Tag Archives: Football

Traveler Visits McKinley Elementary Ahead of USC – UCLA Game

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

On Thursday, November 16th, staff and students at William McKinley Elementary school participated in their annual College Rivalry Day. The day centers around another big event that takes place every November: USC vs. UCLA.

During the class recess, students were encouraged to go out the playground where they were able to take part in a variety of activities. The majority of the students each had on shirts or jerseys representing their favorite team. To help kids get into the spirt of Los Angeles’ Crosstown Rivalry, two large speakers were set up on the far side of the field. The speakers played one of College Football’s most iconic songs, Tribute to Troy, which is USC’s fight song. As the fight song played, kids ran relay races, threw footballs, visited booths to representing each college, and waited in line to pet USC’s official mascot, Traveler, who was also there in attendance.

The storied history behind Traveler began in 1961, when he and his rider appeared in USC’s first home game of that season against Georgia Tech. As the story goes, USC’s director of special events saw Richard Saukko riding his white horse, Traveler I, during the 1961 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. By the fall of that year, Saukko and his horse were doing laps inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. From 1961 to 1988, Saukko himself would train and ride each iteration of Traveler. After his death, the Saukko family continued the tradition until 2003. Starting in 2003, Joanne Asman took over seeing the tradition through. Since the original Traveler in 1961, there have been several iterations of USC’s mascot, with the current horse, named Traveler IX, completing its first football season this year.

Photo By: Kelsie Hernandez

This year, Raymond Juarez, a parent who has children attending William McKinley Elementary, organized the event. Juarez, who also organized the event last year, said his favorite thing about putting the event together is “getting the college exposure to the kids and just making sure they’re exposed to the two powerhouse colleges that we have here – UCLA and USC – and just to build that college experience that hopefully they’ll have later on.”

The program, which is over six years old, is always planned for the Thursday before the big game, but is not limited to just USC or UCLA school spirt. Much of the staff also sported different college tees, increasing the exposure of a variety of universities among the young students. According to Juarez, past organizers and his team always try to help from outside resources to make the event special for the kids. “Our big help is the Burbank Print Center,” said Juarez, “Joanne and her team really helps us out, and we do reach out to UCLA and USC, to try to get any items from them.”

At the end of the day, the program was a success. “The McKinley school community had a great time meeting Traveler, the team, and adding to great USC and UCLA memories”, said Juarez.

USC is set to host UCLA at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 PM, PST, and will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN. USC leads the overall record between the two teams at 48-31-7.


Burbank Football Pulls Off Another Playoff Stunner

Duplicating last season’s effort wasn’t something many thought possible for the Burbank High football team.

Drew Pendleton gets in on a sack of South Hills quarterback Khalil Ali. (Photo Courtesy Doug Brown)

Now the Bulldogs are just one away from making a trip back to the CIF Southern Section championship game.

Friday night Burbank stunned top-seeded South Hills of West Covina 42-30 at Covina District Field in Division 7 quarterfinal matchup.

“We were supposed to be a 5-5 team maybe. To tie the school record for wins, to win a league title and go to the semis now, that’s awesome,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “That’s dedication, hard work and perseverance. I’m so proud of them.”

Burbank will now play at Don Lugo of Chino in a semifinal rematch from last season, which Burbank won 44-14.

South Hills (10-2) came out strong and actually led Burbank 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

But things changed when RJ Stearns threw an interception that was returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Kaydon Spens. Stearns also suffered an ankle injury and did not return.

Darnell Williams carries the ball for Burbank. (Photo Courtesy Doug Brown)

South Hills appeared to not be shaken by the loss of its starting quarterback as it answered with an 87-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Khalil Ali to Nicholas Lariviere. That put the Huskies ahead 17-10.

But Matthew Porras rallied Burbank (10-2). His touchdown with 6:27 left in the first half tied things at 17.

Burbank took the lead on a safety that came as a result of a fumbled ball on a punt attempt.

On the ensuing drive, Porras found fellow junior Duncan Smith wide open for a 50-yard touchdown.

Andrew Rovira later kicked a 43-yard field goal to make it 29-17. Rovira was successful on all four of his field goal attempts. He also connected from 41, 31 and 25 yards.

Late in the game he was injured when a South Hills player ran into him on a punt attempt, which resulted in a penalty against the Huskies.

