By Rick Assad
Carrying the football and being the primary ground-gainer across the last two seasons for the Burbank High football team meant that Isaac Glover was going to get hit on almost every play.
And if you include being a key blocker in the backfield, the recent graduate took a significant pounding.
Now think of falling down a short flight of stairs and getting to your feet and then doing this all over again.
In a nutshell, that’s exactly what a running back does and usually it’s without much complaint.
“Being hit isn’t the most fun thing, but I find a way to just have the motor to just get up and keep going after being tackled and while blocking, just to protect and guard the best I can,” said Glover, who rushed for a team-best 1,128 yards on 202 carries and scoring 15 touchdowns last season, said of his role in the offense.
But game in and game out, Glover, who also snared 14 passes for 112 yards with one score and will attend College of the Canyons in the fall where he will also play football, was always available to run with the football.
But let’s make certain, it was never about Glover, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 185-pounder who liked to run through tacklers.
“I always play to win. I always like to make sure everyone has their shine and everyone has that smile on their face after these games,” he said. “Winning is best when everyone’s happy.”
Across the last three seasons in which Glover was on the varsity, the Bulldogs have gone 22-14 overall, 16-4 in Pacific League games and have been in the CIF Southern Section playoffs all three campaigns.
In 2019, Burbank went 5-7 and 3-3 in league including a setback to Burroughs in what was a classic, 29-28, then drilled Don Lugo 40-20 in a Division VII first-round match, but lost to Serrano 35-13.
In the previous season, the Bulldogs carved out a 7-4 mark and forged a 6-1 record in league as they routed the Indians 54-20, but were knocked off by Glendora 56-35 in a Division V opening-round clash.
In 2017, Burbank ended its season 10-3 and 7-0 in league that included a 41-14 thrashing of Burroughs along with victories over Tustin 55-42 and South Hills 42-30 before losing to Don Lugo 28-7 in the Division VII semifinals.
Despite the worldwide presence of COVID-19 which has changed the way people live their lives, Glover, who ran for 1,804 yards on 313 carries for an average of 5.7 yards per carry while scoring 24 touchdowns over his three-year stint, has tried to maintain a good and positive attitude.
“In the beginning of the quarantine, I wasn’t really able to work out efficiently, but now I’m back in the gym and getting better and running,” he said. “My classes are still fine.”
First and foremost, Glover is a team player who wanted to do what was best for the entire squad.
“I do enjoy being able to consistently run the ball and being able to help my team drive down the field, but I never mind blocking and watching my teammates score,” he offered.
Burbank coach Adam Colman appreciates what Glover brought to the dinner table.
“Isaac’s persistence and sacrificing for the good of the team stood out for me,” he said. “Early in the year , when our team struggled, he had no problem stepping up in pass protection. He would do everything he could to give us time in the pass game and never complained about touches or anything like that.”
Colman continued: “At the end of the year, we had a bunch of injuries, so he had to play middle linebacker in addition to running back. That’s a huge task and yet he was able to run for over 200 yards in the first [CIF Southern Section] playoff game and really carried us down the stretch of the season.”
Football, like most sports, has the peculiar ability to bring people together, which is something that Glover likes.
“I love the bond it creates with people, the diversity it brings and just being able to show what you can do and I also like contact,” he said.
Glover looked at his job on the gridiron as being one in which he provided any and all services whenever they were needed.
“Just getting positive yards, anything I can do to help us move down the field,” he said of his role on the team.
As a junior, Glover carried the football 89 times and accounted for 497 yards with seven touchdowns.
And though Glover is a tough and rugged ball-carrier, he admitted that he would feel the pain afterward because it was accumulated over the course of a game and of course a season.
“Sometimes I’d be tired and to get it out of my mind, I’d just tell myself that we gotta score someway every single drive and to just keep going and pushing,” he said.
In Glover’s mind, a couple of games still resonate with him. “I’d say Don Lugo in 2019 because I set the [school] record for most yards in a playoff game and the third most in any game and against Glendale in 2017 because it was my first varsity game where I ran the ball and scored a touchdown and had 132 yards,” he said.
It seems that Glover, who rushed for 179 yards on 22 carries while tallying two scores as a sophomore, is most proud of the fact the team played well and that he was an integral component of that success.
“I am pleased with how it went. I shaped a great bond with my brothers, won some games and overall just matured and had fun doing something I love,” he said. “At Burbank High, Coach Colman really tries to create the better person more than creating the better player, which is most important.”
Reflecting on his high school career, Glover has very few regrets. “If I could go back, I’d take the weight room more serious, but other that, nothing really because everyone has a story and I’m fine with how my four years went with Burbank football.”