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The Big Game in their own words


They have seen the Burbank-Burroughs Big Game cross-town football

contest from all sides.

From battling on the field as players, guiding the action from the


sidelines as coaches, or organizing the festivities as

administrators, thousands have donned the Bulldog blue and white and

the Indian red and white to be a part of one of the most storied high

school rivalries.


For the lucky individuals who have been entrenched in the annual

battle, memories of their time involved with the rivalry are vivid

and almost always long lasting.

Even when they are five decades removed from their respective

schools, pictures and intimate details of the Big Game are as fresh

as if they happened yesterday.

Some of the former local standouts share their recollections about

the 54-year rivalry.


LEO ORANGE (Burbank player)

Playing on the last Foothill League champion Bulldog team in 1972,

Orange was the quarterback on the squad that defeated Burroughs,

14-0, that year. The team also featured future UCLA standout Kenny


“I remember that game very well,” said Orange, who is head of the

disabled students department at Oxnard College. “We had Kenny at

running back and Kirk Roberts at fullback, and we just ran all over


Burroughs. They really opened it up for me and I was able to run as


Orange said he also has another fond memory of his time as a

Burbank player.

“I was so excited when [the Burbank Daily Review] ran my picture

on the front page with my then girlfriend after a game,” he said. “I

was holding my helmet and I had my arm around my girlfriend. I will

never forget it.”


player, assistant coach)

As a junior in 1992, his Indian team went 0-10 and lost to

Burbank, 21-17, in the Big Game.

The Indians brought in Coach Gary Bernardi -- who had been an

assistant at USC -- in 1993, and the team not only went 5-6, but

defeated the Bulldogs, 31-6 -- and Burbank hasn’t won since.

“On that team in 1993, we had some pretty good players: Mike Reily

(Burroughs assistant coach), Eddie Melgar and Jimmy Thompson,”

Barragan said. “The great thing is I still see these guys around and

they even come to some of the football games.

“This rivalry is something you never forget. I’m just happy I have

been able to be a part of it for a few years.”

HAM LLOYD (Burbank coach)

Making his debut as Bulldogs’ coach in 1955, Steve Searock and

Bill Reed helped give Lloyd his first win in the Big Game, a 20-14


He coached Burbank until 1966, and was also the school’s vice


“What I remember most about the annual game between Burbank and

Burroughs was the excitement it used to generate,” Lloyd said.

“Burbank wasn’t that big of a city back then, and the downtown was

nothing like it is now. But the game was so big back in the [1950s],

that most of the stores in downtown would close down because so many

people were at the game.

“We had some pretty good games back then. It was always a good,

spirited rivalry between the two teams.”


(Burroughs player)

One of the most prolific Indian receivers of all time, Frishette

caught 82 passes for 1,221 yards (a 14.9 yards-per- catch average)

and 11 touchdowns in two seasons.

Frishette still recalls the 1974 Big Game and the excitement

surrounding the contest.

“In 1974, we were coming off a huge and tough win against Blair

High on Halloween night that clinched at least a tie for the Foothill

League [championship],” he said. “we were undefeated, and as it

turned out, I feel the greatest team in Burroughs history.

“That night, Burroughs was totally filled and we beat a really

good Burbank High team, 36-0. We went on to finish 11-1, barely

losing to eventual CIF champions Santa Ana Valley. SAV won the

championship game the week after beating us by a score of 49-0.

“The next year in ’75, we beat [Burbank], 49-0. That year they

were a damaged team, but winning two years in a row by a combined

score of 85-0 is pretty sweet.”

DAVE KEMP (Burbank coach,

athletic director)

Kemp has been around the rivalry since the early 1960s, and has

seen his share of exciting moments and outstanding players. However,

there is one aspect of the Big Game that always amazes him.

“So many times during the games, you have a player come out of the

woodwork to come up with a big play or a big performance that makes

him a hero of the game,” said Kemp, a member of the Burbank school

board. “I’ve seen that so many times.

“The rivalry brings out the best in players, and you see things in

that game you might not see in any other games.


player, coach, athletic

director; Burbank coach)

Garrison has the distinction of having coached for both the

cross-town schools, and rarely misses a Big Game.

“I started going to the games when I was in junior high in 1958,”

he said. “And I’ve only missed a few since then.

“The thing about this game is, no matter what the records of the

teams, you never know who’s going to win.”

Friday night, another chapter will be written, and more memories


* JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can be

reached at 637-3245, or by e-mail at