Burbank Succumbs to Claremont, 28-0

Times Staff Writer

Claremont wide receiver Travis Watkins scored three touchdowns, two on passes from quarterback Dan McGwire, as Claremont beat Burbank, 28-0, Thursday night at Citrus College.

McGwire, (6-8, 220 pounds), completed 12 of 26 passes for 191 yards as Claremont, The Times’ fifth-ranked team, picked up where it left off last season when it won 14 games and the Eastern Conference title.

“I’m happy with the win, but not real pleased with the overall play of the team,” Claremont Coach Bob Baiz said. “We were kind of sloppy.”

McGwire, one of the most highly regarded high school quarterbacks in the country, agreed with his coaches’ assesment of the Wolfpack’s performance. “We had far too many penalties tonight,” said McGwire, whose team was penalized 95 yards. “We’ve definitely got to work on those types of things. If we had avoided those kinds of mistakes, we might have scored 50 points tonight.”

Neither team could get much going in the first half until Claremont took possession with 4:50 remaining at its 30-yard line.


The Wolfpack then drove 70 yards in five plays and scored on McGwire’s 18-yard pass to Watkins, who had six receptions for 126 yards.

Burbank’s only threat came on the first play after the ensuing kickoff when tailback Frank Valdivia raced down the sideline for an apparent 80-yard touchdown. But, the referee ruled that Valdivia had stepped out of bounds after gaining 21 yards.

Claremont dominated the rest of the game, taking advantage of two Burbank turnovers and turning them into scoring drives.

The first came after Bobby Warren intercepted a Sal Velasco pass at the Burbank 40 with 7:23 left in the third quarter.

McGwire drove Claremont to the 22, and Watkins capped the drive when he ran eight yards on a reverse for a touchdown.

Claremont scored again with 3:06 left in the quarter when McGwire hit Watkins with a 12-yard pass to cap a 33-yard, two-play drive.

Claremont’s final score of the night came with 11:03 left in the game when running back David Swartz ran the ball in from nine yards out to cap a 52-yard, six-play drive that began after Brian Kelly intercepted a Velasco pass.

“They’re a good football team, but they’re beatable,” Burbank Coach Dave Carson said. “We just didn’t have the firepower to keep up with them.”

Before the game, Carson said that Burbank’s goal was to contain Claremont’s outside receivers and force the Wolfpack to run the ball. And while Watkins enjoyed a big night for Claremont, Carson still considered the game a success.

“We accomplished what we set out to do,” Carson said. “They’ve got some talented people, but I think our guys showed they can play with the good teams. I was happy with a lot of things I saw out there tonight.”

One thing Carson did not like seeing was his best running back, Valdivia, go down with a sprained ankle that forced the All-Foothill League player to miss the rest of the game.

On this night, however, Valdivia, who rushed for 63 yards on six carries, probably wouldn’t have been enough to stop Claremont from extending its win streak to 15 games.