Tag Archives: Football

Burbank Football Can’t Keep Pace With Crescenta Valley, Lose 45-14

By Rick Assad

For the Burbank High football team, it was about time for its offense and angles for its defense when it faced Crescenta Valley.

Seemingly from the start, the Falcons were all over junior quarterback Aram Araradian, who had roughly three seconds to get rid of the football.

This is how it went on Burbank’s first series, which began at the Bulldog 29-yard line: senior running back Isaac Glover had a two-yard run. On second down, Araradian’s pass to junior wide receiver Brandon Pena went for no yards and on third down, Araradian was sacked for a six-yard loss.

The two defensive linemen chasing and harassing and causing nightmares for Araradian (13 of 26 for 250 yards with two interceptions) were 6-foot-7 senior Chuck Meyer and 6-6 Logan Tourville.

 

Quarterback Aram Araradian, shown in a win over Pasadena, had an off night against Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s defense needed to tackle better in open space and not allow Falcon receivers room to roam.

Neither occurred and as a result, Crescenta Valley remained unbeaten and coasted to a 45-14 Pacific League win over the Bulldogs at Glendale High’s Moyse Field on Friday night.

“Every phase of the game, mentally, physically, emotionally, they took it to us,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “They were hungrier than we were and that was evident.”

Colman added: “A lot of those seniors were sophomores and we’ve gotten them the last couple of years and they came out mad about that. They wanted to get back and be a championship team and set themselves up for a playoff run.”

There were two bright spots for the Bulldogs (242 total net yards) and the first was Araradian’s 56-yard scoring pass to Pena (122 yards on eight catches) with 1:52 left in the opening quarter that evened the game at 7-7 and closed a 75-yard, five-play trek.

The other was a one-yard carry from Glover (29 yards on 10 rushes) with 3:08 left in the fourth period that ended a 50-yard, two-play march as the Bulldogs (3-4 and 2-1 in league) cut the Falcons’ lead to 31 points.

For much of the evening, Araradian was running away from the Crescenta Valley defense which sacked him five times for minus-forty yards.

Crescenta Valley (6-0 and 3-0 in league) proved too good from the start as it moved ahead 7-0 when junior running back Sebastian DeLeon capped a 60-yard, five-play excursion with a one-yard run and 8:03 left in the first quarter.

Senior runnning back Isaac Glover, pictured in a recent Pacific League game, had a rushing score for the Bulldogs against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons were knocking on the door two possessions later, but senior running back Maximus Grant (109 yards on 22 carries and 65 yards on two receptions) fumbled at the Burbank two-yard line as the ball squirted into the end zone.

On its next series, Crescenta Valley, the CIF Southern Section Division X No. 1 ranked team, did score to make it 14-7 as senior quarterback Chase Center (13 of 18 for 252 yards) located senior wide receiver Angel Ochoa with a short pass which resulted in a 47-yard touchdown as 8:17 remained before halftime.

Ochoa, a defensive back, would add an interception and a 65-yard return with 4:21 left in the contest that made it 45-7.

“We’re talking about a team, in terms of Burbank, that was scary offensively, that highly-touted quarterback [Araradian], and he is good, I’m not saying he’s not, but once again you saw what our defense can do,” Crescenta Valley coach Hudson Gossard said of his stifling defense. “Late score at the end. We held them to seven points basically the entire game.”

With 2:51 showing before the intermission, Center (59 rushing yards on 12 carries) had the ball at the Crescenta Valley 47-yard line and six plays later hooked up with senior wide receiver Colby Rees (87 yards on four receptions) on a 20-yard strike as the Falcons’ extended their lead to 21-7.

The next time Crescenta Valley, which only punted once, had the football, it marched 61 yards on six plays and ended when Center drilled Rees with a 24-yard laser for a 28-7 edge as 45 seconds remained.

The Falcons (418 total yards) took the second half kickoff and made it 35-7 when Center hit Rees with a 22-yard scoring pass as 6:49 was left in the third quarter and finalized an 11-play, 67-yard drive.

When sophomore kicker Anthony Sharlakian converted a 30-yard field goal with 2:01 on the clock in the third period, the Falcons zoomed ahead 38-7.

Burbank’s next league match will be play on Friday at 7 p.m. when it hosts Muir at Memorial Field.

