Tag Archives: Football

Burbank Football Shoves Aside Pasadena, 42-0

By Rick Assad

It took the Burbank High football team one series in order to set the tone and score its first touchdown.

Five more touchdowns followed and a 42-0 rout of Pasadena was on in a Pacific League match Thursday night at Memorial Field.

Junior quarterback Matthew Porras and Drew Pendleton connected on three scoring passes.

Drew Pendleton grabbed three scoring passes in a 42-0 shellacking of Pasadena. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

“He stepped up huge,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of his senior wide receiver and linebacker, who had a game-best 160 yards on five receptions. “You see the raw talent. You can see the work he’s put in. He’s a workaholic and it shows in his play.”

Porras added a fourth touchdown toss and finished with 266 yards on 19 of 23 pass attempts.

Burbank (5-2 and 4-0 in league) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Porras located Pendleton with a 32-yard strike and 8:16 left in the opening quarter that capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive.

Burbank’s advantage became 14-0 on a 43-yard pass from Porras to Pendleton with 2:54 on the clock in the same period that ended a 62-yard, three-play march.

“We want to do that every game,” said Pendleton of the early lead that swelled to 21-0 at the intermission. “We had fun tonight. We got the early lead and we were in the driver’s seat and then we do whatever we want.”

Quarterback Matthew Porras threw four scoring passes. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

That tally was made possible when senior defensive back Kaydon Spens intercepted senior quarterback Randy Santellan (nine of 25 for 106 yards with three interceptions).

Spens had another pick that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown with 6:57 left in the third quarter, but it was called back after a roughing the passer penalty.

Junior defensive back/wide receiver Erik Harutyunyan snared four passes for 23 yards and also contributed an interception.

Darnell Williams accounted for only 12 yards on four carries because of an ankle injury. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

When Porras unloaded a 27-yard toss to junior tight end Duncan Smith (64 yards on six catches) and 10:55 left in the second quarter, Burbank’s lead became 21-0.

On Pasadena’s first possession of the second half, senior defensive lineman Anthony Lira scooped up a loose football and returned it 43 yards for a score and a 28-0 lead with 9:55 remaining.

The score was set up after senior defensive back Christian Fajardo’s jarring tackle.

Pasadena (1-6 and 1-3 in league) fell behind 35-0 with 7:06 remaining in the third period on a 74-yard pass from Porras to Pendleton, who did most of the work.

Pendleton had an interception and also contributed a pick that resulted in a 28-yard score with 3:56 left in the opening frame, but was nullified on a roughing the passer penalty.

Burbank ended its scoring with a 16-yard scamper from sophomore running back Isaac Glover (39 yards on 10 rushes) as 2:54 remained in the contest.

Burbank’s defense was hard-hitting in a 42-0 shutout of visiting Pasadena. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Junior running back Chadz Vang had 22 yards on five carries and caught three passes for 19 yards.

Senior Darnell Williams chipped in with 12 yards on four rushes after injuring his ankle.

Pasadena was limited to 68 total net yards in the opening half and finished with 169 yards while Burbank had 360 yards.

Senior Andrew Rovira added six extra points, but missed a 52-yard field goal that sailed wide left with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs have a showdown next Friday at Glendale’s Moyse Field with a 7 p.m. kickoff when they meet Crescenta Valley, which is also undefeated in league play.

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

By Rick Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burroughs Football Loses To Muir, 30-20

By Rick Assad


Forced to go deep into the quarterback well, junior varsity signal-caller Nathan Piper was asked to lead the Burroughs High football team.

That’s a great deal to ask of a youngster who has never taken a snap at the varsity level.

Still, there were positive signs for the future, but playing on the road against a good team isn’t easy and the results were varied as the sophomore had trouble moving the ball through the air, but wasn’t intercepted in a 30-20 loss to Muir in a Pacific League game on Friday night.

More importantly, the setback put a severe dent on the Indians’ plans to make the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Burroughs (4-5 and 3-3 in league) will play its regular-season finale against city rival Burbank at Memorial Field on Friday with a 7 p.m. start.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Chance Bell, shown here against CV, ran for a game-best 167 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns in 30-20 loss to Muir. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs are no longer undefeated in league play after falling at home 35-21 to Crescenta Valley, who are in first place with a 6-0 record.

Senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda said before the game that he expects to play against Burbank.

