Playoff runs rare for locals

Jeff Tully

Competing in Friday night’s CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs

was nothing new for the Burroughs High football team.

It was the third straight trip to the postseason for the Indians,


who haven’t put together an impressive playoff run since their glory

years in the late-1970s and early-'80s.

However, for Burbank, it was a fresh experience, as the Bulldogs

hadn’t made the playoffs in 12 years.


Despite the Indians’ experience, the locals suffered the same fate

in first-round games, as Burroughs lost to No. 1-ranked Mission Viejo, 35-3, at Memorial Field and Burbank was defeated by host

Chino, 28-7.

In the past few years, Burroughs has been able to make the

playoffs, only to fall in the first round. Last season, the Indians

played well and almost upset La Verne Damien, losing, 17-14.

In 2001, the Indians faced a No. 1 seed, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame,

and they lost, 31-3. The lone Burroughs points came on a 23-yard


field goal by Jamie Meyer.

The loss to Notre Dame was the Indians’ first playoff appearance

since 1996, when the squad lost to Compton Dominguez, 47-20.

In the loss, quarterback J.K. Scott -- who threw 42 touchdowns in

two seasons -- had two scoring passes to Glenn Adriatico (15 and 65

yards) and one to Kyle Cremarosa (10).

The Indians failed to make the postseason the two previous

seasons, and after going 0-10 in 1992, Burroughs brought in Coach


Gary Bernardi and improved to 5-6 in 1993.

In the playoffs that year, the Indians squared off against a

talented No. 1-ranked Huntington Beach team. Burroughs could muster

just one score, as quarterback Scott Boldvich threw a 10-yard

touchdown pass to Jimmy Thompson late in the game in a 35-7 loss to

the Oilers.

“I will never forget about that game with Huntington Beach,” said

Burroughs assistant coach Gino Barragan, who was a lineman on the


“There was one player who really stood out on the Huntington Beach

team. And now that player wears No. 88 for the Kansas City Chiefs --

Tony Gonzalez.

“He was a great player back then and we knew he was going to be a

pro player.”

Gonzalez, who had an interception in the game against Burroughs,

has gone on to success at Cal and is a six-time Pro Bowl tight end

with the Chiefs.

Although it hasn’t had as much of a playoff drought as its

cross-town compatriots, Burroughs has also had some lean postseason


Before the 1993 berth, the Indians last reached the playoffs in

1989. That team was turned away in the first round by Mission Viejo

Capistrano Valley, 35-7.

Burroughs was only able to find the end zone in the first half

when receiver Joseph Atwell caught a 16-yard touchdown pass on an

option from tailback Danny Suarez in the first half.

Just two years earlier in 1987, the Indians were able to make

their second trip to a CIF championship game.

After defeating Downey Pius X, 35-10, in the first round and La

Canada, 37-7, in the quarterfinals of the Northwestern Conference

playoffs, the Indians had to come back to beat El Segundo in the

semifinals, 15-14.

That set up a title game against Arroyo Grande at Memorial Field.

In cold weather, with winds of 50 mph, Burroughs was defeated, 15-10.

Running back Wes Bender rushed 19 times for 93 yards and the

Indians’ only touchdown. The only other points the locals could

manage came on a safety.

Burroughs was hampered by three turnovers, including a crucial

fumble late in the game. With 2:20 remaining, Indian quarterback Jeff

Barrett was driving for the potential winning score when he was

forced out of the pocket and stripped of the ball, resulting in a


The Indian team was one of the most successful in school history,

as standouts like Barrett -- the school’s career passing leader with

6,083 yards and 47 touchdowns -- Bender (five touchdowns in the

playoffs), Jason Applegate, Bruce Luizzi, Doug Dragomer and linemen

Joe Howe, Keith Moffett and Jose Calzadilla, made their marks.

Many of the same players helped Burroughs get to the semifinals in

1986, losing to No. 1-ranked Temple City, 35-28.

In the loss, Barrett threw for 227 yards with touchdown strikes to

Applegate, Brian Kaloustian and Pat Lynch.

The team got to the semifinal by defeating Inglewood Morningside,

22-6, and Lompoc, 36-7, a game in which Barrett passed for 294 yards

on a 16-of-24 effort.

Unfortunately for the Indians, their first trip to the final game

was much like their second, as Burroughs fell in the 1981

Northwestern Conference championship contest to Antelope Valley,


Like the football team, Burroughs has never won a CIF title in any


Trips to the postseason have also been few and far between for

Burbank in recent years.

In their last appearance, the Bulldogs were defeated in the first

round by Los Alamitos in 1991, 31-0.

Unable to score against the Griffins, Burbank did get 54 yards in

10 carries from running back Hector Valencia. Valencia now serves as

the program’s junior varsity coach.

The Bulldogs also made an appearance in the 1988 playoffs, but

were defeated by Placencia El Dorado, 24-14, in the first round.

Under Coach Randy Stage, the Bulldogs were able to get a 44-yard

touchdown run from Tony Spatola and a 2-yard run from Tarin Cardenaz

-- who gained more than 1,000 yards that year.

One of Burbank’s best efforts in the playoffs in nearly 20 years

came in 1985. Although the Bulldogs were defeated in the first round,

34-21, they put up a fine effort against a No-1 ranked Pasadena Muir


Coach Dave Carson’s team received a big effort from quarterback

Sal Velasco, who completed 20 of 24 passes for three touchdowns.

Unfortunately, three of his passes were intercepted.

Velasco completed a touchdown pass to Robert Jarrin (who had 147

yards receiving) and one to Carlos Quinteros.

Although Burbank and Burroughs didn’t have postseason success this

season, both should have fine chances to add to their playoff history

with good teams in 2004.