Tag Archives: Football

Rick’s Sports Corner: Keith Knoop Wears Numerous Hats

By Rick Assad

If there’s one individual that knows Burroughs High’s athletic culture and also helped create much of it, that person is Keith Knoop.

In one way or another, Knoop, the current co-athletic director and the physical education department chairman, has been on call for an incredible 27 years.

For 19 of those years, Knoop, who graduated from rival Burbank High, was the head coach of the football team.

That title still resonates with him. “Nothing beats being a coach on the sidelines, leading the troops into battle,” said Knoop, who guided the Indians to five Pacific League championships, including most recently 2015. “To watch them execute a game plan together that you have worked on all week. And when you pull it off, wow!”

Keith Knoop coached the Burroughs football team to five Pacific League titles. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knoop, who knew when it was time to call it quits, continued: “At first, being an athletic director and watching was tough, almost stressful,” he noted. “But I have learned to let go now. Much easier to watch now. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 I was still an assistant, so I got to coach a little.”

Knoop addressed how this long trek began.

“I played football for [former longtime Burroughs athletic director] Marty Garrison when he was the head coach at Burbank High and was on the track team,” he recalled. “I then went to Glendale Community College, where I’m still in the record book for most sacks in a season [top 10] and where I played for my heroes and mentors, Jim Sartoris and John Cicuto.”

Knoop went on: “From there I received a scholarship to play at San Jose State University for Jack Elway [John Elway’s father] and Claude Gilbert,” he said. “When I was done at SJSU, I returned home and had my first coaching job at Chaminade High where we played in the CIF [Southern Section] championship game. I then returned to GCC where I coached for five seasons. When the time came in 1993 and I needed a job, I was able to get on at Burroughs with Gary Bernardi when he was hired for one year. I was at Burbank for three years and Burroughs for 27. So I would say Burroughs is in my blood.”

Knoop, who began his football head coaching duties in 1997 and was inducted into the Burroughs Hall of Fame, acknowledges that any success he has had is the result of having faithful people behind him.

“My wife, Julie, has been my biggest support system and is truly outstanding. I even asked her to be my game filmer which she did until I retired,” he said. “My mother, Marjorie, has been to every game I played and coached in. My brother, Ken, was also on my staff for many years and was a tremendous help running the defense. In the end, it took its toll. Long hours and type-2 diabetes. I just had to stop.”

Celebrating with his team became common place for the Indians under Keith Knoop. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knoop isn’t the only family member with athletic talent.

Knoop’s brother, Ken, was the Foothill League 100-meter champion for the Indians and his sister, Karin, was also elected to the Burroughs Hall of Fame after starring as a softball player and later competed in volleyball and basketball at Cal State Fullerton.

For many years, the Indians and Bulldogs were members of the Foothill League that included such dynamic squads as Hart, Canyon, Saugus and Valencia.

“It was a chore just to not get our players injured every week. Burroughs and Burbank played each other to not be in last place in the league,” said Knoop, who was also a physical education teacher. “Lockheed had moved to Palmdale and the [Valencia] Vikings were defunct. It was hard to get quality teams to play that loaded Santa Clarita school. In 1997, I became head coach and started to lobby moving to another league or changing the Foothill League. In 2006 after a re-league vote by the CIF, we were put into the Pacific League which demographically was suited for Burroughs.”

It’s national signing day as brothers Keith (top middle) and Ken (far right) share in the excitement. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knoop added: “The first year we won the league championship undefeated. All those years of playing super tough teams paid off,” he explained. “From there we won four more for a total of five in 10 seasons. I think that stands out. We brought back Burroughs football pride and tradition. We also started getting some great athletes during that time. Success breeds success.”

Using more detail, Knoop broke down why the Indians were able to win at a higher rate in the Pacific League.

“First, we learned to be tough playing in the Foothill League. Next, we were playing students more like us in terms of ability,” he said. “To be honest, sometimes we did not have the biggest or fastest players in the Pacific League, but our kids played tough and we out-coached a lot of the other teams. Our team preparation was second to none.”

Knoop could be a tough taskmaster. “For me, it was about then and now. As a coach and a teacher, I was hard, tough, passionate [some would say too much],” he said. “I pushed players to the limit. I made them raise the bar and put the work in. But I would like to think of myself as fair. I would treat everyone the same. I also would put an arm around a player after practice or a game after I was hard on them and explain why.”

Games are won during summer workouts as Keith Knoop makes a point to his team. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knoop continued: “I truly loved my players and coaches. I hope I influenced my players to want to be good citizens and contribute to society,” he said. “Now I have mellowed. I do not get fired up about stuff and it has made me much happier.”

With the coronavirus still making life miserable for so many people, Knoop hasn’t been immune.

“COVID-19 has made for a lot of work actually,” he said. “Rescheduling, switching officials, learning about COVID and COVID safety protocols. Just hoping these young student-athletes get to play. I feel bad for those seniors last spring.”

Reflecting on his career highlights, Knoop said winning was paramount. “All of the league championship years [2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015] were memorable,” he said. “I also had some great early years teams [1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2007] that are dear to me. I coached some outstanding young men during that time, so many it would take a page to name them all.”

Though Knoop is five years removed from coaching, he’s pleased the way everything has turned out.

“Burroughs has been a family. I have had great support at Burroughs. The administration and the teachers and my booster club support was amazing over the years,” he noted. “The parents that were part of my booster club over the years is what really made us successful.”

Knoop added: “I have been at Burroughs 27 years,” he said. “I have been a defensive line coach, taught chemistry, been a defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, head football coach, physical education department chair and now the eighth athletic director for John Burroughs. It’s been a great ride.”

Rick’s Sports Corner: Burbank High’s Adam Colman, Winner, Culture Builder

By Rick Assad

Adam Colman, the Burbank High football coach, has literally come full circle.

A winning quarterback for the Bulldogs, Colman then attended UCLA where he majored in Psychology and graduated in 2015.

Colman found his way back to the Burbank campus during his senior year in Westwood, where he became an assistant coach.

When Richard Broussard stepped down as the head coach after the 2016 season, Colman, who guided the Bulldogs to the CIF Southern Section playoffs three times, including twice to the quarterfinals as a sophomore and junior, is entering his fourth season at the helm.

Burbank High football coach Adam Colman looking things over. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“To be honest, when I went to college my goal was to experience life without sports and find out what I was really passionate about outside of football,” he said. “I always knew I wanted to coach at some point, but that could’ve been my kids’ little league team one day for all I knew.”

