BURBANK — Following a historic postseason run that culminated with an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division VIII championship game a season ago, the Burbank High football team found itself starting over in a new division this season.
Burbank captured the Pacific League championship and drew a difficult Division VII first-round matchup against Tustin on Friday night at Memorial Field.
Burbank received three touchdowns from Chadz Vang to register a hard-fought 55-42 victory.
Burbank (9-2) will meet top-seeded South Hills in a quarterfinal road game Friday.
“Chadz is the smallest guy on the field at like 5-feet-4,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “He ran hard and he didn’t quit.
“It’s hard stopping Tustin’s wing-T offense because you can’t really practice for it. We’re glad to be moving on against South Hills.”
Vang had 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 19 carries and added five catches for 40 yards and a score.
Burbank quarterback Matthew Porras completed 18 of 32 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns.
Vang opened the scoring on the first possession, scoring on a six-yard run to make it 6-0 with 10:15 left in the first quarter.
Tustin (8-3) responded on a 20-yard touchdown tun by KC Carr, who finished with 340 yards rushing and four touchdowns in 26 carries, to tie the score at 7 with 9:12 left in the quarter.
Vang scored on a 55-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter. The Tillers tied it at 14 on a 75-yard run by Carr with 4:53 left in the opening quarter.
Burbank’s Eric Harutyunyan caught a seven-yard pass from Porras to make it 21-14 with 1:08 to go in the quarter.
A one-yard run by Carr tied it at 21 with 3:47 left in the second quarter. Burbank responded with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Porras to Duncan Smith with 1:09 left in the first half to make it 28-21.
A 39-yard touchdown run by Mike Meirez tied it at 28 with 11:28 to go in the third quarter before the Tillers took a 31-28 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Noe Salas with 3:56 left in the quarter.
The Bulldogs regained the lead, 35-31, on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Porras to Vang with 2:23 to go in the third quarter.
Louie Torres of Burbank intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 42-31 lead with 18.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Carr scored on a three-yard run to pull the Tillers to within 42-28 with 9:06 to go in the fourth quarter. Drew Pendleton of Burbank caught an 11-yard pass from Porras with 4:51 left to make it 40-39.
After a field goal by Tustin made it 49-42 with 35.9 seconds left, Burbank’s Kayden Spens scooped up the on-side kick and returned it 42 yards to close out the scoring.