Tag Archives: Nicholas Garcia

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 dong 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 five times, then 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 (99 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 Edgar Ovasapyian’s head, who picked up the ball, but bobbled it.

Forrester, a defensive back, pounced on the ball and after Garcia (four 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.

Burroughs Football Ready to Put Recent Past in Rear View Mirror

The last three years have not been easy for the Burroughs High football team as the Indians have failed to move on to postseason play, something that has not happened since the days of playing in the Foothill League more than a decade ago.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

But the Indians plan to change that and get back to the days when being a regular playoff participant was customary.

Burroughs qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs eight of the first 10 years in the Pacific League after leaving the Foothill following the 2005-2006 school year.

“This team this year is a special group of guys that have come together. We focused on that in the offseason. We tried to build a cohesive group that, one wants to play together and two is having fun doing it,” second-year coach Rand Holdren said. “I think this team is capable of a lot of special things this year. It’s been a joy to coach this group. This staff has put in a lot of hours this offseason. I think it is the best staff in the Pacific League and they are giving their all and the kids have put (the work) in. It has been extremely productive this offseason.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Burroughs was very young last year when it went 2-8. Thus the Indians have a lot of talent back from that squad.

Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia (5-foot-10, 171 pounds) takes over the role full time this year after seeing time at the position last year and has greatly improved according to Holdren.

Junior running back Luke Rogers (5-8, 181) returns as the Indians’ main tailback, the same role he played last year.

Garcia will have lots of passing targets. Senior Ellington Simmons (6-3, 196) and sophomore Elijah Aldana-Pere (6-2, 165) offer large targets.

Seniors Aiden Forrester (6-0, 185) and Carson Cardenaz (5-10, 164) will play in the slot and offer quick options. Some may remember that Forrester returned the opening kickoff against rival Burbank for a touchdown last year.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The offensive line is solid led by senior Allen Arriaga (6-3, 246). Caden Cardenaz (5-5, 174) will play center. Sophomore Jose Olivares (6-2, 244),  senior Eric Quintero (6-1, 225), senior Michael Pentland (6-4, 195), junior Brandon Sowers (6-3, 240) and senior Henry Diaz (6-1, 218) will fill in for the rest of the line.

Defensively, the Indians are led by Forrester, who will start at safety. Simmons will also see time at safety. Senior John Alajijian (5-8, 140) should hold down a spot in the secondary along with Aldana-Pere. Seniors Clayton Stricker (6-0, 144) and Diego Castellon (5-6, 135) are two more solid defensive backs.

Diaz, who is a captain, will lead the group of linebackers. Carson Cardenaz also figures to be part of the linebacking crew, as will Rogers.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The defensive line will include many of the same players on the offensive line. Oliveros, Pentland, Sowers, and Quintero figure to be the key players rushing the opposing quarterbacks.

Holdren said he knows getting back to the playoffs won’t be easy, but he is optimistic.

“Burbank and CV are always going to be tough. Muir is stacked. You don’t know what is going on at Arcadia. That will be interesting,” Holdren said.  “I know Glendale has put in a lot of work this offseason. I like our chances in the league this year. This is going to be a fun year. This is an exciting team to watch.”