Colman, who passed for slightly more than 4,000 yards and unloaded 44 touchdown passes in two and a half years between 2008 and 2010, spoke about what it’s like to be back home.

“I got into coaching at my alma mater because of people and that was what has guided me ever since,” he explained. “I had amazing coaches and teachers at BHS that shaped me into the man I am. In college I realized I wanted to give back and try to have that kind of impact on the next generation.”

Colman, who teaches Algebra I and II at Burbank, added: “When Coach [Broussard] got the head coach position, I knew I had to join him. I always looked up to him and he has always been my mentor and friend to me, so getting to coach with him was a dream,” he recalled. “My goal became to coach with him at BHS and build something special for the kids in our community.”

Colman added: “I honestly had no intentions of becoming the head coach, but when he left I felt it was my responsibility to carry on what we started together back in 2008 when he was the offensive coordinator and I was the quarterback,” he said.

Returning to his old stomping grounds has been a blessing for Colman.

Former Burbank High quarterback and now its head coach, Adam Colman is building something special. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The experience being the head coach at your alma mater is obviously special,” he noted. “I know this community and what these kids’ lives are like because I lived it not that long ago. I’m an only child with no relatives West of the Mississippi besides my parents, so growing up the football team became my family and it still is to this day. That’s part of what has made the experience so special – getting to coach kids who have had brothers that I played with or coached before them.”

Colman, whose squads have qualified for the postseason all three seasons, continued: “The word “family” gets thrown around a lot in sports, but being at Burbank, it’s more than just a word. It’s a promise that no matter where you go or how old you get, we’re always going to be here for you because you’re part of the family,” he said.

When asked what’s the biggest difference between being a player and coach, Colman had a ready answer.

“I would probably say being a player was more difficult. As a player, especially as a quarterback, you want to feel like the result of the game is in your control,” he said. “So you put more pressure on yourself to be perfect and you care more about stuff that’s out of your control. As a coach, you realize that you can only control so much, so you put all your energy into the things you can control and you’re at peace with the things out of your control.”

Aside from reaching the semifinals in 2017 and the quarterfinals in 2019, Colman has built something lasting at Burbank.

Adam Colman wearing the headset during a game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We care about not just the four years we get them, but the next forty-plus years too,” he said about that relationship. “Football ends for everyone at some point, so we better have prepared you for that or we haven’t done our job as coaches. I’m a big follower of John Wooden and it all really falls in line with his philosophy. The Pyramid of Success, the Two Sets of Three, everything he preached was about life and character first and being an athlete second.”

With the presence of COVID-19, the Burbank football team will begin its season early in 2021.

“COVID has definitely thrown a wrench in our plans. We were off to a great start in the off-season when everything shut down, but luckily we have an amazing group of kids and they were able to keep that momentum going,” Colman said. “We did all of our spring practice over Zoom. Watched a ton of film, studied the playbook. Once we knew the season was postponed, we scaled back a little and have turned our attention to culture building and using Zoom for workouts to keep everyone in shape so that when we are able to return to the field we aren’t starting from scratch.”

Colman added: “The biggest thing has been mindset,” he pointed out. “Like Wooden’s second Set of Three: don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to get more time together and more time to improve both physically and mentally and, ultimately, we get to play one more memorable season in January.”

Former Burbank High head coach Richard Broussard (left) standing next to Adam Colman, when he was the Bulldog quarterback. The pair is seen years later. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Because everyone is human, mistakes are bound to happen. Still Colman wants maximum effort.

“Not to get too philosophical, but I really see success as Wooden’s definition: “piece of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming” and I share that with our kids,” he said. “Winning games, scoring high on a test, whatever the objective measure people may use really doesn’t matter. All you can do is measure yourself against what you are capable of.”

Colman went on: “For me, coaching and teaching is a passion so I’m going to put everything I’ve got into it. I’m not going to leave any room for any “what-ifs” and when all is said and done, I’ll be content knowing I gave everything I had to this,” he said. “If other people see the results as success, then that’s great, but I’m just focused on being the best coach and teacher I can be.”

Colman has constructed his program behind hard work, diligence and talent. “From a schematic perspective, my philosophy is a bit malleable. I think at the high school level when you’re not out recruiting or drafting players, you have to be able to work with who you have,” he said. “So I try to learn as much as I can so that each year I can assess our team and come up with a system that is going to put them in the best position to succeed.”

One way Colman prepares his team is to play a rugged non-league schedule. “But ultimately, regardless of the scheme, we are always going to be tough. We take pride in our toughness,” he noted. “We don’t back down from a challenge and have the most fun playing the best competition. A lot of the time we’re not the biggest team on the field, but we’re going to battle no matter who the opponent is and win or lose, we’re going to earn our opponent’s respect.”

Finding wins isn’t like picking out a pair of shoes. “Dealing with adversity is always difficult. We take a few approaches. First, we schedule the best competition we can in our non-league season so our kids are used to struggling. We want things to be difficult so that they get comfortable in those situations,” he said. “In football, there’s a saying: “you’re never as good as you think you are, but you’re never as bad as you think you are,” so it’s all about staying level and approaching each game as a new challenge. No matter how good or bad you did the week before, it doesn’t matter this week and it won’t matter the week after that.”

Colman continued: “A lot of it comes down to leadership and that’s why we’ve developed a Leadership Committee to really teach our kids what it means to be a leader and how to lead both when things are going well and when things are difficult,” he said. “It’s all of the work you do in preparation that helps you right the ship when you hit adversity. There’s no magic pill or speech that is going to fix things in the moment if you haven’t properly prepared.”

Rick’s Sports Corner: How COVID-19 Wreaked Havoc On Local Sports Teams

By Rick Assad

Eight months into 2020, it’s safe to say that it has been an ugly and harrowing year.

It began ominously, when, just before Oregon outlasted Wisconsin 28-27 in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, it was announced that David Stern, the longtime NBA Commissioner, whose 30-year reign helped popularize basketball around the world, had died at 77.

Twenty-five days later, on an overcast Sunday morning, Kobe Bryant, age 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others perished on their way to a youth basketball game in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

The news didn’t get any better when in January, a mysterious virus was infecting and killing thousands of people.

The World Health Organization named this virus, COVID-19 on February 11.

A fall sport, football won’t begin until January. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Nothing like it had been seen since the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people worldwide from February 1918 until April 1920 and killed between 17 to 50 million people.

It was one of the most deadly pandemics the world had ever witnessed.

On March 12, COVID-19 became real in the United States when the NCAA decided to cancel the highly-popular and highly-profitable men’s basketball tournament.