Burbank Football Starts Quick And Prevails 39-21 Over Pasadena

Rick Assad

When a quarterback has multiple targets at his fingertips, he’s likely going to rack up significant yardage and score multiple touchdowns.

Aram Araradian has that luxury as the left-handed throwing junior piled up 256 yards through the air in a 39-21 victory over Pasadena in a Pacific League matchup at Memorial Field on Thursday night.

Aram Araradian hands off to Isaac Glover, who had 150 yards and one score. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Araradian ended his night by completing 14 of 25 pass attempts with one interception and launched two touchdowns.

For good measure, Araradian also tacked on a five-yard rushing score that came with 1:49 left in the third quarter and shoved Burbank ahead 33-7, which finalized a 48-yard, five-play march.

“We knew we were playing a talented team, so we knew we had to come out strong,” Araradian said. “All our skill guys have trust in the line and faith in the line that they can get their stuff done and then we do our stuff, run, pass, whatever it is.”

Araradian, who carried the ball five times for no yards, said having so many exceptional players around him does make his job that much easier.

Aram Araradian gets tackled on a running play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I put the ball in the spot and they go and get it,” he said. “They’re guys that get yards after catch. It could be like a 10-yard pass and it goes 25, 30 yards.”

On this evening, Araradian’s favorite target was junior wide receiver Brandon Pena, who hauled in nine receptions for 188 yards.

Pena’s 19-yard catch on Burbank’s first possession made it 7-0 with 8:51 left in the initial period and it capped a seven-play, 40-yard drive.

Senior wide receiver Ben Burnham, who is another favorite target, chipped in with four receptions and 61 yards.

Burnham’s 25-yard scoring grab with 50 seconds left before halftime from Araradian, saw Burbank (3-3 and 2-0 in league) slide ahead 27-7.

Aram Araradian passed for two touchdowns in a 39-21 win over Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We came out and ready to go. But we executed and kept the drive alive,” Burbank coach Adam Colman explained. “The offense grinded it out. Stayed on the field.”

Colman then added: “We’ve got a lot of weapons,” he said. “When our ground game is working like it was tonight, you just kind of pick your poison. It’s really tough to stop. It puts a lot of pressure on the opponents. They’re all unselfish and about the team.”

Burbank’s ground attack was highly effective as senior running back Isaac Glover accounted for 150 yards on 29 carries, that included a pair of first-half touchdowns.

“Just overall team-work,” Glover explained on why Burbank prevailed over a much-improved Pasadena team. “We just executed on every single level. Moving the ball and executing. Everyone doing their job.”

Isaac Glover gets free on the right side and runs for yards. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What’s Glover’s approach each and every week?

“Watching film and seeing what they do,” he said. “Learning a new game every week.”

Glover’s six-yard romp into the end zone with 1:57 left in the opening frame made it 14-0 as Burbank drove 80 yards on 13 plays.

Glover’s second scoring tally was a four-yard blast with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter as the hosts pulled ahead 20-7.

On this drive, Araradian calmly and confidently marched the home team 92 yards which consumed 10 plays.

Araradian then positioned Burbank (414 total net yards) down the field after getting the football at the Pasadena 31-yard line and used six plays with senior running back Tyler Murphy (eight yards on five carries) scampering in from two yards and 8:21 left in the game that made it 39-14.

Pasadena (3-2 and 0-2 in league) has skilled players up and down its lineup and trimmed Burbank’s advantage to 14-7 when senior running back Au’dante Bailey (51 yards on seven carries) scored on an eight-yard run that ended the first quarter and finished a five-play, 58-yard excursion.

Bailey’s 68-yard kickoff return for a score for Pasadena (245 total yards) with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter sliced Burbank’s lead to 33-14.

When Pasadena sophomore wide receiver Mekhi Fox (92 yards on six rushes) raced 60 yards with eight minutes remaining in the contest, Burbank’s lead was reduced to 18 points.

Burbank, which began the season with losses to Moorpark at home and Golden Valley on the road, has now won three of its next four games.

Burbank’s next game will be Friday at Moyse Field on the campus of Glendale High when it plays Crescenta Valley.

