Tackling woes lead to Burroughs football's first loss of season

POMONA —Tackling issues were apparent early on, which contributed to the Burroughs High football team falling behind early.

Burroughs struggled trying to track down the mobile running back utilized by Diamond Ranch and as a result, suffered a 38-23 nonleague road defeat Friday.

Diamond Ranch (2-2) scored on its first four possessions to send Burroughs to 1-1 with Pacific League play on deck for the Indians.

“We had some guys who weren’t following our scheme,” said Burroughs second-year coach Mike Reily, whose team began the season Sept. 8 with a 45-30 nonleague road victory against Royal. “We were tackling high against a lot of their big guys and we fell in to a hole. Catching up isn’t a fun thing to do.

“These are things that are correctable, so we’ll work on it [at practice] and get set for league.”

Diamond Ranch, which picked up a 35-17 win against Burroughs last season, took a 3-0 lead on a 43-yard field goal by Richard Bernal with 10:24 left in the first quarter.

Then the tackling deficiencies started to kick in for the Indians, who looked to begin a season 2-0 first the first time since 2008.

Diamond Ranch running back Augie Arellano broke free virtually untouched for a 52-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a 10-0 lead with 5:53 to go in the first quarter. Arellano finished with 184 yards rushing in eight carries and two touchdowns.

The Panthers extended their lead to 17-0 on a 70-yard run by running back Isac Velasquez with 3:10 to go in the quarter.

Burroughs sliced the lead to 17-7 on a 68-yard touchdown run down the right side by running back Ben Peters with 2:20 to play in the opening quarter. Peters finished the contest with 140 yards rushing in 20 carries.

Connor Clark of Diamond Ranch made it 24-7 on a two-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The Panthers held a 24-7 halftime advantage.

The Indians then had a breakdown on special teams early in the third quarter when Velasquez broke loose for a 62-yard punt return to make it 31-7.

Jonathan Rivas converted on a 29-yard field goal to pull the Indians to 31-10 with 6:45 left in the third quarter. On the next Burroughs possession, quarterback Nathan Piper connected with Cerain Baker on a four-yard touchdown pass to trim the deficit to 31-16 with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.

The Panthers and Indians swapped touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Diamond Ranch had a five-yard run by Velasquez with 7:38 to go before Burroughs closed out the scoring on a three-yard run from Hakeem Hichmann with 2:06 to play.

Piper completed 16 of 30 passes for 180 yards and one interception.

Clark rushed for 72 yards in 15 carries for the Panthers.

“League will be real good and there are some very good teams,” Reily said. “There are teams that are stacked in the skilled positions, so we’ll see what happens.”

charles.rich@latimes.com

Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich

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