The NBA, NHL and MLS followed suit and suspended their seasons. MLB was holding exhibition games, but sent its players home, weeks before the baseball season was set to begin on March 26.

COVID-19 didn’t spare anything in its way and that includes high school sports. The following week, I was scheduled to cover a Burbank High girls’ volleyball match.

Patrick McMenamin, the Burbank co-athletic director and math teacher, said it would be played, but with no fans in the stands and no media.

High school classes in Burbank and elsewhere became virtual and all sports were put on hold.

I’ve covered high school athletics for three decades, including eight years at this website.

Basketball will be put on hold until March 2021. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

You get to know athletes, coaches and administrators. I started thinking how awful it must be for a senior to not be able to finish out their athletic career on the field or court.

Being a prep athlete isn’t easy, as it takes  skill to juggle sports, academics and a social life.

Doug Nicol, the longtime softball coach at Burroughs, chimed in with his thoughts on what it was like to have the season end.

“It’s been extremely hard. The bonds that you build and share with your players. It is hard to just put that aside,” he said. “It was an abrupt stop. Stopped us in midseason so that made it even harder. We were just starting to come together and build our culture back up. To have it stop so suddenly was really hard.”

Nicol also knew it would be difficult news for the seniors. “I feel for our four seniors because all four were performing at such a high level and giving me 100 percent,” said Nicol, who is in his second tour of duty as coach. “They were so bought in and invested and it was hard to not let them finish. Third baseman Memorie [Munoz], pitcher Sidnie [Dabbadie], center fielder Isabella [Kam] and right fielder Sabrina [Englebrecht] laid the groundwork last year for our foundation and any success we have next year, they will be a part of.”

Baseball was interrupted in March because of COVID-19. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The football season, which usually begins in late August or early September, will begin in January.

Adam Colman, the Burbank football coach, said he expects his team to be ready, but realizes there will be roadblocks.

“It’s obviously been a challenge and very different, but we’ve tried to approach it with optimism and as an opportunity,” he said. “One of our core values is resiliency and what better way to work on that then in this setting. We’re focused on working on the mental side of the game and linking it to handling any adversity life throws at you.”

Colman feels confident that his players will be prepared when the games commence.

“Our team has responded tremendously. They’ve taken initiative and many are working out on their own, staying active and engaged, watching film and asking questions, reviewing the playbook and all that,” he said. “So as much as I miss being out there with our team, and I think everyone misses it, we’re really focused on controlling what we can control. Complaining and being upset about it doesn’t do anything, so we might as well use it as an opportunity to grow and get better.”

Allan Ellis, the Burroughs boys’ basketball coach, is looking and hoping for the best despite what lies ahead.

Softball hopes to begin its season in 2021, like the other sports. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“COVID-19, the pandemic, quarantine, school closures, business closures, it’s taken a toll on me personally, and our team, players as a whole, as it has with a lot of people,” he said. “But myself and my coaches always try to teach our players that, we don’t make excuses and we don’t dwell on problems. We look for solutions. And we also must remind ourselves that there are people dying, suffering and livelihoods being affected at the same time, to keep everything in perspective.”

Ellis is fairly certain his team will bounce back from this adversity.

“I believe we’ve done a good job of keeping our kids connected with our coaches in general, keeping them informed and also trying as best as can be done to conduct workouts with many of our kids, whether that’s with Zoom workouts, emails, with specific personal information,” he said. “So I’m pleased with the overall efforts of my staff and the resiliency of our kids during this time. Nothing takes the place of actual gym time as a team, but we’ve learned to adapt, like most programs are doing across the country.”

Burbank baseball coach Bob Hart saw the Bulldogs’ season end prematurely. “Like everyone, we have been greatly affected. Team sports is about camaraderie and it’s hard to develop when you can’t be around each other,” he said. “Our approach is going to be that patience and resolve and as we tell the players, that will ultimately serve them well in life.”

Hart has faith in his players. “We will be doing individual training in the fall and adjust as we are able to. Predicated on decisions made by the powers that be,” he said.

Sports are going to be different, but at least the coaches and athletes will hopefully have a chance to finish the season on the field or court.

Rick’s Sports Corner: Burbank High’s Ben Burnham Has Speed Galore

By Rick Assad

Whenever Ben Burnham walked onto the football field or the basketball court for Burbank High, he had two secret weapons in his hip picket that made him tough to defend.

While playing on the gridiron, Burnham, a wide receiver, would line up and then blast off down the field and after running a nearly flawless pattern, would usually snare the ball and in some cases, make an acrobatic, eye-popping catch.

On the hardwood, Burnham, a shooting guard, was a young man constantly in motion, running up and down the court, looking to make a cut to the hoop for an easy bucket, or getting the ball to the open man for a wide open jumper.

When Burnham played defense, he was constantly hounding the man he was assigned to cover.

Burbank High wide receiver Ben Burnham made aerobatic catches seem easy. (Photo courtesy Ben Burnham)

A recent graduate who will attend Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Burnham, a 6-footer who tips the scale at 175 pounds, will play football and perhaps hoops at the NCAA Division III level, knew exactly what his top assets were and used them to the utmost of his ability.

“My best trait for each sport was speed and athleticism, which really helped in all aspects of football and basketball,” said Burnham, who grabbed a team-best 43 receptions for 1,015 yards for a 26.6 average per catch along with team-high for receivers nine touchdowns as the Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs.

In terms of which sport had a higher priority for Burnham, who will be a pre-law major, it was basketball because he didn’t try his hand at football until his second year in high school.

“I actually only started playing football my sophomore year, so basketball was my first sport, but they both came pretty naturally,” he said.

Ben Burnham races down the floor for the Bulldogs. Speed was a key asset that made him excel. (Photo courtesy Ben Burnham)

Knowing that it’s tough both physically and mentally to participate in two sports, was there ever any doubt that  Burnham would engage in both?

“I played two sports because I loved the games and felt I could excel at both,” he said. “It [playing football] was not a pre-set goal coming into high school. It just kind of happened.”

Burnham’s football coach is Adam Colman, who played the position for the same school and is thankful it worked out that way.

“We take pride in being competitive. It’s one of the core values and Ben epitomized that,” Colman said. “He competed in everything he did. He challenged me to play him one-on-one in basketball if we had five minutes before practice started. He was always looking to compete.”

Colman went on: “That combined with his unselfishness made him special. When Aram [Araradian] and Kuba [Raymond] got hurt and we had to pivot to being a more run-oriented team, Ben became one of our best blockers,” he said. “For a 1,000-yard wide receiver to immediately turn all his attention to blocking is rare and speaks to his commitment to winning above all else.”