Burroughs trailed 12-0 after the first quarter and was outscored 12-7 in the second frame.

“We made some adjustments at halftime both offensively and defensively,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We thought it worked out well for the most part.”

Reily added: “We got off to a tough start. We had bad snaps and we made some errors. We shot ourselves in the foot.”

But the Indians came within 10 points with 17.4 seconds left in the contest when senior tailback Chance Bell scored from one yard out.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Quarterback Hayden Zepeda, who missed game against the Mustangs, hopes to play versus Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The march started at the Burroughs 24-yard line and it consumed nine plays.

The Indians scored their initial touchdown when Bell barreled in from 14 yards out and 9:21 left in the second quarter as Muir (353 total net yards) saw its lead trimmed to 18-7 on an excursion that began at the Burroughs 32 and took seven plays.

“I’ve been hurt all season,” said Bell, who finished with a game-best 167 yards on 35 carries. “I’m willing to sacrifice my body for the team.”

Bell, who had 110 yards in the second half on 23 rushes, chimed in with the second of his three touchdowns, a two-yard romp that made it 24-14 with 6:15 left in the third quarter.

Piper (five of 11 for 58 yards) directed the Indians (221 total yards) on a 65-yard drive that took 12 plays with Bell carrying the ball 10 times for 44 yards.

Muir Coach Antyone Sims said he knew that Bell, who will play for San Diego State, would carry the heavy load.

“Chance is a special player,” he said. “We game-planned for him to carry the ball.”

The Mustangs (5-4 and 3-3 in league) received a pair of scoring tallies from junior running back Jonathan Stephens.

When Stephens located the end zone from two yards out and 3:59 left in the opening frame, Muir led 6-0.

Stephens added a five-yard burst with 2:05 left before the intermission to make it 12-0.

Senior wide receiver Elijah Blades (54 yards on four receptions), who has committed to the University of Florida, had a 22-yard reception with 5:14 left in the second quarter that made it 24-7.


Burroughs Football Can’t Find End Zone, Lose To Crescenta Valley, 38-9

By Rick Assad


Good fortune wasn’t shining down on the Burroughs High football team when it faced Crescenta Valley at Moyse Field on Friday night.

Senior tailback Chance Bell injured his ankle in the opening half and senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda missed the second half with a right knee injury as the Indians lost 38-9 in a Pacific League showdown.

The Indians (4-4 and 3-2 in league) could muster only three field goals from junior kicker Jonathan Rivas.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Tailback Chance Bell (#22), who hurt his ankle talks with injured quarterback Hayden Zepeda. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons (7-1 and 5-0 in league) have given up 29 points in league play and will face Burbank, ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Division VIII and undefeated in league, on the road Friday.

“We made good adjustments at halftime,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We just had bad luck [with the injuries]. I was happy with the kids in how they battled. They were playing inspired football.”

Reily said Bell, who holds the school career rushing mark, wanted to play. “He’s a team-first guy,” he said.

Rivas’ first kick was a 22-yarder and came with 6:41 left in the initial quarter that cut the Falcons, ranked No. 10 in Division VI, advantage to 7-3.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bell was kept out of the end zone by the stubborn Falcons defense. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

When Rivas converted from 42 yards out and 27 seconds left before the half, Crescenta Valley’s cushion was shaved to 24-6 and his 43-yard attempt with 9:31 showing in the third quarter made it 24-9.

Bell battled and finished with a game-best 235 yards on 35 carries, but didn’t find the end zone.

It was a tough evening all around as the Indians managed just 298 total net yards.

Zepeda hit on seven of 15 pass attempts for 62 yards, but was intercepted by junior defensive back Grady Schilling, who returned the ball for a 45-yard touchdown and 3:18 left in the second quarter as the Falcons pulled ahead 24-3.

“If my MCL is only sprained, then I’m going to play in the next game [versus Muir],” Zepeda said. “If not, then I want to play in the Burbank game.”

Zepeda also said the offensive scheme was sound. “We had a good game play,” he pointed out. “But injuries happen. They’re part of the game.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior field general Hayden Zepeda about to pass the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Once again, Reily wanted to pass the football knowing the Falcons were going to key on Bell, who came into the contest having scored 25 touchdowns.

“We wanted a well-rounded game plan,” he said. “Spread the ball around.”

