Burroughs Dominates Westchester, 21-6

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The John Burroughs High School’s varsity football team bounced back from a season-opening loss to dominate visiting Westchester of Los Angeles, 21-6, on Friday, Sept. 10, in a nonleague game.
The host Bears controlled the game early, scoring twice in the first half and once in the second en route to their first win of the young season.
“After last week, we were disappointed about how we came out, so it felt good to … perform better than we did last week,” said Jesse Craven, Burroughs’ head coach.
It was a quick and scoreless first quarter as Burroughs could not find the end zone while its defense limited Westchester to minimal gains.
The Bears started rolling on the first play of the second quarter. Senior Nate Howland-Chhina scored Burroughs’ first touchdown with 11:53 to play on a 21-yard run. Sophomore Brodie Kemp successfully converted the PAT, his first of three on the evening, to make it a 7-0 score.
With 1:30 left to play in the second quarter, Howland-Chhina recovered a Westchester fumble. He later scored his second touchdown of the contest on a 15-yard run with 1:03 left to play, and Kemp successfully converted the PAT for a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Quarterback Blake Dycus threw a beautiful pass to senior Elijah Aldana-Pere, whose 10-yard run added a third touchdown for a 21-0 cushion with 8:46 left to play in the third quarter.
Westchester finally got on the board late in the third quarter in what would be the last scoring drive of the contest.
“The offensive line improved from last week,” Craven said. “Nate [Howland-]Chhina ran the ball really hard. Elijah Aldana-Pere, he had a big game at receiver. Across the board, it was a good, solid team win.”
The Bears’ offense was far superior to Westchester’s. Howland-Chhina led the charge not only with his energy but with his performance, too. He rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns. Junior Marcus Manahan played carried 15 times for 62 yards. He also had an apparent touchdown called back on a penalty. Rounding out the offense was senior Jackson Goodley, who rushed for 34 yards.
Dycus had a notable performance, completing nine of 17 attempts for 57 yards. Sophomore Ryan Hernandez had five catches for 34 yards, and senior Jake Guy and Aldana-Pere each had two catches for 12 and 11 yards, respectively.
Burroughs’ sturdy defense limited Westchester to only one scoring drive.
“The defense, across the board, altogether played really well,” Craven said. “Back-to-back weeks, our defense played really tough. Right now, it’s kind of an anchor point for us and our team.”
Senior Angelo Toscano finished with five tackles (three solo, two assists) and added a sack. Senior Gerald Garcia (three solo, four assists) and Howland-Chhina (three solo, two assists) followed close behind with seven and five total tackles, respectively. Sophomores Noah Frenkel and Aiden Berryman, and seniors Jose Oliveros and Joseph Solis (one assist) each added one tackle, while senior Mitchell Markou and Manahan had one assist each.
“I’m happy,” Craven said. “It was our first home game, the fans could be here, and it was good to have them here. We’re excited. Hopefully, we continue to build off this for the rest of the year.”
The Bears (1-1 overall record) were scheduled to play Hueneme High of Oxnard last night. The game was too late for the Leader’s press deadline but will be included in next week’s issue.