On defense, Burnham played cornerback and delivered nine solo tackles and had three assists as a senior.

Ben Burnham with his family on Senior Night. (Photo courtesy Ben Burnham)

There is a reason why Burnham wasn’t thinking of himself, but rather the welfare of the team.

“The main reason I try to be unselfish is because I want to win and sometimes the best way to do that might be through other people and I understand that,” he said.

Burnham, who finished with 1,377 yards on 66 receptions for a 20.8 yards per reception average and 12 touchdowns across his career, said the coronavirus threat has put a damper on his college choices.

“With COVID-19, I delayed my decision to make sure that everything would be open and safe before I made my decision,” he said.

Being focused on the task at hand helped Burnham to play at a high level, and was grateful for the student body turning out and lending support.

“The crowd noise really faded out once everything started, but coming out during timeouts and the start of games to the crowd cheering, definitely added to the hype,” he said.

Making spectacular receptions was the norm for Ben Burnham, who holds the school yardage reception record in a playoff game. (Photo courtesy Ben Burnham)

Sid Cooke, the first-year Burbank boys’ basketball coach, saw something special in Burnham and feels that the program is heading in the right direction despite not making the postseason.

“He had a great attitude and led by example. I had him only one year, but his leadership set the tone for the future of the program,” he said of Burnham, who tossed in an average of eight points while grabbing five rebounds and handing out three assists this past season.

The most difficult and trying part of playing two sports was making sure Burnham’s body was ready for the grind.

“It was a pretty tough transition from football to basketball since the conditioning is so different, but after a week or two, it was pretty much business as usual,” Burnham noted.

Burnham compared each sport and the challenge each presented. “Getting hit on the field definitely hurt a lot more being that it’s a much more direct sport,” he explained. “The physicality of basketball is more about leverage and positioning.”

Ben Burnham uses his speed to run past a defender. (Photo courtesy Ben Burnham)

Burnham pointed out the two sports do take a toil, even if it’s not obvious initially.

“It’s a lot of physical work as well as stressful mentally, but all that goes away when the game starts and that’s what I love about sports,” he said.

One football game and one basketball game are stuck in Burnham’s memory bank.

“The most memorable for football was definitely my senior year against Arcadia,” he said. “I had 308 yards and three touchdowns against the defending [Pacific] League champs, breaking the school record for yards in a game by almost 100 yards. The most memorable basketball game was at Crescenta Valley my junior year. We upset them and won a close game. I had a near triple-double in the game.”

In that football contest at the Apaches in September, the Bulldogs romped to an easy 48-7 decision.

For many, spending so much practice time and game time builds lifelong bonds. You can double this when two sports are involved.

“The thing I will remember the most are the people I played with and the memories we built along the way,” Burnham said. “From every spring practice to the last team lunch.”

 

Rick’s Sports Corner: Isaac Glover, Burbank High’s Tough-Minded, Running Back

By Rick Assad

Carrying the football and being the primary ground-gainer across the last two seasons for the Burbank High football team meant that Isaac Glover was going to get hit on almost every play.

And if you include being a key blocker in the backfield, the recent graduate took a significant pounding.

Now think of falling down a short flight of stairs and getting to your feet and then doing this all over again.

Isaac Glover was a tough-minded runner for the Bulldogs, who made the CIF playoffs every year he played on the varsity. (Photo courtesy Isaac Glover)

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what a running back does and usually it’s without much complaint.

“Being hit isn’t the most fun thing, but I find a way to just have the motor to just get up and keep going after being tackled and while blocking, just to protect and guard the best I can,” said Glover, who rushed for a team-best 1,128 yards on 202 carries and scoring 15 touchdowns last season, said of his role in the offense.

But game in and game out, Glover, who also snared 14 passes for 112 yards with one score and will attend College of the Canyons in the fall where he will also play football, was always available to run with the football.

But let’s make certain, it was never about Glover, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 185-pounder who liked to run through tacklers.

“I always play to win. I always like to make sure everyone has their shine and everyone has that smile on their face after these games,” he said. “Winning is best when everyone’s happy.”

A team-player, Isaac Glover wanted to win. Here he’s running against city rival Burroughs. (Photo courtesy Isaac Glover)

Across the last three seasons in which Glover was on the varsity, the Bulldogs have gone 22-14 overall, 16-4 in Pacific League games and have been in the CIF Southern Section playoffs all three campaigns.

In 2019, Burbank went 5-7 and 3-3 in league including a setback to Burroughs in what was a classic, 29-28, then drilled Don Lugo 40-20 in a Division VII first-round match, but lost to Serrano 35-13.

In the previous season, the Bulldogs carved out a 7-4 mark and forged a 6-1 record in league as they routed the Indians 54-20, but were knocked off by Glendora 56-35 in a Division V opening-round clash.

In 2017, Burbank ended its season 10-3 and 7-0 in league that included a 41-14 thrashing of Burroughs along with victories over Tustin 55-42 and South Hills 42-30 before losing to Don Lugo 28-7 in the Division VII semifinals.

A fine receiver and a solid blocker, Isaac Glover looks to run to daylight. (Photo courtesy Isaac Glover)

Despite the worldwide presence of COVID-19 which has changed the way people live their lives, Glover, who ran for 1,804 yards on 313 carries for an average of 5.7 yards per carry while scoring 24 touchdowns over his three-year stint, has tried to maintain a good and positive attitude.

“In the beginning of the quarantine, I wasn’t really able to work out efficiently, but now I’m back in the gym and getting better and running,” he said. “My classes are still fine.”

First and foremost, Glover is a team player who wanted to do what was best for the entire squad.

“I do enjoy being able to consistently run the ball and being able to help my team drive down the field, but I never mind blocking and watching my teammates score,” he offered.

Burbank coach Adam Colman appreciates what Glover brought to the dinner table.

Always looking to gain yards, Isaac Glover is seen leaping into the air in a CIF playoff game against Don Lugo. (Photo courtesy Isaac Glover)

“Isaac’s persistence and sacrificing for the good of the team stood out for me,” he said. “Early in the year [2019], when our team struggled, he had no problem stepping up in pass protection. He would do everything he could to give us time in the pass game and never complained about touches or anything like that.”

Colman continued: “At the end of the year, we had a bunch of injuries, so he had to play middle linebacker in addition to running back. That’s a huge task and yet he was able to run for over 200 yards in the first [CIF Southern Section] playoff game and really carried us down the stretch of the season.”