On Crescenta Valley’s first series, it drove 65 yards and was capped off by junior running back Joe Suh (team-best 155 yards on 16 carries), who had a 51-yard dash that made it 7-0 with 11:03 on the clock.

Senior kicker Alex Atanackovic’s 39-yard field goal with 4:10 left in the opening period ended a 53-yard march as the Falcons (338 total yards) took a 10-3 lead.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley’s defense is stifling, allowing three field goals in a 31-point win. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore quarterback Cole Doyle found senior wide receiver Will Rees with a 14-yard strike and 6:45 remaining before the half to make it 17-3.

With 6:25 showing in the third quarter, the Falcons then darted ahead 31-9 on Doyle’s one-yard keeper, ending a drive that began at the Crescenta Valley 22-yard line and consumed nine plays.

It became a 29-point spread after an 18-yard jaunt by sophomore running back Daniel Cho with 2:42 left in the contest.

The Indians will face Muir on the road on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Football Eases Past Glendale, 64-7

By Rick Assad


Because the Burroughs High football team was playing Glendale on Thursday night at Memorial Field, the coaching staff decided the team would be more diverse offensively.

It was in a sense, but old reliable, senior tailback Chance Bell, had another outstanding effort as the Indians routed the Nitros 64-7 in a Pacific League contest.

Bell ran for 332 yards on 16 carries which equaled his career-best total earlier this season against Hoover. For good measure, Bell also scored six touchdowns.

But senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda connected on 10 of 15 attempts for 106 yards and unloaded two touchdowns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda passed for 106 yards and two touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“Our game plan was to come out and throw the ball,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We feel comfortable with our run game, but we wanted to make an effort to throw the ball.”

A running clock began with one minute left in the second quarter after Burroughs led by 50 points.

The Indians (4-3 and 3-1 in league) pulled ahead 35-7 in the first quarter and then added 22 points in the second quarter.

Bell’s one-yard carry with 10:06 left capped a 60-yard, six-play drive to make it 7-0.

It was 14-0 after Bell’s 49-yard jaunt and 8:58 on the clock, and became 21-7 with 6:48 showing on a 10-yard Bell burst.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior tailback Chance Bell equaled his career best with 332 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“The line and receivers are doing a great job for me,” said Bell, who had six carries of 20 yards or more. “Everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Burroughs (479 total net yards) took command 28-7 after a Glendale (1-6 and 0-4 in league) punt traveled minus eight yards as the drive started at the Glendale 10.

Three plays later, Bell, who had 285 yards at the intermission on 12 carries, found the end zone on an 11-yard dash with 5:12 showing.

On the next series, the Indians scored on Zepeda’s 13-yard aerial to junior wide receiver Gavin Aguilar (44 yards on four catches) with 1:07 remaining to make it 35-7.

The Nitros were held on fourth and seven at the Indians 17-yard line, which set up Bell’s 83-yard sprint that included several zigs, zags and field reversals before he danced into the end zone with 8:59 left before the half.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Ben Peters added a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior Jonathan Rivas was set to boot the extra point, but senior reserve signal-caller Gabriel Pellot instead added the two-point conversion to make it 43-7.

Bell was asked if he can see the holes before they open up.

“The game does slow down for me,” he said. “When I find the hole, I go for it.”

When Zepeda found senior wide receiver/running back Sammy Duran with a 10-yard toss and 7:22 on the clock, Burroughs darted ahead 50-7.

The Nitros were again stopped on fourth down, this time they needed two yards for the first down from the Glendale 28-yard line.

It took Bell one play to scamper in from 27 yards as 5:53 was left before the break and the Indians held a 57-7 lead.

The cushion became 64-7 when junior running back Ben Peters (35 yards on six rushes) delivered a six-yard run with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Glendale’s only tally was a 74-yard pass from junior quarterback Sebastian Gonzalez to junior wide receiver Luis Alvarez about four minutes in the opening period that cut the lead to 14-7.

Burroughs travels to Glendale High’s Moyse Field on Friday night for a match against Crescenta Valley. The game commences at 7 p.m.

Burbank Football Has Record-Setting Outing, Beats Hoover, 77-16

By Rick Assad


It took eight plays from scrimmage for the Burbank High football team to score three touchdowns.

The lead was 28 points heading into the second quarter as the Bulldogs capped the night with a record-scoring performance en route to a 77-16 Pacific League victory over Hoover on Thursday at Memorial Field.

