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Lightning forces postponement, quick turnaround for Burbank

Lightning forces postponement, quick turnaround for Burbank
Burbank High players walk off the field at Muir High Friday evening after their Pacific League game was postponed because of inclement weather. (Tim Berger \ Staff Photographer)

PASADENA — Perhaps the only thing rarer than Southern California rain is a lightning postponement.

That’s exactly what happened at halftime Friday evening during a Pacific League football contest between visiting Burbank High and Muir.

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The Bulldogs trailed, 14-9, at the break and will wait until Saturday at 8 a.m. back at Muir to continue action as the game was postponed out of concern for approaching lightning.

“Since I’ve been at Burbank High, I’ve never seen a rain-out or stoppage for lightning,” Burbank High co-athletic director Patrick McMenamin said. “It just doesn’t happen.”

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Such odd occurrences led to scrambling.

Burbank coach Adam Colman said the quick turnaround left no time to secure buses, meaning that players will “have to make their own way.”

He added, “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that the parents can come through and everyone will be here.”

Muir athletic director Milica Protic said Pacific League by-laws stipulated that in cases of postponement, the game would have to take place the next available day, which is Saturday.

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The contest, however, needed to be played early because of access issues.

“We have the youth football team playing games tomorrow and [American Youth Soccer Organization] has a full day of games,” Protic said.

Protic added that postponing the game until Monday was unfair to Burbank, which would then face Glendale at Moyse Field three days later.

Both teams caught a break as Friday’s officiating crew agreed to come back Saturday, according to Protic.

The officials originally planned to halt the game toward the end of halftime, but were instructed by Protic to wait 30 minutes, per league rules.

“The officials stopped the clock every time they hear lightning, which is a 30-minute delay,” Protic said. “They started the clock at least six to seven minutes and decided to call it.”

The lightning stopped an important game.

Burbank quarterback Matthew Porras completed 11 of 20 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown, with six carries for eight yards and one fumble. Receiver Chadz Vang hauled in six catches for 103 yards and one touchdown, while receiver Erik Harutyunyan caught four passes for 53 yards.

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Defensively, Harutyunyan delivered a forced fumble and recovery, while defensive back Vincent Vang continued his torrid takeaway pace with an interception.

Though the last six quarters, Vincent Vang has turned in four interceptions and five total takeaways.

Burbank’s Alejandro Martinez also tallied a sack.

Defending league champion Burbank (4-3, 3-1 in league) scored the game’s first nine points in taking a 9-0 lead after one quarter.

The Bulldogs opened by marching 67 yards on 11 plays and scoring on a 10-yard pass from Porras to receiver Chadz Vang. A missed conversion attempt gave Burbank a 6-0 advantage at 7:51 in the first quarter.

Burbank added a 32-yard field goal from Andy Cardenas at 2:53 in the first to lead, 9-0, after one period.

Two Bulldogs’ fumbles, however, turned into 14 points for Muir (6-1, 3-1) as Mustangs quarterback Brian Love (six for 10 for 62 yards with one touchdown and interception) punched in a three-yard touchdown run, while connecting on a 20-yard scoring strike to Caleb Snowden.

The second score came with 3:03 left in the first half as the Mustangs surged ahead, 14-9.

The Bulldogs also missed a 36-yard field goal right before the half.

Muir running back Jahlique Stephens rushed eight times for 80 yards.

“This is a new experience for sure,” Colman said. “Right now, we’re just going to get home, get some rest, get refocused and come out and play. We’ve been dealing with adversity the whole year, so what else is new?”

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