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Bulldogs put up fine fight

Jim Riggio

The Burbank High football team realizes it has to win more than one

Foothill League game to earn respect from its opponents.

A week after breaking the a 51-game league losing streak, the


Bulldogs did their best to dismiss the theory that they are a one-win

league wonder.

Facing Canyon -- ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division

II -- the Bulldogs just missed pulling off one of the biggest upsets


in school history on Friday, falling, 39-33, at Memorial Field.

“People didn’t even know we would be close to this team,” said

Burbank receiver Jesse Ayers, who scored three touchdowns. “I bet

Canyon thought we were just old Burbank. But we showed them we’re

better than that and our whole team did it.”

Had it not been for a late penalty midway through the fourth

quarter against Burbank that gave Canyon (7-1, 2-1 in league) an

automatic first down, the Bulldogs might have been able to pull out


the upset.

The penalty allowed Canyon to continue its drive, and Louis

Montano capped it by scoring on a 20-yard run with 4:27 left to play,

putting the Cowboys up, 39-27.

“This is probably the best game we’ve played all year,” Burbank

Coach Greg Sobiech said. “We’re just getting better every week. We

just didn’t have enough there at the end.”

Burbank (5-3, 1-2) was outstanding on the defensive end,


intercepting Canyon’s 6-foot-4, 226-pound University of

California-bound quarterback Nate Longshore twice in the first


Longshore finished 15 of 21 for 221 yards with two touchdowns and

two interceptions. Burbank’s Saul Coreas and Jason Barbic each had an


Burbank junior quarterback Mike McDonald finished 10 of 20 for 143 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Coach Sobiech does an awesome job,” Canyon Coach Harry Welch

said. “Their kids come to play hard and if I was coaching them

tonight, I’d be awful proud.”

Burbank, which missed an extra point and two two-point

conversions, took a 20-14 halftime lead, as Jesse Ayers ran back a

kickoff 91 yards with 26 seconds left in the first half.

McDonald hooked up with Robert Nichols on the two-point


McDonald teamed up with Ayers for six catches for 104 yards and

two touchdowns -- 10 and 7 yards, respectively. He also threw a

touchdown pass to Nichols, which was for 19 yards.

Canyon Montano gained 145 yards in 23 carries and four