Burroughs Football Has Spectacular Second Half, Beats Host Glendale

By Rick Assad

Over the course of a 10-game, regular-season schedule, there’s always some tough teams and a few others that aren’t as difficult.

For the Burroughs High football squad, when facing Glendale, it would fall in the latter category.

On Friday night at Moyse Field in the Pacific League opener, the Indians emerged with a resounding 49-6 win, but the opening half wasn’t as lopsided.

Nicholas Garcia uncorked three scoring passes in a lopsided win over Glendale. (Photo by Steve Garden)

The Nitros, who now have a four-game losing streak, fell behind 20-6 at the intermission, but it could have been much closer if not for a terrific defensive stand.

Burroughs, which is an impressive 5-0 and ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Division XI, scored 29 unanswered points in the second half to blow the contest wide open.

“Glendale played with a ton of passion and a ton of heart and I respect what Cary Harris is doing with that program,” Burroughs second-year coach Rand Holdren said. “They pushed us in the first half and we put it together and played a ballgame.”

Holdren said the week of practice leading up to Friday’s match could have been better.

Garcia hands off to Jon English, who had a rushing score and a receiving touchdown. (Photo by Steve Garden)

“We’ve got to work on executing,” he said. “That’s been our theme all year. We got a little lethargic in practice this week. We’ve put together a lot of good weeks in a row. We’ve got to learn how to win.”

After punting on its initial series, Burroughs had the ball after a Glendale fumble. It took one play for senior wide receiver Aiden Forrester to race 50 yards with 9:07 on the clock for a 7-0 lead.

“Our practice weren’t the best and you practice how you play,” said Forrester, who had 72 yards on two carries and one catch for 87 yards. “We didn’t do well in practice. In the second half, we were able to pull it together for that, even though score-wise, we won the first half, they really won the first half because we were shooting ourselves in the foot with mistakes. I feel like in the second half, we came out and executed.”

Burroughs coach Rand Holdren addresses the team during a time out. (Steve Garden)

The Nitros, who fumbled six times, fumbled on their next possession.

This miscue was turned into a 15-yard burst by sophomore running back Jon English (game-best 113 yards on 13 carries) that made it 13-0 with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.

The Indians (5-0 and 1-0 in league), who had two fumbles, extended their advantage to 20-0 when senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia (six of 14 for 180 yards) drove his team from the Burroughs one-yard line and capped the march with an 87-yard strike to Forrester as 5:54 remained in the second half.

The Nitros (98 total net yards) cut the deficit to 20-6 when junior quarterback Juan Estrada (five of 12 for 66 yards) hit senior wide receiver Ethan Aldrete (two receptions for 46 yards) with a 31-yard toss as four seconds remained in the period.

Lineman Isaac Reyes (No. 66) celebrates with his teammates after a key play against the Nitros. (Photo by Steve Garden)

Two possessions earlier, Glendale (1-4 and 0-1 in league) forced a Burroughs fumble at the Indians’ 48-yard line and marched to the one before Estrada was turned away on fourth down.

Early in the third period and the Nitros punting at their seven-yard line, the ball was snapped way over senior punter Edgar Ovasapyan’s head, who picked up the ball, but bobbled it.

Carson Cardenaz, a senior wide receiver/linebacker (30 yards on three catches), pounced on the ball and after Garcia (five rushes for 13 yards) ran the two-point conversion into the end zone, the Indians were ahead 28-6 with 9:22 left.

The next time Glendale had the ball, it was forced to punt as Burroughs (427 total yards) began its next possession at midfield.

It required just one play to score as Garcia tossed a well-designed screen pass to English, who raced 50 yards as 7:19 remained in the third period for a 35-6 edge.

After yet another Glendale punt, the Indians forged a 42-6 cushion when Garcia drilled sophomore wide receiver Vincent Harris with a 13-yard strike for his only catch as 1:37 was left before heading to the fourth quarter.

The Indians secured another Glendale fumble which was turned into a score as sophomore running back Carlos Andres Rodriguez (41 yards on 10 carries) found the end zone on a one-yard plunge, capping a five-play, 34-yard drive.

“Our main focus was to come out and execute and whatever the coach called, we were going to execute,” said senior offensive lineman Caden Cardenaz. “We ended up running a little bit more tonight and that’s what we did and we just executed.”

