BURBANK – With just under four minutes remaining in Friday night’s nonleague football game at Memorial Field, Burbank High quarterback Matthew Porras gave his side something to celebrate.
The junior punched in a 12-yard touchdown to put his team on the board and the Bulldogs’ point total reached seven after a successful point-after try.
That was one of the few highlights for Burbank, which was pushed around in the trenches versus visiting CIF Southern Section Division IV No. 7-ranked Downey.
The Vikings tallied 499 yards of total offense versus 215 yards for the Division VII Bulldogs in a Downey 35-7 victory.
The defeat marks the second consecutive season Burbank has opened 1-2. The Bulldogs can only hope to match last year’s squad, which rallied to go 10-4 and advance to the Division VIII championship game.
For now, though, first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman could only tip his cap.
“That’s probably the best team we’ll play all year,” Colman said. “That’s why they’re in Division IV and it’s nice for us to schedule up and play a good team. It’s still a tough one, but they’re just bigger and faster.”
Downey (2-1) owned the line of scrimmage as was evident by the effort of Vikings senior running back Baraq Ross, who carried 20 times for 207 yards and four touchdowns.
Ross and Downey changed the game’s complexion on the team’s first two offensive possessions of the second half with a Vikings defensive stand sandwiched in between.
Burbank trailed, 14-0, at halftime but saw that deficit balloon when Ross bounced outside for a 70-yard touchdown run that, with the extra point, gave the Vikings a 21-point lead with 10:55 left in the third.
While Downey showed off its quick-scoring ability on that drive, the Vikings showed they could be methodical on their next possession.
The Vikings drove 95 yards in 14 plays over a span of 4 minutes, 28 seconds with Ross punching in a five-yard touchdown to put the visitors ahead, 28-0, with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
Between those two scores, Burbank launched one of its better drives and reached Downey’s 7, trailing by three touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they only picked up two yards and turned the ball over on downs at the 5 with 6:22 left in the third.
Ross’ final touchdown came on a 17-yard carry with 8:10 left in the game and put Downey ahead, 35-0.
With the threat of a shutout, Burbank drove on its final possession and scored on a 12-yard keeper from Porras with 3:55 left to cement the 35-7 score.
Porras completed 15 of 25 passes for 126 yards and two interceptions, while rushing 10 times for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Porras’ relative success on the ground went counter to Burbank’s overall experience as senior running back Darnell Williams gritted for 35 yards in 23 carries.
“I just tried to get as many yards as I could, but they had some big defensive tackles,” Williams said. “They were just big.”
Burbank’s other highlight came courtesy of an interception from Kaydon Spears on the Burbank 4 with 1:47 left in the first half just as Downey was driving.
The Vikings led, 14-0, after one quarter on a one-yard rushing score from Ross and a 62-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nicholas Whitney from quarterback Kijjon Foots (15 for 21 for 201 yards, one touchdown and one interception).
Whitney finished with four catches for 88 yards and intercepted two passes on defense.
“We wanted to be physical on both sides of the ball,” Downey coach Jack Williams said. “We didn’t talk about schemes or doing things scheme-wise this week. It was all about physicality.”