Senior quarterback Guy Gibbs connected on 19 of 22 passes and finished with 386 yards.

“I want to thank my linemen,” said Gibbs, who had four first-half touchdown passes. “They give me the time to throw. We executed really well in the first half.”

Gibbs said despite the lopsided score, Hoover is much better than in year’s past. “They did improve a lot. They came out and played.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Quarterback Guy Gibbs tossed four touchdowns in 77-16 win over Hoover. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (4-2 and 3-0 in league) compiled 531 total net yards while limiting the Tornadoes to 177 yards.

A running clock was initiated early in the third quarter.

“We wanted to get after it,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said. “We wanted to play with effort. We executed what we do in practice. I think we should always score when we do that [execute].”

The running clock should have begun at the start of the third as the Bulldogs were ahead 56-13.

It took three plays and 52 yards for Burbank to lead 7-0 when junior running back Darnell Williams (40 yards on four carries) found the end zone on a four-yard run and 11:47 left.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nick Warren (#6) shaking hands with lineman Scott Breslin. Warren scored three touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead became 14-7 after a two-play, 58-yard drive when Gibbs found senior wide receiver Forest Fajardo (game-best 188 yards on seven receptions) with a 40-yard strike as 9:55 remained.

A three-play, 30-yard march ended when Gibbs found Williams (32 yards on three catches) with a 16-yard toss and 7:06 left on the clock for a 21-7 lead.

With 1:40 remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were ahead 28-7 when Gibbs located Fajardo with a 29-yard missile.


Forest Fajardo caught seven passes for 188 yards and two scores. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead was extended to 35-7 with 19.8 seconds left in the opening period when senior defensive lineman Mathew Villagran blocked a punt which senior linebacker Jake Kelley recovered in the end zone.

It ballooned to 42-7 when senior running back Quinton Smith fumbled at the Hoover 31-yard line which Villagran pounced on.

Four plays later, senior running back Nick Warren (29 yards on eight rushes) ran it in from three yards out as 9:29 remained in the second quarter.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 42 points when Gibbs drilled senior running back Andy Reyes with a 27-yard bullet and 3:53 on the clock.

The Bulldogs took a 56-13 advantage into the locker room after Warren scored on a four-yard burst and 20.6 seconds left.

Is this what you call  Face masking??? and not called.   (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Darnell Williams running hard. Williams had 40 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive interceptions led to touchdowns to begin the second half as Hoover sophomore quarterback Andrew Rangel (six of 18 for 101 yards) was picked off by junior defensive lineman Anthony Lira, who returned the ball 64 yards to make it 63-13 with 11:36 on the clock.

With 10:28 showing, Villagran raced 32 yards after an interception to make it 70-13.

“Our defense played well and really boosted that number [points],” Broussard said.

Senior running back Joey Miller (40 yards on two carries) added a 29-yard scamper and 5:27 left in the third quarter that made it 77-13.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Gibbs can also run with the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Tornadoes (3-3 and 0-3 in league) scored on a 78-yard sprint from Rangel (46 yards on eight carries) with 10:34 left in the initial period that evened it at 7-7 and Rangel’s 20-yard toss to junior running back Maurice Herrera (five yards on three carries) and 3:19 left in the second quarter cut the lead to 49-13.

Senior Johnny Hernandez booted a 32-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the final quarter to make it 77-16.

The Bulldogs will host Arcadia next Thursday in a league match with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Receiver Hernandez Was Smart And Effective

By Rick Assad


When the Burroughs High football team needed yards through the air, wide receiver Erick Hernandez was the man for the job.

During his three-year varsity career at Burroughs, Hernandez proved to be a dependable and clutch receiver, finishing with 83 catches for 1,284 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Hernandez, named Pacific League first-team, Offensive Player of the Year and All-Area first team as a senior, added a pair of non-receiving scores for a total of 24.

Hernandez isn’t especially tall at 5-foot-11 or big at 165 pounds, but was quick and often found holes in the defense that allowed him to snare 36 passes for 532 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs wide receiver Erick Hernandez putting on a move against Pasadena. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

It just so happened that the Indians advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals and Hernandez was a major factor in the team’s success.

The season opened with a road setback to powerful and talented Calabasas, and then saw Burroughs win nine straight regular-season games and two in the playoffs before losing to host St. Francis 21-7.