How can every player do better? “I watch film and I hope to communicate with other linemen and just work together to fix that up [mistakes] and make sure that we got the right calls so we know what we’re doing, so that we’re all on the same page, so that we can execute,” Cardenaz said.

The next league game will be Friday at 7 p.m. when Burroughs plays host to undefeated Crescenta Valley.

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

By Rick Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burroughs Still Unblemished After Beating Host Kennedy 41-24

By Rick Assad

Quick starts by the offense and a ferocious defense have helped the Burroughs High football team get early leads and remain undefeated through three games, including Thursday night’s 41-24 nonleague victory over Kennedy at Handel Stadium on the campus of Western High in Anaheim.

This was the first road game for the Indians, who came in having scored 105 points while allowing 30.

“We had to play the second half. So that was new,” said Burroughs coach Rand Holdren of being challenged over the last 24 minutes. “But we’re like everybody in the state of California, we’re thin. We’ve got some guys banged up. They need to get healthy. It all boils down to efficiency. We need that perfect game. We need to play and execute at the level that we can. We show flashes of it.”

Burroughs senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia had four scoring passes and a pair of rushing scores in Thursday’s 41-24 win over host Kennedy. (Photo by Steve Garden)

The Indians came out and found the end zone on their first series as senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia capped the 80-yard, 12-play trek with a 15-yard strike on fourth and goal to senior wide receiver Carson Cardenaz, who grabbed three scoring passes, as 6:46 remained in the opening quarter.

Garcia finished his work by throwing four touchdown passes and adding two rushing scores, but was intercepted twice, the first time he has been picked off this season.

The Fighting Irish (1-2) cut the lead to four points on a 35-yard field goal with 3:23 left on the clock in the initial period.

Garcia’s second scoring toss went to Cardenaz (85 yards on six receptions) and covered 14 yards as the Indians’ lead became 14-3 and 1:59 remaining in the second quarter.

The five-play drive began after junior wide receiver/cornerback John Alajijian recovered a fumble at the Kennedy 45-yard line.

Sophomore running back Jon English had a solid outing for the Indians. (Photo by Steve Garden)

Burroughs (3-0) spurted ahead by 18 points just before halftime when Garcia burrowed into the end zone from one yard out.

This march commenced at the Burroughs 45-yard line and saw the Indians use only four plays.

Kennedy (299 total net yards) then drew within 21-10 when Garcia (20 of 40 for 264 yards) was intercepted by junior defensive lineman Jequen Bedgood, who raced eight yards for the score with 11:32 left in the third quarter.

The Indians took control 28-10 when Garcia orchestrated a 12-play, 72-yard drive and eventually drilled Cardenaz on a five-yard strike and 7:12 showing in the third period.

“Pressure-wise, I don’t feel like it’s that bad,” said Cardenaz of trying to improve each week. “Coaches are hammering us and hammering us. That’s the only way we’re going to get better. Every week we’re going to come out in practice and try harder. As the weeks go on, we do have to get better. I feel like our team’s got this. We’ve got the confidence. Just focus and grind it.”

Cardenaz didn’t play football last season. Why did he return to the team this season? “I decided to come back because last year, when I took it off, I came to the games, of course to support my guys,” he said. “It was kind of hard watching them play without me. I realized how much I missed the games. I focused on hoops, and then I decided to come back.”

Junior Michael Pentland makes the tackle. (Photo by Steve Garden)

Burroughs extended its lead to 34-10 when Garcia’s four-yard laser found Alajijian with 2:44 left on the ticker in the same stanza.

The Indians (448 total yards) capped their offensive output for the evening with a one-yard keeper from Garcia and 1:38 remaining in the game on a 40-yard march that consumed six plays as the advantage became 41-10.

Kennedy rallied for two scores in the fourth quarter when senior field general Ryan Cathcart zig-zaged his way 49 yards to make it 41-17 as 10:05 was left.

Cathcart’s 65-yard pass to senior wide receiver Aidan Frieson with 5:40 left made it a 17-point deficit.

Burroughs will once again be on the road next week for a nonleague match on Friday against Harvard-Westlake.

Burroughs Football Waltzes Past Victor Valley, 46-12

By Rick Assad

 

One season ago, Luke Rogers was the go-to running back for the Burroughs High football team.