Football, like most sports, has the peculiar ability to bring people together, which is something that Glover likes.

“I love the bond it creates with people, the diversity it brings and just being able to show what you can do and I also like contact,” he said.

Glover looked at his job on the gridiron as being one in which he provided any and all services whenever they were needed.

“Just getting positive yards, anything I can do to help us move down the field,” he said of his role on the team.

As a junior, Glover carried the football 89 times and accounted for 497 yards with seven touchdowns.

And though Glover is a tough and rugged ball-carrier, he admitted that he would feel the pain afterward because it was accumulated over the course of a game and of course a season.

“Sometimes I’d be tired and to get it out of my mind, I’d just tell myself that we gotta score someway every single drive and to just keep going and pushing,” he said.

In Glover’s mind, a couple of games still resonate with him. “I’d say Don Lugo in 2019 because I set the [school] record for most yards in a playoff game and the  third most in any game and against Glendale in 2017 because it was my first varsity game where I ran the ball and scored a touchdown and had 132 yards,” he said.

It seems that Glover, who rushed for 179 yards on 22 carries while tallying two scores as a sophomore, is most proud of the fact the team played well and that he was an integral component of that success.

“I am pleased with how it went. I shaped a great bond with my brothers, won some games and overall just matured and had fun doing something I love,” he said. “At Burbank High, Coach Colman really tries to create the better person more than creating the better player, which is most important.”

Reflecting on his high school career, Glover has very few regrets. “If I could go back, I’d take the weight room more serious, but other that, nothing really because everyone has a story and I’m fine with how my four years went with Burbank football.”

Rick’s Sports Corner: Burroughs High’s Nicholas Garcia, Football, Hoop Dynamo

By Rick Assad

There is something special to be said about a person who can play two high school sports at the varsity level.

Beside being good enough to make each squad, there is also the time spent on the practice field or in the gymnasium, then actually playing the games and also being a student in the classroom.

Being able to do all three are time consuming and takes a great deal of hard work along with a fulltime commitment and it’s going to result in sweat, triumphs and some setbacks, but it also means they are determined.

Nicholas Garcia did just that for Burroughs High, as the recent graduate toiled at quarterback for the football team in the fall for two seasons and was the point guard on the basketball squad in the winter for a couple of campaigns.

Nicholas Garcia unloading a pass for the Indians. The senior threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Garcia)

Each position that Garcia played entailed being the field or floor leader which can also be mentally draining.

Football is a real contact sport and because it is, can be tough physically on the body.

So let’s not kid ourselves, one has to be extremely tough to play the game.

While basketball isn’t generally considered a contact sport, it can be at times, especially under the boards battling for a rebound or trying to defend underneath the basket.

Garcia, who will attend Glendale Community College where he’ll play football, knew the challenges and welcomed them.

But like everyone else, though, Garcia and football this fall will be on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Both sports, when I’m having fun, I’m playing great, making smart reads,” said Garcia, who passed for 1,980 yards with 30 touchdown tosses, ran for 415 yards with seven scores and added 20 extra points in 2019. “When I’m not playing so well, the communication with my teammates or coaches may be off. So I would fix it.”

As the football field general and primary ball-handler for the basketball squad, Garcia was in charge.

“I feel that I was a leader in both sports. I feel that bond with my teammates on and off the field and can lead them in the right direction and I know they feel the same way,” said Garcia, who was named by the team as the Most Valuable Player. “That’s why they trust me to be their quarterback and point guard.”

Nicholas Garcia could also run effectively with the football. But here he’s pitching the ball to a running back. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Garcia)

Because no team wins all of its games, there are highs and lows, with the latter always requiring a cool head.

In 2019, the Burroughs football team began its season with five consecutive wins before losing four straight.

But in the final regular season match and a large throng at Memorial Field, the Indians, who went 6-4 overall and 2-4 in the Pacific League, pulled out an incredible 29-28 victory.

“The Burbank-Burroughs game this year was absolutely amazing,” Garcia said. “The atmosphere in the stadium was electric. The feeling when we won is indescribable. I will never forget that day.”

In 2018, the Indians football team struggled to a 2-8 record and a 2-5 mark in the league and was one in which Garcia was named Most Valuable Skills Player.

“When both sports went through a rough patch, I immediately hopped in and communicated with my teammates on how we can fix it,” Garcia said. “Communication is the key to winning. I will always believe in that.”

Football and basketball offered a different mindset for Garcia, who plans on transferring to UC Davis or Cal Poly Pomona.

Nicholas Garcia wasn’t afraid to get his uniform dirty. Here he goes over the top of a Burbank defender. (Photo courtesy Nicholas Garcia)

“My mental approach for both sports was not the same,” Garcia said. “I went into football games with a set game plan knowing what to call and the different defenses I would see throughout the game. Basketball, the sport itself, is on the go. You must make different plays and be ready in a faster time.”

Garcia tried to make both sports fun for himself and his teammates.

“What I loved about football was being able to throw the ball to some of my best friends and having a party on the sideline every game,” he said, referring to when the Indians scored points. “Basketball I loved being around my friends and playing fast the whole time.”

The Indians had a successful hoops campaign during his senior season after posting a 19-10 record and 7-7 in league.

For his part, Garcia tossed in an average of about eight points and handed out roughly six assists per contest last season.

Burroughs defeated rival Burbank on the road 70-57, but lost at home 46-42 and was stymied on the road by St. Bonaventure 55-45 in a CIF Southern Section Division III-A opening-round match.

“Nick brought leadership to the basketball team and a certain tenacity to the team with his play,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said of Garcia. “Coming from football as a quarterback, our kids naturally followed his lead.”

In the previous season, the Indians went 11-16 in all games and posted a 4-10 mark in league and missed the playoffs.

The Indians did manage to beat the visiting Bulldogs 66-61, but lost to host Burbank, 83-49.

It’s impossible to succeed entirely, but Garcia, who was always willing to speak after a game and break it down during a postgame interview, was able to come away with enough wins and enough highs.

“My best asset for both sports is sharing the ball and my instinct,” he said. “I love setting up my teammates for success. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Garcia admitted that football came just a little bit easier than hoops. “I think playing basketball is harder than playing football,” he noted. “I just feel this way because football comes more natural to me.”

Though his high school athletic career is over, Garcia knows that he gave everything he had to offer and was willing to sacrifice his body.

“For football, I am most proud of leading my guys out every game at the best of my abilities, whether we won or lost,” he said. “I know I put my all in it. For basketball, I was most proud that I could set my guys up and have fun with them whether we won or lost.”

