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Burroughs High football to face some new opponents in 2014 season

The Burroughs High football team hasn't enjoyed a great deal of success during nonleague competition over the last four years.

Since the 2010 season, Burroughs has a 1-11 nonleague record, with its lone victory coming last season against North Hollywood. Prior to that win, the Indians had a 10-game losing streak against nonleague opponents dating back to 2009.

"We always try and schedule the best competition that we can," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "We like to play good teams and against good programs. All of that is to get us ready for our league."

Although the program has not seen a lot of winning in the nonleague portion of its schedule the last four years, that has not translated over to the Pacific League campaign, as the Indians have captured two league championships during that span, in 2011 and 2012.

For the 2014 season, Burroughs has cleared its nonleague slate and will go against three new programs. Gone are Paraclete (a 45-14 loss last season), North Hollywood (a 37-0 win) and Camarillo (a 48-14 loss).

"We have a new scrimmage and three new preseason games," said Knoop, whose team will scrimmage Warren of the San Gabriel Valley League on Aug. 29 at Memorial Field. "There are new teams and hopefully we will be able to see some new things that we might not see in league, but might see for the playoffs. It's nice to switch things up from time to time."

Warren has a first-year coach in Raul Lara, who helped guide Long Beach Poly for 13 years and won five CIF championships.

Burroughs will be coming off a 2013 season that brought with it mixed results. Although the Indians went 1-2 in the preseason, they rebounded and went 5-2 in the Pacific League. Burroughs finished tied for second in league with Burbank and Crescenta Valley and made the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs, falling in the first round to La Serna, 55-7. La Serna went on to win the championship against Norwalk, 41-38.

The Indians will open the season Sept. 5 at Memorial Field against Calabasas. On paper, the matchup might look like an easy one for Burroughs, as the Coyotes went 0-10 in 2013 and finished last in the Marmonte League. But Knoop knows better.

"We've nicknamed them Oaks Christian south," Knoop said. "We have been hearing a lot of rumors, but we hear they just got a big 6-[foot]-7 offensive lineman, another good 'O' lineman and maybe four our five transfers from Oaks Christian. We have been hearing all kinds of things about new kids pouring into that school.

"So we originally wanted to play Calabasas first to get our feet wet a little, but who knows who's going to show up for them that night, so we are going to have to be ready."

That game will lead the Indians into a nonleague contest Sept. 12 against Rosemead at Memorial Field. The Panthers, who play in the Mission Valley League, are coming off a 2013 campaign in which they went 8-3, losing to Pomona, 45-14, in the first round of the Mid-Valley Division playoffs.

"Rosemead had success last year and their team was mostly all juniors and sophomores," Knoop said. "With all of those players back, they were supposed to be really good this year. But their starting quarterback transferred to Bishop Amat. If they can find a quarterback they are still going to be pretty solid."

The final nonleague contest will come against an opponent from the Southeast Division in Santa Fe. That game will be Sept. 19 on the road at Downey High. Last season, the Chiefs went 7-5 and 3-2 in the Del Rio League for third place. Santa Fe was beaten in the first round of the playoffs by Burbank, 42-0, as the Bulldogs marched to the semifinals.

"Santa Fe had a pretty good quarterback and he transferred and went to La Mirada," Knoop said. "But they are always tough. They are going to be a big, physical team.

"If we play them like Burbank did in the playoffs last season we should be fine."

Following the nonleague campaign, Burroughs will open Pacific League competition Sept. 26 against Crescenta Valley at Glendale's Moyse Field. Last season, the Falcons (8-2, 5-2 in league) lost to the Indians, 24-17, in what many considered an upset.

"They have a lot of good kids coming back on that team. If their quarterback from last season [Brian Gadsby] doesn't return, then they are going to have a young kid at quarterback," Knoop said. "But they have a good receiver and a good running back and they should have some talented kids."

That game will be followed with a clash on the road Oct. 3 against defending league champion Muir (11-2, 7-0).

"Muir has just reloaded," Knoop said. "They have a couple of key transfers that are going to help them and they are going to be like usual, a physical team."

Also in league games, Burroughs will play host Hoover (2-8, 0-7) on Oct. 9 at Moyse Field, be at Pasadena (1-9, 1-6) on Oct. 17, host Arcadia (5-5, 3-4) on Oct. 23 and host Glendale (4-6, 2-5) Oct. 31. The regular season will end with the annual rivalry Big Game against Burbank (10-3, 5-2) on Nov. 7 at Memorial Field.

"It looks like Arcadia is going to be better and Glendale has its running back coming back," Knoop said. "Burbank will have a pretty high-powered offense, they just have to fill some defensive spots. Pasadena also should be better. They have a transfer quarterback from Downey and a good receiver.

"League is going to be tough. We are just going to have to be physical and see what we can do."


Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.

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