Older and wiser, Rogers was expected to fill in where he left off in 2019, but this will have to wait after he sustained a fairly serious knee injury in last week’s lopsided win over Hueneme.

Jon English had 147 yards and two touchdowns for Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Luckily, Burroughs has enough talent at running back to lessen the loss of Rogers as senior Adrian Leon and sophomore Jon English both contributed mightily and helped the Indians knock off Victor Valley 46-12 in a nonleague game on Friday night at Memorial Field.

“I liked that different guys are stepping up,” Burroughs second-year coach Rand Holdren said. “We had Jon English step up. We lost Luke Rogers for the season, we got a new running back [Leon] and he steps in.”

Holdren went on: “Defensively we’re swarming and we’re creating turnovers,” he said. “Efficiency is what we strive for. That is the goal. I believe Bill Walsh in his book said the score will take care of itself. We’ve got to be efficient. I want these guys to be the best team they can be. And they’re starting to realize they can be a good team.”

The Indians’ defense is like a swarm of bees. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rogers, a junior, was told by several doctors that the injury could take between eight and 14 weeks, but he still hopes to contribute.

“As far as the regular season goes, it might be a stretch,” Rogers said of returning over the next eight weeks. “I’m striving to play as many games as possible.”

This would mean the CIF Southern Section playoffs, and while the Pacific League won’t start until September 20 at Glendale, the Indians are undefeated after two games, so maybe there is a chance Rogers will play.

Though disappointed, Rogers feels fine. “I feel good,” he said. “It’s tough. Putting so much preparation and hope into this year. If it comes down to not playing this year, at least I have my senior year.”

Covering two nonleague games, Burroughs has allowed 30 points. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Leon (102 yards on 16 carries) ran for 75 yards on 12 rushes in the first half as the Indians bolted to a 33-6 cushion at the intermission and Leon’s five-yard spurt with 9:51 left in the initial quarter made it 7-0 as the drive began at the Jackrabbits’ 34-yard line and consumed five plays.

English (game-high 147 yards on 13 carries) had 55 yards in the first half and scored on a nine-yard run with 2:40 remaining in the initial frame as the Indians (2-0) surged ahead 14-0 as the hosts needed eight plays to trek 65 yards.

When English rattled off a dazzling 60-yard run on the first play of the third quarter, the Indians were in command 40-6.

“I’m very pumped about this game, but there’s much more to come,” said English, who added 60 yards on two receptions. “I just want to make the most of it so I came out and did what I did. Our whole team executed and that’s why I got the touchdowns.”

Victor Valley quarterback Isaiah Padilla scored two rushing touchdowns, but the indians made it a long night. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

English then added: “One game at a time. One win at a time,” he said. “I’m just going to do what the coach tells me.”

Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia had another stellar outing after tossing three touchdown passes and adding a rushing score.

Garcia, who has eight scoring passes, finished by connecting on 10 of 23 attempts for 201 yards and wasn’t intercepted.

Garcia’s 29-yard strike to junior wide receiver John Alajijian (33 yards on two receptions) and 10:49 left in the second quarter made it 20-0 and finalized a four-play, 37-yard drive and was made possible after a pick from sophomore defensive back Christopher Romano.

A four-yard laser from Garcia to Alajijian with 30.4 seconds left in the second quarter, capped a 51-yard, eight-play march that catapulted the Indians ahead 33-6.

A one-yard sneak from Garcia and 6:16 remaining in the opening half gave the Indians (466 total net yards) a 27-0 edge as he orchestrated a 69-yard, five-play march.

When Garcia spotted senior wide receiver Ellington Simmons for his only reception, a 22-yard pass and 5:54 left in the fourth period, Burroughs pushed ahead 46-6, ending a 90-yard, 11-play drive.

Victor Valley (1-1) was stubborn and came within 27-6 with 4:06 remaining in the first half as senior signal-caller Isaiah Padilla (31 yards on eight carries and eight of 22 for 101 yards and one pick) scored on a three-yard burst as the Jackrabbits (249 total yards) began the five-play drive at their 44-yard line.

Padilla’s one-yard sneak on the game’s final play, capped a 76-yard, seven-play march and trimmed the lead to 34 points.