Drew Pendleton on one of his 10 catches. (Photo Courtesy Doug Brown)

Burbank began the second half with a pair of Rovira field goals to make it 35-17.

Following a South Hills touchdown, Porras scored from one yard out with 5:28 to play to make it 42-23.

The Bulldogs got huge performances from seniors Drew Pendleton and Darnell Williams.

Pendleton had 10 receptions for 169 yards and Williams had 137 yards rushing in 20 carries.

“I think both years we came in with a chip on our shoulder because they were ranked higher and everyone thought they were going to win,” Pendleton said about defeating South Hills and Northview of Covina last season, also at Covina District Field.

Burbank Football Coach Colman Honored By Chargers

By Rick Assad

For the Burbank High football team, the season actually begins during the dog days of summer in July and August and concludes sometime during the chill of November.

The Bulldogs fashioned an 8-2 overall mark and own a 7-0 record in the Pacific League, capturing the title undisputedly.

One of the benefits of a successful campaign is playing host to Tustin at Memorial Field in a CIF Southern Section Division VII first-round playoff game.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another came on Thursday at the quad when the Los Angeles Chargers presented Adam Colman with a plaque and a check for one thousand dollars as its high school coach of the week.

Colman, the first-year head man was surrounded by his team, teachers, administrators, students, the marching band, cheerleaders, a pair of Chargers cheerleaders and D’Mario Carter, an intern with the Chargers Community Relations Youth Football Department.

The Chargers selected Colman after Burbank’s 37-20 upset victory over then-undefeated Crescenta Valley on Oct. 20 at Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

“Definitely unexpected. When Pat [McMenamin] told me I was a little shocked,” said Colman, who played quarterback for the Bulldogs and graduated from UCLA, but didn’t play football. “It’s a cool honor. But it’s not just me. It’s a staff thing. A team thing. This is all because of [Richard] Broussard and it’s all because of what he’s built here. Any time a coach gets an honor, it’s a whole staff award and this is a staff that [Broussard] built.”

Colman’s staff includes Manuel Lemus, defensive coordinator, Rob Ashby, defensive line coach, Pete Roses, linebackers coach, Kevin Hefner, wide receivers coach, Marvin Reyes, defensive backs coach, Douglas Pierce, running backs coach, Jim Summy, offensive analyst, Joe Manasewitsch, offensive line coach and Fred, assistant coach.

Adam Colman gets a handshake from Burbank High Principal Mike Bertram. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Colman added: “We say family and that word gets thrown around a lot in sports,” he said. “There’s a family feel around here.”

Also on hand was Patrick McMenamin, co-athletic director along with Bruce Breeden, who most-recently coached the girl’s basketball team.

“This is a special day for Coach Colman and our football program,” McMenamin said. “I think it speaks to the buy-in that he’s created with our kids and our program and it’s nice to be recognized by an organization as good as the L.A. Chargers.”

McMenamin went on: “In that CV game we started off with a 27-0 lead,” he said. “Our kids were well prepared and that doesn’t happen without a strong coaching staff. We studied up on CV. They’re a well-coached and strong team.”

Senior wide receiver/linebacker Drew Pendleton has been a key contributor to Burbank’s success and is pleased that Colman received the recognition.

“It means a lot because we tried to do it last year [win the division title] and we couldn’t do it,” Pendleton said. “To get it this year, it means a lot. I really didn’t think the Chargers would show up. There’s a big desire because we’re not satisfied with winning the league. We want to go on and win the championship.”

Junior running back Chadz Vang has also had a crucial role this season and thinks the team will do well in the postseason.

“Feels like we’re back in the CIF again,” Vang noted. “Feels like last year’s championship against Yorba Linda, but it’s the first game of the playoffs,”

Vang said that Colman has guided the team in the right direction since the initial practice began.

“Each day, since the beginning of the summer, it’s very hot. No one’s used to it,” he said. “We get through. Like a team. Like a family. Yes, it’s worth it.”

After Thursday’s award ceremony, one would think that Colman would wholeheartedly agree.

Burroughs, Burbank Football Ready to Clash on Friday

By Rick Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reily is quietly confident in his staff and team.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peters also toils at linebacker and defensive back.

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

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

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

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

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

By Rick Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colman knows the Bulldogs will be challenged by the Indians.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burbank Football Blows Out Crescenta Valley, 37-20

By Rick Assad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colman also praised the defense and specifically the defensive line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burbank Football 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.