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Burbank football stumbles against Moorpark

MOORPARK — There will be plenty of time for the Burbank High football team to digest what occurred Friday night.

Burbank dug itself an early hole and couldn’t recuperate in a 44-21 nonleague road defeat against talented Moorpark.

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Where to begin for the Bulldogs, who opened the season Aug. 17 with a 42-12 nonleague win versus Monrovia.

“We’re going to need to practice better,” said Burbank coach Adam Colman, whose team will have a bye before taking on Hart to close out nonleague play Sept. 7 at Memorial Field. “We were flat all week in practice and we made a lot of mental errors. The mistakes we made tonight on special teams and with blocking are fixable.

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“We’ll have to slow down and get back to the basics. We fell behind early against Moorpark, which is an awesome team and they have a lot of great players.”

The Bulldogs, who won the Pacific League championship last season for the first time since 2009 and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division VII semifinals, looked out of sync in the first quarter. Poor special teams play by Burbank helped Moorpark (1-0) jump out to the early advantage.

With Burbank set to punt on its opening drive at its own 25-yard line, an errant snap went over the head of the Burbank punter and the ball rolled into the end zone. Moorpark’s Ethan Gomez pounced on the loose ball for a safety and a 2-0 lead for the Musketeers.

Moorpark, which finished runner-up in the CIF Southern Section Division V championship contest last season against Paraclete and is ranked No. 5 in Division III, made it 9-0 on a four-yard run by Alecsander Powell with 10:04 remaining in the first quarter.

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Powell caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Sturgill to give the Muskateers a 16-0 lead with 6:01 to go in the first quarter.

Sturgill, who completed 10 of 12 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to USC-bound receiver Drake London to extend the advantage to 23-0 with 3:51 to play in the quarter. Moorpark closed out the first-quarter scoring on a five-yard run by Michael Holland with 13.5 seconds left to make it 30-0.

London finished with four catches for 82 yards.

“We take pride with our strength and conditioning,” Moorpark coach Ryan Huisenga said. “We have a lot of excellent players.

“We were able to watch Burbank play [against Monrovia]. It’s easier when you go and scout a game and you get an idea about the tempo they play.”

Moorpark took a 37-0 lead on a one-yard run by Ian Meier with 5:09 remaining in the second quarter.

A 48-yard touchdown run by Powell gave the Muskateers a 44-0 advantage with 11:12 to go in the third quarter.

Burbank played better in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns.

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Quarterback Matthew Porras scored on a 10-yard run to cut the deficit to 44-7 with 9:45 left.

After Burbank’s Austin Blacano recovered a fumble on the Moorpark 15-yard line on the ensuing possession, Porras scored on a one-yard run to make it 44-14 with 7:25 to go.

The Bulldogs closed out the scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Porras to Chadz Vang with 4:45 remaining.

Porras, who scored six touchdowns against Monrovia, said the Bulldogs need to improve.

“We’ve got to get better at practice,” said Porras, a reigning All-Area pick who completed 10 of 25 passes for 137 yards and three interceptions Friday. “We did a good job at fighting in the fourth quarter and we gave it our all.”

Porras finished with 88 yards rushing in 13 carries and Vang caught four passes for 77 yards.

Following the Hart game, Burbank will kick off league action at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 versus visiting Hoover.

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