SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — It looked like Thursday night's Pacific League football game between Hoover High and Burroughs could be a shootout with the first three drives going for touchdowns.
Only the Indians managed to sustain their momentum, behind big nights from senior running backs Josh Storer (144 rushing yards, two touchdowns in 14 carries) and Israel Montes (121 yards, three scores in 14 carries), as they drove right through a Tornadoes squad that stalled offensively, 42-13, at Glendale High's Moyse Field.
“Our O-line just pushed them back, made the holes for the running backs and, bottom line, we took advantage of it,” said Storer, who returned from an ankle sprain to play in his first game in about four weeks. “It feels good to know there's someone there who's as good as you are [with Montes]. We do damage, we're a duo.”
It was a disappointing result for Hoover, which had snapped a 17-game league losing streak and picked up its first league win since 1994 against a team other than Glendale last week with a 37-8 win against Pasadena.
“It's tough, we wanted to take that momentum and build on it, but we couldn't get anything going tonight,” said Hoover Coach Andrew Policky, whose team fell to 3-5 and 1-4 in league.
“They played good defense, they just outplayed us,” Policky said. “We couldn't finish on some of our drives. They were more physical than us. They were able to run the ball and we weren't able to consistently run the ball, that's what it boils down to.”
On the other side of the field, Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop felt his team has turned a corner after a rough start in which the Indians lost their first four contests.
“It's just trying to get all those kids that never played in a varsity game together, doing it all at once and it took awhile,” said Knoop, whose defense forced five three-and-outs and a turnover on a Hunter Harrison interception late in the fourth. “The last couple of years we've been really veteran and just came out and, boom, off we went. This year was definitely a slow start. Our nonleague was tougher than we'd thought, but we've come back from it and won three out of the last four and probably could've beat Muir. We are playing better, more physical football.”
Burroughs (3-5, 3-2) scored on its first two drives of the game with Storer capping a 4 minute 11 second, 64-yard drive to open the game with a one-yard run and Montes breaking a 28-yard run with 1:46 to go in the first quarter.
Hoover also scored on its opening drive, as its bruising senior running back Jesse Pina (97 yards and a touchdown in 11 carries) bulled his way into the end zone from 59 yards out on a third-down-and-two play about eight minutes into the contest.
The Tornadoes couldn't even move the chains on their next two drives and just an 18-yard punt from their own 20-yard line on their second third-and-out gave the Indians terrific field position. Montes increased the deficit to 21-7 when he pushed in for a score from two yards out. Montes ran the ball on all eight plays of the 38-yard drive out of the Wildcat formation.
Hoover put together two quality drives to end the first and begin the second half, but came up empty, turning the ball over on downs each time.
The Tornadoes took nearly seven minutes off the clock, as they marched the ball 70 yards down the field on their first drive of the second half, but turned it over on downs at Burroughs' own 31. It came on the heels of the Hoover kick returner fielded the kickoff just near the sideline and ran out of bounds at his team's nine-yard line instead of letting it go out of bounds.
Burroughs matched its momentum from the first half by scoring on its first drive of the second half, as Storer took an option toss from quarterback
Andrew Williams (nine for 11 for 90 yards) for a 19-yard touchdown with 1:40 left in the third.
By the time Hoover scored again on a one-yard reverse run from Justin Nam (82 yards and a touchdown in 11 carries), the Indians had already put the game to bed on another four-yard touchdown run from Montes.