The next time Burroughs plays will be Thursday at 7 p.m. on the road against Kennedy [La Palma] in Orange County.

Burroughs Begins Season With 59-18 Win Over Visiting Hueneme

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Williams Inaugural Football Camp Is Success

By Rick Assad

 

Football is a very physical game that requires not only brute strength, but also uncommon speed.

There are two types of speed. Straightaway or vertical that wide receivers, free safeties and cornerbacks have and quick bursts that also sometimes demand a change of direction that elite running backs possess.

James Williams, the best tailback in Burbank High’s long football history, had the latter and it was on display during a standout three-year career for the Bulldogs.

James Williams, a former Burbank High tailback and onetime Washington State standout, talks to the campers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In his junior season, Williams ran for 1,469 yards in 164 carries and set a school record with 22 touchdowns.

For good measure, Williams added 482 yards on 22 receptions with five scores.

Williams helped Burbank finish 10-3 overall and advance to the CIF Southern Section semifinals in the Southeast Division playoffs that campaign.

The ability to change direction on a dime was also evident when Williams, who redshirted as a freshman, played in the Washington State University backfield for three seasons.

For the 11 eager boys ages six through 16 at the first day of the three-day inaugural James Williams Football Camp at Kemp-Kallem Field on Tuesday, they learned how to explode off the ball and change direction.

Williams, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in late April, but was ultimately released, said it’s one of the most important things anyone who wants to play football can learn.

James Williams instructing young campers on the finer points of football. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I went there for a month,” said Williams of the Chiefs camp. “I was hurt the first three weeks. I pulled my hamstring. The playbook was crazy. But I was getting it. Everybody had the playbook a week before I did. I made the most of it.”

Williams, who is also expecting a baby, said there’s a possibility the Arizona Cardinals or Tampa Bay Buccaneers may call, but if they don’t, he has no regrets.

“I want to keep my options open. I want to finish school. I can’t look back,” he said.

Williams, who was a two-time All-CIF Southeast Division first-team pick, said that when he went to summer football camp, he felt somewhat out of place and a little bit lost because he didn’t know what to expect.

The youngsters are eager to learn about football, especially when it comes from James Williams. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The reason why I wanted to do it [his camp], I was sitting back and I was thinking about when I was a camper and I didn’t know a lot of the fancy things they were doing at the Notre Dame and Crespi Camp,” Williams said. “I was in the back of the line just trying to figure out what they were doing. I want to do a condensed version of the drills that I did in college and the league.”

Burbank coach Adam Colman, who played quarterback at Burbank, helped out during the day’s activities which began at 11 a.m.

“When James reached out about doing a camp, it was an awesome opportunity for the city and the kids especially,” Colman said. “Growing up here, there’s always a couple of camps here and there, but they’re usually parks and rec camps. And now you get a guy like James, who played at the highest level and has those experiences and someone all the kids look up to.”

James Williams hopes to continue his dream of playing in the NFL despite being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Colman continued: “He wanted to make sure to make it happen for them. To see the guys who came up from Burbank and represent the city and being really proud of being from Burbank and going to Burbank schools,” he said. “It’s not every day you get a guy who played at the college level and the pro level and pass on their knowledge and hope it trickles down.”

The three-hour camp commenced with the boys stretching and exercising for 25 minutes.

Williams, who came to Burbank from Toledo, Ohio, finished with 3,090 all-purpose yards for the Cougars, wants to give back and hopes to make his camp and annual event.

“My time here, it was amazing,” he said. “Burbank gave me a lot. So that’s why I’m doing this right now. They treated me like I belonged here. The same with Washington State. They treated me like I was already at home.”

Running drills and sprint drills were next on the agenda. Then four half-rounds were laid out on the field, one yard apart and were used for agility drills.

One of several water breaks followed before the youngsters faced their next challenge.

There were three cones set apart three yards. Williams, who ran for 1,443 yards with 17 touchdowns and tacked on 101 yards on 11 catches as a sophomore at Burbank and was tabbed the Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year, would then yell out a number which corresponded to the shortest distance, the middle distance and the longest distance.

For instance, Williams would say 3, 5 and 7. That meant they would run to the shortest distance and back. The middle distance and back and finally the longest distance and back.