Hernandez, who will play football for Division I-AA St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, could catch the short and intermediate pass, but his specialty was the long toss.

“The deep passes have always been my favorite,” said Hernandez, who snared 32 passes for 564 years with 10 touchdowns, eight via receptions and was named the Burroughs Most Valuable Player as a junior. “I get to have a lot of freedom with what I do on the deeper routes as far as setting up the defender. So my speed, route running ability and hands showed on those deep routes.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez was a dynamic two-way player and will continue his career at St. Francis University. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs went 11-2 and 7-0 in league play for the undisputed title.

“I thought we put Burroughs back in the spotlight,” Hernandez said. “We showed we can compete with extremely talented teams like Calabasas and we showed perseverance throughout the entire season because we were able to win a lot of games without certain key players who were injured.”

Hernandez, an Exercise Physiology major, continued: “Overall I was happy with the outcome of the season, but I do wonder what would have happened had we stayed healthy.”

Aside from his wide receiver duties, Hernandez also played in the secondary. “I have always felt comfortable playing receiver,” he noted. “I had a very aggressive mindset because I always felt like I was in control. On defense I felt that the best thing I could do was to go 100 percent all the time for the benefit of the team, even if I was somewhat uncomfortable on that side of the ball.”

Hernandez always tried to outthink the defender. “I think the best trait I brought to the FEAST was my football IQ,” he said. “That was also due to the years of experience I had on the varsity.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez (#2) in action versus city and Pacific League rival Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Facing rival Burbank on the gridiron was an experience unto itself.

“The first two years I played Burbank on the varsity level the nerves got to me a little bit and I wasn’t comfortable,” Hernandez admitted. “This year was very different because of the teammates I was surrounded with. I felt complete confidence in myself as well as the team. I came out with a very different attitude for that game and just my senior year in general. I felt like I matured a lot over those first two years on varsity, which all came together my senior year.”

A pair of victorious league encounters remain imbedded for Hernandez. “The two games that stood out to me most my senior year from a personal stand point is definitely Arcadia and Burbank,” he noted.

The Indians actually trailed 14-0 early but came back for a 47-21 victory in the regular-season finale over the rival Bulldogs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez and teammate bask in the glory after a touchdown. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Why was Hernandez, whose favorite routes were the comeback and post, able to fully blossom in 2015?

“As far as being a receiver, my wide receiver coach Dwayne Frampton definitely took my game to the next level,” he said. “What set me apart my senior year was the extra work I did in the offseason and lifting with my trainer Thomas Abich. And obviously a lot of credit goes to my coaches at Burroughs who spent countless hours with the team and myself day in and day out.”

The Indians played before several large crowds at Memorial Field. Did Hernandez hear the cheering throng?

“As far as the crowd, I could only really hear certain people when I was on the sideline,” he offered. “The constant roar I heard on the field felt like silence my senior year, but after we scored or made a big play, of course I heard the roar of the crowd. I appreciate our fans more than anything. The support we received my senior year was tremendous. It made this past year very special.”

Awunganyi And Garcia Have A Day To Remember

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


It’s unlikely that Burroughs High’s Robert Awunganyi or Branden Garcia will ever forget the day they signed their letter of intent to play college football.

This Wednesday on campus, Awunganyi signed with Colorado State while Garcia inked his name to play for Tabor College.

Tabor is a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and is a four-year private Christian liberal arts school in Hillsboro, Kansas.

Awunganyi, a wide receiver and free safety, was a threat to find the end zone from anywhere on the field, while Garcia, a middle linebacker, led the Indians in tackles the last two seasons, and was a fierce competitor who wasn’t afraid to get on players who were slacking.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Robert Awunganyi (left), Keith Knoop and Branden Garcia (right) on their signing day. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

What was it like on signing day? “It was fun,” Awunganyi said. “I went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up only once, but then I went back to sleep.”

Awunganyi went on: “I got to school at 7 a.m. and I signed at 2:15 p.m. in the quad. It’s a new chapter in my life.”

Indeed it will be for the transfer from Riverside Arlington, who played only one season at Burroughs, but whose impact was felt from the day he arrived on campus.

