Tag Archives: Max Mendieta

Burbank Football in a Good Position Again

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

A pattern has developed for the Burbank High football program and that’s a good thing.

The team is generally young and talented in odd years and championship ready in even years.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Things don’t figure to change in 2019 as Burbank looks like it has more than enough talent to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs for an eighth consecutive year.

Burbank once again has a number of solid underclassmen to go along with a solid but not as spectacular senior class.

“(There’s) a lot of guys that played important roles on last year’s team. They weren’t the guys getting their names in the paper or scoring the touchdowns necessarily, but they know what it takes, which is nice,” third-year head coach Adam Colman said. “Varsity isn’t a new experience for them. It is something that they are used to. They have a little chip on their shoulder to show now that we belong. It’s a fun group to coach. There’s a lot of competition. We’ve got a lot of positions that are two deep, two to three deep at most.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Most notably gone from last season’s 7-4 squad are quarterback Matthew Porras (Whitworth University) and two-way stars Erik Harutyunyan (UC Berkley) and Duncan Smith (Fresno State).

They won’t easily be replaced.

Junior left-handed quarterback Aram Araradian (6-foot, 175 pounds) takes over for Porras but is hardly new to the role as he has seen game action on the varsity each of the last two seasons.

Senior running back Issac Glover (5-9, 195) who missed part of last season due to injury is back at full strength and will be the main threat out of the backfield. Junior Max Mendieta (5-7, 165) could also see time carrying the ball.

Araradian’s passing options are solid with senior Ben Burnham (6-1, 175), junior Brandon Pena (5-10, 165) and sophomore Jack Sapyta (5-10, 155) all returning.

Senior Vincent Vang (5-3, 125) is a slotback who will replace older brother Chadz Vang, who graduated.
Senior Devin Householder (6-3, 200) will take over the tight end position that was held down by Smith for the last two years.

The offensive line returns two starters in senior center Armando De La Cruz (5-7, 250), who will be a three-year starter, and senior Craig Rushton (6-2, 265).

Senior Seth Jones (6-2, 270) , who spent time at tight end last year, will also fill a role on the line. Juniors Rene Amirian (6-1, 235) and Danny Akopyan (5-9, 220) figure to also see significant playing time on the line. Another name to look for is sophomore Jakob Zuniga (6-2, 275), who transferred from Hoover since the Tornadoes will not play varsity football the next two seasons.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The defensive line will boast many of the same players who are also on the offensive line along with senior Thomas Chiaravalle (5-8, 205) and sophomore Steilen Varga (5-10, 265).

The linebacker core is led by senior Tyler Murphy (5-8, 185). Mendieta, Glover, and Householder also figure to see time as linebackers.

Others to watch for are juniors Austin Blacano (6-3, 225), Kube Raymond (5-10, 185) and Lucas Sheppe (6-1, 205).

In the defensive secondary, senior Ian Miller (5-10, 165) leads the way. Juniors Owen Cusumano (5-10, 165) and Jarren Flowers (6-0, 175) are also both very talented. Vang, senior Oaklee Spens (5-6, 150), senior Shawn Wilson (6-1, 170) and junior Kaze Gibbs (5-5, 145) figure to add depth.

Colman said there is no clear favorite for the Pacific League title.

“It is going to be very competitive across the board. Pretty much every team has improved since last year,” he said. “Top to bottom there are no sleepers. Everyone is going to be competitive. I could see it shaking out four or five different ways.”

 

 

 

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.

Burbank Football Wins Glenoaks Bragging Rights Over Hoover

The battle over bragging rights along Glenoaks Boulevard actually took place on Glenoaks for a change Friday night when Hoover High visited Burbank, which played an on-campus game for the second consecutive year.

The Bulldogs were once again successful on their home turf, as they defeated the visiting Tornadoes 44-26 in a contest that had many delays due to a number of penalties on both sides.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“It actually feels like a home game. There’s actually some buzz. It isn’t an empty stadium,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “We came out strong in the first quarter, which is what we needed. It’s good to get that momentum going into league.”

The contest got heated at times and the intensity was reminiscent of a rivalry game.

“It is what it is. Sometimes things get heated. They’re building something there at Hoover and they’re trying to get on the winning track and get that big statement win,” Colman said. “I thought they (Burbank players) did a good job of keeping their composure for the most part. We’ve got a big game next week and we don’t want guys missing.”

