There’s a little bit of a helpless feeling for the defense when West Hills Chaminade goes to its power pitch offense, featuring two tight ends, a fullback and tailback Andrew Van Buren. Even the quarterback blocks for Van Buren, a Boise State commit whose reputation is rising among the recruiting gurus.
Throughout the second half of Thursday night’s Mission League showdown against Gardena Serra, the Eagles gave the ball again and again to Van Buren, who finished with 312 yards rushing in 39 carries and scored five touchdowns in a 37-32 victory at West Hills.
Backup quarterback Mac Griffin should be named an honorary lineman for all the blocking he was doing for Van Buren. “Of course I am,” Griffin said. “I’m just another lead blocker.”
The linemen surrounded line coach Ben Loth, who shouted, “That’s how you beat a team — pound the rock.”
With Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin on the sideline, Van Buren put on a show with touchdown runs of 40, 17, 59, 17 and four yards.
“I have to thank my offensive line,” Van Buren said. “The big men up front got the job done.”
And Boise State fans, don’t worry, even though lots of colleges are trying now to recruit Van Buren.
“I’m dedicated to Boise State since I committed and I don’t see anything changing,” he said.
Serra (2-3, 1-1) started the game without quarterback Blaze McKibbin, who suffered a bruised liver last week. Enter sophomore Doug Brumfield, who turned in a remarkable performance in his first high school start. He completed 36 of 46 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He also scored a touchdown.
John Jackson caught 17 passes for 123 yards. Sophomore Lavon Bunkley caught three touchdown passes, the last with 29 seconds left, giving the Cavaliers one final chance if they could recover an onside kick. It didn’t happen.
Chaminade improved to 5-1 and 2-0 in the Mission.
“We did what we had to do and finished,” offensive tackle Dylan Kellogg said.
Serra linebacker Justin Houston, who returned an interception for a touchdown, said of trying to deal with the power pitch: “It was hard. Twenty-one is a great player.”
Chaminade held a 14-13 halftime lead and never trailed in the second half.