5-9, 225) figure to fill out the rest of the group that will look to push the Bulldogs down the field.
Burbank’s defense line will be strong again, despite the loss of star Anthony Lira to graduation.
Karo Koshkaryan (6-3, 235) is a returning all league pick. Joining him will be Smith and Azizkhani. Also in the mix are juniors Seth Jones (6-2, 240) and Devin Housholder (6-1, 190).
Burbank is a little younger, but still very talented in the linebacker position.
Sophomore Max Mendieta (5-8, 185) is an excellent student and Colman said he has a “Nose for the ball.”
Sophomore Austin Blacano (6-2, 210), junior Tyler Murphy (5-9, 190) and senior Alejandro Martinez (6-1, 190) also figure to help out as linebackers.

Kris Azizkhani figures to play a key role on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Harutyunyan clearly leads the secondary and will be looking forward to matching up against Moorpark star and USC commit Drake London, when the teams meet in a nonleague contest in Burbank’s second game.
Junior Vincent Vang (5-6, 150), junior Ian Miller (5-10, 170), Burnham, Pena and sophomores Owen Cusumano (5-10, 155) and Jarren Flowers (6-0, 165) are all fighting for playing time in the secondary.

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Basketball Begin New Chapter

It was just a year ago that Burbank High had one of its greatest seasons in school history that nearly resulted in a CIF Southern Section championship. Burroughs featured a team that was built completely around multi-talented star Tristen Hull. Things have changed for both teams entering the 2017-18 season.

Burbank

The Bulldogs lost nearly everyone that played last season, led by Michael Woods, who is now at UC Merced.

While there are several returning varsity players, junior point guard Tyrese Willis was the only one who received regular playing time.

Willis has grown to 5-foot-7 and should be the team leader.

“Last year was last year. It was a different group,” Burbank coach Jamayne Potts said of the team that went 25-10. “This group has to go through the same things that the last group went through, which was they go through reps, they go through success, they learn how to win games. They go through failure and those things help you prepare to get towards CIF. We’re literally going one step at a time.”

Burbank will have just one senior on the team as Sevak Mkrtchyan (5-11) moves up from the junior varsity.

The Bulldogs have benefited by the addition of juniors Justin De Sales (6-2) and Jalen Clark (6-3), both of which transferred from Village Christian.

Coach Jamayne Potts is very optimistic about junior Xavier Davis (5-9).

Five more juniors return from last season including football stars Duncan Smith (6-4) and Erik Harutyunyan (6-1). Chance Van Hook (6-2), Luke Johnson (5-10) and Jared Pasion (5-9) also return.

Junior Angel Ibarra (6-2) and sophomores Ben Burnham (5-9) and Leo Tahmasian (6-0) move up from within the program.

Burroughs

As hard as it was to lose Hull, the Indians will be a more balanced team this season after going 13-14 a year ago. Hull is now playing at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

“It’s a different team obviously. We lost Tristen (Hull) so we don’t have a big guy anymore. We lost eight seniors so a lot of young guys need to take that leadership over,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I like the team. We’re more of a guard-oriented team. We push the ball and we’re scoring at a high pace. We need to focus on defensive intensity and making sure we get stops.”

Burroughs returns senior Stefon Foster (6-2), who was the starting point guard last season when he was healthy. Senior Omar Searcy (6-0) and junior Zion Bazzell (6-1) will see key roles as wings. Senior Carson Clark (6-2) is expected to see time at power forward.

The Indians have added Amir Montgomery (6-3), a transfer from Bonita High in LaVerne. He will be the Indians’ big man. Coach Allen Ellis is also high on freshman Frank Waldeck (6-2) who recently moved to Burbank from North Carolina.

Juniors Bryan Oasay (5-10), Sammy Solis (5-10) and sophomores Quinton Roberts (6-1) and Emery Goulet (6-1) will add depth for the Indians.

 

 

Burbank Football Stopped Short of CIF Title Game

The effort that the Burbank High football team put up Friday night against host Don Lugo wasn’t the best of the season, but it certainly wasn’t anything to be ashamed of.

Attempting to get back into a CIF Southern Section championship game, the Bulldogs fell short as the host Conquistadores came up with a 28-7 Division 7 semifinal playoff victory in Chino.

“A lot of kids could have left and gone to another school. For them to stick around and trust in me that means the world to me,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “I’m so proud of what they have accomplished this year. To come back from a team that went to the championship and set all these records and graduated all these guys, to tie that school wins record to win the first outright league title, all that they’ve accomplished I’m proud of that. It’s special.”

Darnell Williams carries the ball with a number of Don Lugo defenders in pursuit. Photo courtesy Doug Brown.

Burbank (10-3) played solid defense throughout much of the contest, against the team it defeated 41-14 in the CIF semifinals a year ago.

Don Lugo’s Khoury Bethley, a University of Hawaii commit, scored all four of his team’s touchdowns and remembered what it was like to lose to Burbank.

“They got us last and we wanted to get some payback and redemption,” Bethley said. “Jet sweep is their go-to play and we knew we had to shut that down. We didn’t do that last year so we had to change the game plan this year and we got the job done.”

Darnell Williams led Burbank with 60 yards in 15 carries in the final game of his three-year varsity career. Junior quarterback Matthew Porras rushed for 30 yards.

The Bulldogs’ lone touchdown came in the second quarter when Porras found junior flanker Chadz Vang on a 25-yard passing play. Porras finished with 102 yards passing.

Matthew Porras decides to keep the ball on the ground. Photo courtesy Doug Brown.

Trailing 14-7, Burbank had a chance to tie the game on the last play of the first half as Porras threw a long pass that nearly connected with tight end Duncan Smith in the end zone.

Don Lugo coach Greg Gano, who has won four CIF titles as a coach, praised Burbank.

“They kicked the … out of us last year so we knew what we needed to do and we did it,” Gano said.

Don Lugo improves to 11-2 and will face El Modena of Orange for the CIF title.

 

 

 

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.