When Garcia reflects on his time at Burroughs, he is pleased and will carry fond memories of his time at the school.

“What I will remember most about playing two sports at Burroughs would be the practices would never stop,” he said. “I would always be playing one or another.”

Rick’s Sports Corner: Burbank High’s Aram Araradian Looks For Super Season

By Rick Assad

There is real uncertainty as to when the high school football season will commence its season. And that’s because of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which has the world on pause.

But whether football begins in the fall or another time, Aram Araradian will be under center for the Burbank High team.

Burbank High quarterback, Aram Araradian, who will be a senior, looks over the defense. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

“The expectation is that there will be a season and we need to prepare as such,” said Araradian, who completed 112 of 199 attempts for 56.2 percent and threw for 1,958 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven and one quarter games after suffering a season-ending injury. “Now, what we do to prepare may currently be affected and different from the norm, but we are all doing what we can. I think there is a great lesson in all this with learning to be concerned with only the things that we can control and doing what we can to effect the desired outcome.”

Araradian then added: “Our 2021 senior class is a tightly knit group of friends and we are all on the same page of what needs to be done,” he said.

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way Araradian, who passed for more than 350 yards twice last season and accounted for one rushing score, has been able to prepare for the season.

With a clean pocket, Aram Araradian looks for an open receiver. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really forced us to change everything we had planned for this offseason and summer,” he said. “I was planning on in-person visits to a number of colleges as well as participating in some showcase camps, but that will not happen. We are basically in a holding pattern waiting to see how things will unfold. Everyone is in the same predicament, so there is nothing we can do except wait.”

On July 20, the CIF Southern Section, the high school governing body, will try to render some clarity when it will announce a fall schedule.

Though Araradian, who was on the freshmen squad and junior varsity as a sophomore and played a few varsity games during that stretch, had a productive junior campaign, it was cut short because of an injury.

Aram Araradian drops back and surveys the field. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

“I got injured in the beginning of the second quarter of game eight last year against Muir High [a 20-15 loss],” said Araradian, voted Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman and Player of the Year as a sophomore. “I rolled out to my left, threw a pass and got hit and landed awkwardly on my shoulder which resulted in the sprain of the AC shoulder [acromioclavicular joint].”

Araradian added: “Being on the sideline and not being able to play had to be one of the hardest things I have gone through,” he noted. “I did not want to let down my team and coaches and wanted to go back out, but I couldn’t move my arm and the sideline doctor did not allow me to go back in the game. I never imagined that would be the last game of my junior year.”

After losing to Muir, the Bulldogs then defeated Glendale 27-0, before being edged by rival Burroughs 29-28.

As a junior, Aram Araradian threw for nearly 2,000 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

Burbank won a CIF Southern Section first-round Division VII playoff game versus Don Lugo 40-20, but then fell to Serrano 35-13 in a quarterfinal match.

Because football is a high-contact sport, getting hurt is a real possibility.

“I know injuries are part of the game and can happen at any time,” Araradian said. “That is why I do my best to take care of my body in the offseason by eating right and hitting the gym to get stronger and faster. I have two trainers, A.J. Moosa and Chris Aguado at District Sports with whom I work out with three to five times a week and they have really gotten me strong. I also have a nutritionist [Tommy Clarck] and a chiropractor [Dr. Sarkis Cholakyan and Dr. Sevak Ovsepyan] I visit regularly.”

There’s some pressure, but Aram Araradian gets off the pass. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

Burbank coach Adam Colman, who quarterbacked the Bulldogs a few years ago and graduated from UCLA, leaps high praise on his senior field general, who has claimed the Student-Athlete Award every year.

“He’s the ultimate leader by example,” he said. “He is so focused and works so hard, it’s impossible for others to not follow his lead. He helps create a culture of competitiveness and determination. Every day is a chance to get better.”

Moving the Bulldogs downfield and scoring a touchdown or even a field goal is challenging, but thrilling for Araradian.

“My thoughts are more on the execution of the play,” he said. “I trust my coaches and teammates and as we are marching down the field my concern is about making the right reads and executing on the play and protecting the possession.”

When the opportunity presents itself, Aram Araradian will run with the football. (Photo courtesy Aram Araradian)

For Araradian, there is something special about football.

“I think it is the perfect parallel to life and everything it throws at you,” he said. “Football teaches you to be prepared, be a team player, be accountable and stay sharp both mentally and physically. It also teaches you to strategize and look at the long-term goals and how to set up your next move.”

Though Araradian has been on the varsity fulltime for one season, he proved the stage wasn’t too grand.

“I think my success comes from the fact that throwing has become second nature and I do not have to think about the mechanics of throwing,” he said. “I have been working with my quarterback coach [Anton Clarkson] since I was eight years old and have repeated the correct motions of the quick release, the accurate throw, the finesse throw, the strong throw, the timing on the throws and the proper drops for each throw. So, when I’m playing in a game, I do not have to think about anything but dissecting the defense and taking what it gives me. I also spend a lot of time breaking down film and looking at tendencies so I can make my decisions faster.”

Because of Araradian’s 4.0 grade-point average and football acumen along with skill, several colleges are interested in the left-hander thrower.

They number Whittier College in Southern California, Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, who have offered Araradian football scholarships along with eight others who are interested and they partially include Yale University, Columbia University and the University of San Diego.

“I would love to have the opportunity to play at the next level,” said Araradian, who isn’t sure what he will major in, but is leaning towards law or business. “That is my goal. I believe my determination, work ethic and attention to detail are the things that will set me apart. I take pride in what I do, regardless of what it is and get laser focused on the task(s) at hand.”

Looking to the future is certainly fine, but Araradian has an important job right now and that’s leading the Bulldogs on the football field, whenever that is.

Rick’s Sports Corner: Burroughs High’s Steven Hubbell, Hoopster, Gunslinger

By Rick Assad

There were times when Steven Hubbell made playing basketball and football for Burroughs High seem effortless.

Whether it was hitting an open teammate for an easy hoop or tossing a perfect spiral downfield, Hubbell was always thinking on his feet and usually made the right play.

Of course, this isn’t easy, but Hubbell was able to elevate his skills while toiling at point guard and quarterback at the prep level.

After a brief stay at Cal Lutheran University, which is a Division III program and Glendale Community College, Hubbell, a 2016 graduate, is a senior on the men’s basketball team at the University of Hawaii Hilo where he’s coming off a campaign in which he played in 21 of the 26 games and drilled 42.1 percent of his three-pointers (eight of 19).