“The first day we saw him, we knew that he had all the tools to play football at a high level,” said longtime Burroughs coach Keith Knoop, who recently retired of the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Awunganyi. “The only question was, how long would it take for him to learn the offense and defense. But he picked it up fast.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Awunganyi, who will attend Colorado State and Garcia, who will attend Tabor College, show their letter of intent. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Awunganyi, who has a 3.6 grade-point average, had scholarship offers from Illinois, Kansas, University of Texas El Paso, San Diego State, San Jose State, Wyoming, Idaho, UC Davis, Hawaii, Fresno State and Stony Brook in New York.

Garcia, at 5-8 and 200 pounds, was highly decorated and was recognized for his play as he was named second team All-Pacific League and All-Area.

A leader and captain, Garcia led the defense in tackles the last two seasons and posted 78 total tackles this season, including 12 solo.

“Branden was part of that great senior class and was a leader on the junior varsity team as a sophomore,” Knoop said. “He called the plays on defense and made sure that everybody was lined up properly. He’s a great young man.”

How did Colorado State stand out in Awunganyi’s mind? “It’s mostly the coaches and how they interacted with the players and how they treated me when I had my recruiting trip,” he said. “The coaches made it real easy for me.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Back-to-back leaders. Garcia was a defensive stalwart while Awunganyi could do everything. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Mike Bobo is the Head Coach and the Rams finished 7-6 this season including a 28-23 bowl loss to the University of Nevada.

Awunganyi’s and Garcia’s play helped the Indians finish 10-2 overall and 7-0 in league action, while reaching the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals.

Because there was so much talent on this year’s squad, Awunganyi, who has been timed at 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, his numbers are impressive but not eye-popping.

Awunganyi caught 15 passes for 239 yards with two touchdowns and carried the ball four times for one score.

But it was when he had his hands on punts and kickoffs that Awunganyi really shined.

On 14 kickoff returns, Awungani accounted for 454 yards and two touchdowns and on 14 punt returns, he had 272 yards and one score.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Garcia and Awunganyi display their college caps on signing day. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Was there one thing that stood out during Awunganyi’s football season?

“The thing I’m probably going to remember the most was playing with a new team. They were all great and so were the coaches. That team played hard.”

Did one game stand out? “That would be the Burbank game,” Awunganyi said. “I’ll cherish that memory for a long time.” The Indians prevailed over their city rivals 47-21.

No doubt it’s going to take special and unique players to replace Awunganyi and Garcia.

Mike Reily Ready for New Role at Burroughs

By Jim Riggio

The Burroughs High football team might have a different person wearing a head set this fall, but things don’t figure to be too much different now that Mike Reily has stepped in as the head coach in place of Keith Knoop.

Knoop stepped down after 19 years as the head coach following last season and Reily, a longtime assistant, was recently promoted into the head job.

Mike Reily is the new Burroughs football coach.

Reily, who graduated from Burroughs in 1994 and earned a scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, returned to his alma mater to teach in the social sciences department 15 years ago. He has been an assistant football coach for 14 of those 15 seasons.

“Over the course of time I’ve served several different roles,” said Reily, who academic all-conference honors three times while at UNLV. “I’ve coached the offensive line for all 14 of those years. I’ve coached the defensive line for a handful of those years. This past season I served as (Knoop’s) his offensive coordinator. For the last handful of years, I’ve been the assistant head coach. “

Reily, who was in an offensive lineman in his playing days, said he and Knoop have for years shared the duties of running football conditioning before the start of the regular school day the last few years.

“Even though football season is over, I still look after them every day,” said Reily, who was a second-team Western Athletic Conference selection at a junior at UNLV. “We’re excited, fired up and moving forward and ready to get to work.”

Reily, who also teaches economics, said the promotion isn’t something he was looking for in particular.

“This is something I never knew if it was going to be in my future, but when Keith stepped down that opportunity presented itself and I decided to take it,” Reily said. “Keith has been fantastic. He’s been coaching for 24 years and 19 as the head coach. You aren’t going to find many places where a guy has been the head coach in one place for 19 years. It’s pretty rare these days. He’s been a great mentor to me and he’s one of my best friends. He’s been a good example of how you do things over the years.”

As a result, Burroughs won’t look much different under Reily.

“There’s a few things I’ll try to put my touch on, but we’ve had a successful program,” Reily said of changes. “I don’t see any reason to make any drastic changes. Things have been moving smoothly.”

Burroughs, Burbank Football Teams Receive More Honors

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


As expected, the honors continued to spill in for both the Burroughs High and Burbank football teams as 23 combined players and one coach were named to the All-Area team.