Williams, who had 27 career touchdowns at Washington State, the fourth-most, would then change the numbers to make sure they knew which to run to.

For this drill, Williams said the key to doing it well and for maximum speed is to keep as low to the ground as possible.

The next assignment was to move between an obstacle with the football as they zig-zaged back and forth and then run toward a cone about 10 yards down the field. Again, this would help them with change of direction.

What followed next was one offensive lineman trying to hold off an oncoming defensive lineman who tried to get around his man and knock the football that was atop a tackling dummy.

The final event was a game between three receivers versus three defenders with Williams, who capped his time at Washington State with 1,583 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns along with 202 catches for 1,437 receiving yards and eight scores, dropping back and finding an open receiver. The ball moved down the field and eventually into the end zone.

Burbank Football’s Defense Shines Against Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

Two of the four best football teams in the Pacific League squared off Friday night at Memorial Field.

In what turned out to be a high-scoring game, Burbank High’s defense forced six turnovers and parlayed this into a 45-23 victory over previously unbeaten Crescenta Valley.

The Falcons came in ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division VII and are now 6-1 and 3-1 in league.

The defending league champion Bulldogs are 4-3 and 3-1 in league and were led defensively by junior strong safety Vincent Vang, who accounted for four takeaways, including three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Quarterback Matthew Porras running and gaining yards against Crescenta Valley Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Two of Vang’s picks went for touchdowns including a 70-yarder with 8:26 left in the first quarter that made it 14-0 and a 23-yarder with 1:28 on the clock  in the fourth for the game’s final points.

“This team’s got a lot of heart,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “They’re a family. But we’ve gotta finish. We’ve gotta finish. We’ve gotta finish games.”

Crescenta Valley senior quarterback Cole Doyle (11 of 22 for 121 yards) had a rough evening after getting picked off four times and fumbling once.

The Bulldogs, who along with the Falcons are tied with Muir for second place in league, scored on their first series as senior quarterback Matthew Porras (12 of 22 for 227 yards and one interception) directed the team 60 yards on six plays with the capper being a five-yard romp by Porras (71 yards on 14 rushes) with 10:01 left in the first for a 7-0 edge.

“We know that was the narrative they were preaching,” said Colman of the Falcons wanting revenge after last season’s 37-20 loss at Moye Field. “Our defense played amazing. The turnovers were huge. If our defense can make a statement, the offense feeds off that.”

Burbank’s defense forced six Falcon turnovers in a 45-23 win. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Doyle’s 13-yard scamper with just under three minutes remaining in the opening frame sliced the lead to 14-7.

But Doyle’s fumble recovered by Vang led to a 24-yard field goal by senior Andy Cardenas that made it 17-7 with 6:35 left before the half.

When Porras was called for intentional grounding and 10:06 in the third, the Falcons (386 total net yards) came within 17-9.

Burbank then answered when junior running back Isaac Glover (101 yards on 21 carries) scored on a three-yard burst with one minute in the third to make it 24-9.

“We just kept running and the O-line kept doing their jobs,” Glover said. “I think this was the best game we’ve had all season, besides Pasadena.”

With three games left on the schedule, the Bulldogs (429 total yards) are hoping to finish strong, but are also trying to stay in the moment.

Erik Harutyunyan had one of the four picks for the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“We’re going one game at a time,” Glover said of their mindset. “We don’t think ahead. Game-by-game. Play-by-play.”

Crescenta Valley, which will play Arcadia (5-2 and 4-0 in league) in the final week, trimmed the lead to 24-16 with 11:41 left in the fourth after Doyle (182 yards on 24 carries) dashed 44 yards for a score.

A three-yard toss by Porras to senior running back Max Mendieta and 7:05 on the ticker in the fourth pushed Burbank’s lead to 31-16.

The Falcons responded with Doyle hitting sophomore wide receiver Sebastian De Leon (20 yards on two receptions) with a seven-yard pass and 5:30 left that cut the margin to 31-23.

When senior running back Chadz Vang (30 yards on four carries) bolted in from four yards out and 1:55 left, Burbank’s lead was 38-23.

Burbank’s next league game will be Friday night at Muir with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Burroughs Football Plays Crescenta Valley Tough, Loses 28-7

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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