Hubbell, standing 6-foot, 1-inch and weighing 170 pounds, said despite loving both sports, he simply couldn’t turn his back on basketball, where he averaged 12 points with four rebounds and four assists at Burroughs.

Steven Hubbell, shown in a game from last season when he was a junior. (Photo courtesy Steven Hubbell)

“I personally like basketball more,” he said. “I just enjoy the fast pace, up and down action. I like football too, but basketball was always a love thing for me.”

The journey that brought Hubbell to Hawaii Hilo is something that has made him stronger and more determined.

“I knew I wanted to pursue basketball at the collegiate level. After my career at John Burroughs, I was first committed to Cal Lutheran University,” he said. “The second week I was there, the head coach decided to retire, so I quickly left for Glendale Community College after the semester and immediately redshirted so I could practice with the team in preparation for the next year. I spent two years under Coach [Vigen] Jilizian and was honored All-Western State Conference my last year at GCC. I was blessed to be recruited by the University of Hawaii Hilo, where I’m happily at right now.”

Hubbell is extremely thankful for having the opportunity to play for the Vaqueros where he averaged 11.6 points with four boards and 3.2 assists and canned 51 three-pointers as a sophomore.

“The junior college system is not easy, but I found it worth it, looking back now,” he said. “A lot of people don’t find success after JUCO, so I’m blessed that it’s not the case for me.”

Steven Hubbell, a two-sport athlete at Burroughs High, has one more season left at the University of Hawaii Hilo. (Photo courtesy Steven Hubbell)

Like the world at large, everything is at a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hubbell, like so many athletes, is trying to stay in shape and is hoping for the best.

“There will obviously be no summer workouts with the team,” he said. “It’s just our responsibility to stay in shape and ready to get back to basketball. As of May 11, my school still plans to have in-person classes for the fall. However, anything could happen and I’m sure they will see what other schools across the world are doing and go from there.”

Hubbell, a Business Management major who played basketball for three seasons and football for two at Burroughs, said that playing two sports are challenging, but he found a way to succeed.

“I’d say a high level of focus is one, but also a strong work ethic is key,” he said. “I also thought that focusing on winning and what I can do to better my team helped in the long run.”

Playing point guard and quarterback are similar in many respects, according to Hubbell, who was named All-Pacific League first-team as a senior, second-team as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore while playing basketball.

“You must be a leader whether that is encouraging your guys or by being in the front during drills,” he said. “We had tremendous talent on both teams and a lot of us are playing at the next level right now. I love to compete, so my attitude was very similar in both sports.”

A 10-game regular season football schedule can be grueling and when the CIF Southern Section games are added, it was even more taxing for Hubbell, who was selected All-CIF and was named the Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year in football as a senior.

“It was tough my senior year because I hurt my back my last football game,” said Hubbell, who threw for 1,853 yards and tossed 27 scoring passes and ran for six touchdowns. “I had to miss the next week of basketball practice which killed me, because I was eager to get out there on the court. It took me a couple of games to get back in condition, but after that, it was smooth.”

Ultimately, the Indians’ postseason run during Hubbell’s senior year in football and basketball was incredible, even if each didn’t reach their final destination.

“We made it to the quarters that year [2015], but we did win the Pacific League,” Hubbell explained. “Looking back, it was a great experience because Burroughs hadn’t won a conference title in many years and haven’t won one since. I take pride in that even though we fell short of our real goal of a CIF championship.”

The Indians went 10-2 and 7-0 in league after routing the Bulldogs 47-21 in the regular-season finale.

Their season concluded when they fell to host St. Francis 21-7, in part because their best running back, Chance Bell, who is playing for San Diego State, was out with an injury.

The final regular-season contest against Burbank was something to behold. “Memorial Field was packed and we secured our Pacific League title,” Hubbell explained of its singular importance.

Several months later at the Indians’ gymnasium, Hubbell capped off his high school athletic career when Burroughs faced highly-ranked Santa Monica in the CIF semifinals, with a full house in attendance.

“We played against a guy named Jonah Mathews, who gave us the work and he just finished his career at USC, which is my favorite school, so it was salt in the wound every time I watch the Trojans,” he said. “But the atmosphere was crazy that night and I’ll never forget that.”

Mathews was almost unstoppable, scoring at will against the Indians, who lost 68-45 and finished 22-8 and 9-5 in league, hitting three-pointers, something that he would do at USC, where he broke the career school record with 247.

Hubbell said playing two demanding sports isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you have the desire, go right ahead.

“I’d say go play three [sports] if you have enough energy,” he said. “It may be mentally draining at times, but if you’re passionate about the sport then you could sacrifice a little. But just know that your summer’s will be all booked up. You will also make friends for life!”

Burroughs Football Stumbles Against Host Arcadia

By Rick Assad

Much was riding on the outcome of Friday night’s Pacific League football game between Burroughs High and Arcadia at Dick Salter Field.

The Indians trailed after every quarter, but did get their nose in front by one point in the second period and two points in the third quarter, however, in the end came up short, falling 36-28, and will enter the regular-season finale against Burbank (4-5 and 3-2 in league) at Memorial Field with a four-game losing streak.

The setback to Arcadia really stung because a victory would have greatly helped the Indians slip into the CIF Southern Section playoffs, but now it may not occur.

At this juncture in the 10-game season, every team is banged up, but none more so than Burroughs (5-4 and 1-4 in league), which is working with about two dozen healthy players.

Jon English, shown in a game versus Pasadena, didn’t score but paced the Indians on the ground. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re down to 25 guys. The only way we don’t make the playoffs is if we go 5-5. We’ve done the math,” Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said. “Our board looks like a mad scientist, but we have all the playoff things worked out and we have to go 6-4, which we knew we had to go 1-1 these last two weeks, but we have to put a whole game together.”

Against an explosive team like the defending league champion Apaches (4-5 and 2-3 in league), every able bodied player was needed.

Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia tried his best to rally the troops, throwing three touchdown passes and rushing for a score.

“We’re not stacking good days together during the week, we didn’t come alive like we did in the first five weeks, how we did, but to be honest, we’re 0-4,” Garcia said. “We haven’t beat anybody yet.”

Garcia, who passed for 141 yards and connected on 12 of 22, addressed the next game and the possible playoffs.

“We have to come back next week and hopefully the playoffs,” he said. “We should have beat that team. They’re not that good.”

A few of Garcia’s passes were dropped and he also overthrew some of his attempts. “There’s a few overthrows today. It is what it is. We’re down to like 20 dudes,” he said. “I’m not going to blame my arm. A few they could have caught and a few I overthrew. My receivers are trying out there.”