Keith Knoop, recently retired after 19 years as the Indians’ leader and who collected his 100th career win this season, was selected Coach of the Year, while 14 of his players were tabbed, including eight on the first team.

They include senior quarterback Steven Hubbell, who threw for 1,820 yards with 27 touchdowns.

Hubbell, a shooting guard on the boys’ basketball team, added six scores and 250 rushing yards while leading Burroughs to the Pacific League title with a 7-0 mark.

The Indians, who had a 10-game winning streak, advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals, but lost to St. Francis on the road.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Keith Knoop, recently retired as the Burroughs football coach, was named the All-Area Coach of the Year. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Also on the squad was junior tailback Chance Bell, who ran for an area-best 1,378 yards with 23 rushing scores.

Bell, who had six receptions for 83 yards, was also named All-CIF and Pacific League Player of the Year, and helped the Indians finish 10-2.

Senior wide receiver Erick Hernandez was another All-Area first team member after snaring 36 passes for 532 yards with 13 touchdowns. Hernandez was a Pacific League first team selection.

Also making the All-Area first team was senior wide receiver/defensive back Robert Awunganyi, who had 1,079 all-purpose yards, three interceptions with 38 tackles, and was named to the Pacific League first team and was an All-CIF pick.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior quarterback Steven Hubbell accounted for 33 touchdowns. Hubbell was named to the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Another member to the All-Area first team was senior offensive lineman Anthony Garcia, who was the Co-Pacific League Lineman of the Year and an All-CIF selection.

Senior offensive lineman Bryce Martinez, who was named the other Pacific League Lineman of the Year, was also selected to the All-Area first team.

Senior linebacker Connor Garden (six sacks, 66 tackles, two picks and one fumble recovery) was selected to the Pacific League first team, was an All-CIF member and an All-Area first teamer.

Senior defensive lineman Cole Gurley, who was tabbed the Pacific League Co-Defensive Player of the Year and All-CIF selection after posting 59 tackles and 10 sacks with one fumble recovery, was also an All-Area first team member.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior tailback Chance Bell had an all-area best 1,378 rushing yards with 23 touchdowns. Bell made the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Making the All-Area second team from Burroughs was senior wide receiver Cade Borland (36 receptions for 430 yards with four scores) along with senior offensive lineman Justin Gonzalez, who was named to the Pacific League first team.

Also making the All-Area second squad was senior linebacker Branden Garcia (78 tackles) and senior defensive back Devlin Jimenez (three interceptions, one and a half sacks with 59 tackles), who was selected to the Pacific League second team.

Other Burroughs players making the All-Area second team were senior defensive back Jarret Wrobel, who was named Pacific League second team after posting 52 tackles with five picks and junior offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain, who was named to the All-CIF and Pacific League first team.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank defensive back Andy Reyes set a school record for tackles with 132. Reyes made the All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which went 6-5 and 5-2 in league play, fell to Compton Dominguez at Moyse Field in Glendale in the opening round of the CIF playoffs, was also represented on All-Area first team and they include junior defensive back/wide receiver Forest Fajardo, who was tabbed Pacific League first team.

Fajardo had five picks with 57 tackles and added 24 receptions for 372 yards with seven scores.

Junior linebacker Andy Reyes, who was named Pacific League Co-Defensive Player of the Year and All-CIF while setting a school record with 132 tackles, also had four sacks and four fumble recoveries, was also was picked for the All-Area first team.

Making the All-Area second team was senior wide receiver Max Weisman, who was named Pacific League first team and had 25 receptions for 369 yards with four scores, senior kicker Andrew Hank (43 of 46 extra points with two field goals) and senior defensive lineman Jha’rod Horhn (44 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles), and was named to the Pacific League first team.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Forest Fajardo excelled offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. Fajardo was tabbed All-Area first team. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Other Burbank players who made the All-Area second team were senior linebacker David Medrano, a Pacific League second team pick who had 82 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery and junior offensive lineman Tim Han, who was named to the Pacific League first team.

Also making the squad were junior defensive back Miguel Vasquez, who was tabbed Pacific League second team and collected 61 tackles, one pick and two fumble recoveries and sophomore tailback Darnell Williams, who finished with 585 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 14 passes caught for 146 yards and is a member of the Pacific League second team.