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Bulldogs are top dog

Ten was enough for the Burbank High football team.

After a decade on falling short to Burroughs, the Bulldogs pulled

out a 24-17 Foothill League victory Friday in arguably one of the

most exciting games in the 55th edition of the cross-town rivalry.


“I’m bursting with happiness right now,” Burbank second-year Coach

Greg Sobiech said. “They have worked so hard. What a night for us.

I’m so proud of our kids.”

Burbank’s Mike McDonald hooked up with Jesse Ayers on an 11-yard


touchdown pass with 3:28 to play for what turned out to be the

game-winning score.

McDonald, a junior, finished 14 of 28 for 203 yards, with three

touchdowns and two interceptions. McDonald also had an interception

on defense.

“We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in our conference, if not

the CIF Southern Section, even though the statistics maybe don’t show

it,” Sobiech said of McDonald. “When we needed him tonight, Mike


responded for us.”

Burbank (6-4, 2-3 in league) are now likely in the playoffs, as

the Bulldogs are the fourth-place team from the league.

Burroughs (4-6, 1-4) also has a chance to make the playoffs, but

the Indians will have to hope that the playoff committee gives them

an at-large berth based on the strength of their schedule.

Things didn’t start off well for Burbank, as Tanner Bennett, its

leading running back, went out with a knee injury on the Bulldogs’


first drive of the game. He did not return.

Burroughs had to play the game without starting quarterback Nick

Payne, who had a broken thumb on his non-passing hand.

Burbank took advantage of four Burroughs turnovers in the first


“We turned the ball over a ton of times. The defense played

stellar. We knew we needed to play a short field all night long. We

knew the only way to stop them was to go and get [McDonald] and I

thought we accomplished that, but unfortunately the turnovers [cost

us],” Indian Coach Keith Knoop said.

Burroughs took a 7-0 lead at 1:16 in the first quarter when Chad

Brewster, one of two quarterbacks the Indians used, hit Evan Gomez on

a 72-yard touchdown pass.

Burbank tied things up early in the second quarter, when McDonald

and Ayers hooked up on a 20-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left in

the first half. Sal Coreas’ extra point tied things up at 7.

Burbank took a 9-7 lead early in the third quarter, as Mike

Wysocky sacked Brewster in the end zone for a safety.

Burroughs came back, as James Cullen hit a 36-yard field goal to

give the Indians a 10-9 advantage with 2:20 left in the third


McDonald answered the challenge. He completed a 50-yard pass to

Jason McNeil and finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to

Robert Nichols with 1:02 left in the third quarter.

McDonald and Nichols also hooked up on the two-point conversion,

giving Burbank a 17-10 lead.

Burroughs then answered Burbank’s challenge as it scored, with

Gomez scoring on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brewster with 10:16

left to play.