Nicholas Garcia accounted for four touchdowns against the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After falling behind 13-0, the Indians cut the lead to 13-7 when Garcia, who injured his right throwing arm in last week’s loss to Pasadena, found senior wide receiver Carson Cardenaz with a three-yard pass and 6:57 left in the second period.

This play ended a march that began at the Arcadia 43-yard line and ended 10 plays later.

Burroughs, which opened the season with five straight wins, recovered the onside kick at the Arcadia 38 and after four plays led 14-13 on a 35-yard throw from Garcia to Cardenaz (70 yards on six receptions) as 5:25 remained before halftime.

Garcia was able to drive the Indians (286 total net yards) from their 28-yard line and used eight plays, capping the trek with a 26-yard pass to senior wide receiver Aiden Forrester (53 yards on four receptions) that gave the Indians a 21-19 advantage and 8:46 left in the third frame.

A 10-yard carry from Garcia (49 yards on six rushes) with 1:05 remaining in the contest ended a 55-yard, 10-play excursion and sliced Arcadia’s lead to eight points.

The Apaches took the opening kickoff and meandered from their own 41 and capped the 10-play drive with a four-yard run from senior quarterback Michael Hillier (18 of 25 for 314 yards with one pick) as 6:51 remained in the initial period.

Following a punt that gave the Apaches the ball at the Arcadia 48, Hillier’s 26-yard screen pass to senior wide receiver Ty Cavallero (66 yards on six catches) with 10:58 left before the half made it 13-0.

Hillier’s three-yard burst with 27.2 seconds remaining in the second quarter gave the Apaches (437 total yards) a 19-14 edge. This drive came after a punt, consumed 45 yards and required six plays.

Arcadia vaulted ahead 22-21 on senior Simon Offstein’s 29-yard field goal with 4:28 left in the third quarter, finalizing a seven-play, 58-yard drive.

Cavallero’s one-yard run saw the Apaches slide in front 29-21 and ended a march that commenced at the Arcadia 18 and saw the hosts use 10 plays.

When the Indians, who are averaging 18.5 points while allowing 38.5 points over this four-game losing skein, were stopped on fourth and 12 at the Arcadia 30 on Garcia’s incomplete pass, six plays later senior tight end Chris Wilson (57 yards on four receptions) carried the ball one yard with 2:45 left in the fray that put the Apaches ahead 36-21.

Sophomore running back Jon English led the Indians’ running attack with 55 rushing yards on 19 carries.

 

Burroughs Football Can’t Catch Visiting Pasadena, 41-21

By Rick Assad

Too many costly turnovers and missed tackles in open space ruined any chance that the Burroughs High football team had of defeating Pasadena on Friday night at Memorial Field.

The end result was a 41-21 victory by the Bulldogs over the Indians in a Pacific League match.

Late in the contest, Burroughs senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia was hit fairly hard while trying to throw and was on the ground for several minutes.

Garcia, who tossed three scoring passes, also unloaded four interceptions, including one in the end zone, was wearing a sling over his right shoulder.

Nicholas Garcia had an off-night in a 41-21 loss to visiting Pasadena. Garcia injured his right shoulder late in the game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It is not known whether Garcia will be able to play in next week’s game at Arcadia.

“At the end of the day, it just comes down to effort in practice and that’s what we talk about all the time,” said one-time Burroughs wide receiver and current wide receivers coach Erick Hernandez. “We struggle to give a look against teams like Pasadena, CV and Muir. We’ve just gotta do better. We just gotta respond. Go harder, do more.”

Hernandez added: “There’s positive plays. I think you can positives in everything,” he said. “Obviously we had some good drives and we put some points up a little bit. Those are good points. At the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. You gotta put a whole act together to get it done and we’ve just fallen off. We’ve got to keep tugging, keep pushing and that’s it.”

The Bulldogs led 14-0 at the end of the quarter, but the Indians struck for a touchdown with 3:33 left to make it 14-7 before the intermission.

Jon English tries to get past a Bulldog defender. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Garcia drove Burroughs 80 yards which consumed 11 plays and the capper was an eight-yard toss to sophomore running back Jon English.

Burroughs (5-3 and 1-3 in league) sliced Pasadena’s lead to 21-14 when Garcia unloaded his second scoring pass, a 22-yarder to sophomore wide receiver John Alajijian (43 yards on four catches) with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter.

This scoring march began at the Burroughs 35-yard line and consumed six plays.

The Indians, after a 5-0 start, have lost three straight games, then scored their final touchdown on a 22-yard strike from Garcia (18 of 35 for 216 yards) to senior wide receiver Aiden Forrester (100 yards on five receptions) with 2:55 left in the game that cut Pasadena’s lead to 34-21.

Nicholas Garcia takes off running versus the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Garcia drove the Indians from the Pasadena 41-yard line and used three plays, and it was on this throw that he injured his shoulder.

English (64 yards on 18 carries and 43 yards on five receptions) was warming up and played quarterback on the Indians’ final drive, completing two of three passes for 19 yards.

Pasadena (5-2 and 2-2 in league) possess quick-score ability and it was on display several times against Burroughs (349 total net yards).

It wasn’t on the Bulldogs’ initial score as it took nine plays to move 75 yards, and Pasadena found the end zone when sophomore wide receiver Mekhi Fox (40 yards on five rushes) scooted around right end for three yards with 3:57 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

After Garcia was intercepted in the end zone on first down and the ball at the Pasadena 10-yard line, the Bulldogs required two plays and 70 yards in order to take a 14-0 lead when senior wide receiver Jahrique Lowe raced 55 yards at the end of the first quarter to make it 14-0.

It took three plays to traverse 53 yards after a pooch kick as the Bulldogs (439 total yards) bolted ahead 21-7 with the capper an eight-yard blast from Fox with 2:01 left before halftime.

After two plays, Pasadena led 27-14 as junior quarterback Dante Coronel (eight of 17 for 225 yards) found Lowe with an 80-yard screen pass and 35.2 seconds left before the break.

The Bulldogs located pay dirt when they drove from the Burroughs 34-yard line and needed five plays as Coronel hit senior wide receiver Akil Andrews with a 15-yard strike and 8:30 remaining in the third quarter for a 34-14 edge.

The tally was made possible after Garcia was intercepted on second and 13 from the Burroughs 29-yard line.

Pasadena extended its lead to 41-21 when senior running back Au’dante Bailey (101 yards on 14 carries and 11 yards on two catches) scooted 43 yards with 1:35 left in the match, ending a 50-yard, three-play drive.