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