By Nathan Cambridge
In Burbank, the “Big Game” means one thing: it’s time for Burroughs and Burbank high schools to meet once again on the football field for city bragging rights.
After a lackluster first half, the Bulldogs caught fire in the second half, surging to a 25-7 victory over Burroughs at Memorial Field Friday night in the final game of the season for both schools.
We’ve got to be resilient,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said he told his squad, which had not practiced much recently while in quarantine, at halftime. “We’ve got to shake off the rust and just finish.”
It was the 72nd renewal of the Big Game and it was all Burbank (1-3 overall, 1-2 in the Pacific League) in the second half as the Bulldogs shut out Burroughs (1-4 overall, 0-4 in the Pacific) and scored all 25 of their points after intermission.
“We got our feet underneath ourselves in the second half,” Bulldog quarterback Aram Araradian said.
Burbank trailed 7-0 after the first half, but the third quarter saw the Bulldogs find that footing. On its first possession of the third, Burbank marched 75 yards down the field in 10 plays for its first points of the contest. Araradian threw a 28-yard pass to Jagg Richer, who plucked the ball out of the air in the midst of two Burroughs defenders for the score.
Later in the third, the Bulldogs got the ball on a turnover when Lucas Sheppe jumped on a bad Bear snap. On the next play, Araradian passed to Brandon Pena for a 26-yard touchdown, giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the contest at 12-7 with 3:34 left in the third.
The Bulldogs also scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first was a seven-yard run by Dylan Robinson. The second came one play after Bulldog Alex Diaz-Infante blocked a punt; the scoring play was a two-yard run by Brayon Crawford. Crawford finished with 48 rushing yards on 14 carries. Robinson had 40 yards on 11 carries.
The Burbank defense tallied six sacks, with Sheppe recording a team-high three. Kuba Raymond, David Manko and Chase Bochard each had one, with Bochard’s coming on the final play of the contest.
Araradian finished 18 of 34 for 218 yards and the two scores. Richer had a game-high 97 yards receiving on eight catches. Pena had five grabs for 80 yards, Jarren Flowers had two catches for 28 yards, Kaze Gibbs had one catch for 17 yards, while KJ Boggs had two catches for nine By Nathan Cambridge Burbank Leader yards.
Burroughs quarterback Blake Dycus finished six of 15 for 52 yards. John Alajijian made three grabs for 23 yards, Jon English added two catches for 18 yards and Lucas Dotson had one catch for 10 yards.
Burroughs scored the first points of the game with 1:05 left in the second quarter on a sweep right by Luke Rogers from six yards out. Rogers finished with 88 yards on 18 carries.
“This is a really special game and it comes down to who wants it more,” Rogers said. “We came out flat in the second half.”
The all-time series now stands at 42-30 in favor of Burroughs since the schools first started playing the Big Game in 1949.