Burbank (2-2), which plays Arcadia in a crucial league contest next week, jumped out to a 30-0 lead and cruised the rest of the way. The Bulldogs led 44-12 at halftime.

Sophomore Max Mendieta opened the scoring on the third play from scrimmage by running in from a yard out.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Mendieta finished with nine carries for 142 yards and three touchdowns.

Burbank starting quarterback Matthew Porras completed six of nine passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns. He did not play in the second half.

Receiver Erik Harutyunyan had three receptions for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Duncan Smith had two receptions for 38 yards and scored on a 27-yard pass from Porras.

Hoover quarterback Mathis Richards was 18 of 27 for 151 yards. The Tornadoes are 1-3.

Burbank Football Looking for a Ring

The last two seasons have been arguably the best in school history for the Burbank High football team.
The Bulldogs still have a nice core intact from last season’s Pacific League championship team that went on to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs. A few players remain from the 2016 team that played for the Division 8 CIF title game.
So the level of expectation is quite high once again for Burbank, under second-year head coach Adam Colman.
The Bulldogs moved up two divisions and will now play in Division 5.
“Whatever division we got put in goes without saying we want to win a ring. We’ve gotten really close the last two years. When you get that close you can taste it,” Colman said. “(Winning) League is obviously a goal, but that’s a stepping stone to bigger things. We all want to win a ring. Whatever division we are in we can’t control that. All we can control is what we do on the field.”

Matthew Porras will lead the Burbank offense once again in 2018. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Quarterback Matthew Porras was the co-Pacific League Player of the Year a season ago. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound quarterback who threw 30 touchdowns and over 2,600 yards a year ago, lost a few passing targets, but will still have a great one in senior Erik Harutyunyan (6-2, 190). Harutyunyan has been a star on both offense and defense the past two seasons. An outstanding student and a three-sport athlete, Harutyunyan should be on the radar of every Ivy League school.

Erik Harutyunyan is a three-year starter on both sides of the ball. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The other big target Porras will have is senior tight end Duncan Smith (6-4, 240) who has offers from many major colleges, many of which are in the Mountain West Conference. Junior Ben Burnham (6-1, 175) is another receiver who could shine.
Colman said sophomore Brandon Pena (5-10, 165) could be a star if he continues to work hard.
Running the ball, Burbank returns senior Chadz Vang (5-5, 140) who is extremely quick and changes direction very easily. Junior Issac Glover (5-9, 195) will give Burbank a back who can pick up yards in short yardage situations.
Freshman star running back Jack Sapyta (5-10, 140), who is also an accomplished sprinter in track and field, is expected to begin the season on the junior varsity team along with sophomore quarterback Aram Araradian (5-11, 170). Araradian saw time on varsity last season and is ready to go if needed.

Duncan Smith gives Burbank a huge target at tight end. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank’s offensive line will be led seniors Kris Azizkhani (6-2, 300) and Esper Alsayegh (6-0, 260). Seniors Matthew Sanchez (5-11, 240), Oscar De La Cruz (5-10, 220) and junior Armando De La Cruz (5-9, 225) figure to fill out the rest of the group that will look to push the Bulldogs down the field.
Burbank’s defense line will be strong again, despite the loss of star Anthony Lira to graduation.
Karo Koshkaryan (6-3, 235) is a returning all league pick. Joining him will be Smith and Azizkhani. Also in the mix are juniors Seth Jones (6-2, 240) and Devin Housholder (6-1, 190).
Burbank is a little younger, but still very talented in the linebacker position.
Sophomore Max Mendieta (5-8, 185) is an excellent student and Colman said he has a “Nose for the ball.”
Sophomore Austin Blacano (6-2, 210), junior Tyler Murphy (5-9, 190) and senior Alejandro Martinez (6-1, 190) also figure to help out as linebackers.

Kris Azizkhani figures to play a key role on both sides of the ball for the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Harutyunyan clearly leads the secondary and will be looking forward to matching up against Moorpark star and USC commit Drake London, when the teams meet in a nonleague contest in Burbank’s second game.
Junior Vincent Vang (5-6, 150), junior Ian Miller (5-10, 170), Burnham, Pena and sophomores Owen Cusumano (5-10, 155) and Jarren Flowers (6-0, 165) are all fighting for playing time in the secondary.