No Burbank High football team in its long and proud history has played a game in the middle of August, but on Friday night at Memorial Field, that’s exactly what took place.
The Bulldogs, who won the Pacific League title and reached the CIF Southern Section Division VII semifinals in 2017 and the Division VIII championship game the year before, opened up the new campaign on a high note by taking out Monrovia 45-12 in a nonleague match.
Burbank senior quarterback Matthew Porras was nothing short of spectacular.
Porras is a dual threat capable of churning out significant yardage on the ground.
Against the Wildcats, Porras threw for 256 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.
Five of the scoring tosses came in the first half as the Bulldogs scurried out to a 32-0 advantage and were never headed.
Monrovia (97 total net yards) came out in the second half and scored on a 90-yard kickoff return by sophomore cornerback/strong safety Adam Perry.
The Wildcats then cut the deficit to 32-12 when junior running back Maury Rams IV (13 yards on seven rushes) scored on an 11-yard burst with 9:05 left in the third period.
“We came out a little flat,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of the start to the second half. “This is the third year in a row they’ve run a kick back on us. We gotta watch more film. It’s a first game after an eight-month layoff.”
Other than that, it was simply all Burbank, which extended its lead to 38-12 when Porras tossed a 19-yard strike to tight end Duncan Smith (four catches for 80 yards) with 5:36 showing, finalizing a nine-play, 73-yard march.
Burbank’s lead became 45-12 when senior offensive lineman Matthew Sanchez recovered the ball in the end zone with 6:22 left in the fourth period after Porras (98 yards on 19 carries) ran to the one-yard line, but fumbled.
The scoring parade started when Porras, who completed 19 of 30 passes, drilled senior running back Chadz Vang (53 yards on three receptions and 51 yards on seven rushes) with a 23-yard toss as 10:02 remained in the first quarter for a 6-0 cushion and capped an 85-yard, six-play march.
“He played incredible,” Colman said of his field general. “That’s what you come to expect from him, being Player of the Year and everything. He’s a competitor. He’s highly intelligent. He understands what we’re trying to do and what the defense is trying to do.”
When Porras found Smith with a 35-yard aerial and 8:18 left in the initial frame, the advantage became 13-0.
After Porras located Vang with a 14-yard bullet and 11:53 left in the second quarter, Burbank’s margin was 20-0 as the Bulldogs (449 total yards) drove 76 yards and used six plays.
Porras then hooked up with senior running back Max Mendiata (41 yards on 12 carries) with an 11-yard pass and 6:18 showing as the Bulldogs pushed ahead 26-0 after moving the ball from the Monrovia 46-yard line while consuming nine plays.
The Bulldogs ended the opening half with a 10-yard offering from Porras to junior wide receiver Ben Burnham (three catches for 51 yards) with 14.4 seconds on the clock as Burbank marched 54 yards over 14 plays.
Senior wide receiver Erik Harutyunyan snared four catches for 30 yards, while junior tight end Seth Jones hauled in four receptions for 34 yards for Burbank, which will travel to Moorpark for a nonleague game next Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.