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This time, Vikings are hungry for championship

Jeff Tully

To say they were a little taken back by the experience of playing in

a championship game last season is putting it mildly.

For the Burbank Vikings Youth Tackle Football team, playing in the

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2002 Pacific Youth Football League Super Bowl game was an

accomplishment all the players were proud of.

However, going up against an undefeated Agoura team, the Vikings

couldn’t stop their opponent’s potent offense, going down to a 35-6

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defeat at Camarillo High.

Agoura was coached by former NFL standout Clay Matthews and the

Eagles’ quarterback was trained by former pro signal-caller Erik

Kramer, who just happens to be a Burroughs High graduate -- and good

friend of Matthew’s.

“I think the problem with last year’s team is they were just happy

to get to the championship game,” Vikings’ Coach Tim Fry said. “It

was a big deal to even make it that far, because no Viking team had

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made it to a championship game since probably the [1970s].”

“But this year’s team is different. This team is hungry, and the

players are not just satisfied that they have made it to the Super

Bowl. This team wants to win it.”

Burbank will get its chance at 3 p.m. today when it takes on host

Moorpark in the title game at Moorpark High.

“This is a team that plays very good defense,” Fry said. In our

last two games, the defense has come up big and that helped us win.

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“Our defense has to play well in the game against Moorpark if we

hope to win.”

The Burbank (7-2) defense posted two shutouts in the team’s last

two playoff games, as the Vikings downed No. 2-seeded Camarillo,

16-0, on Nov. 22, and Simi Valley Green, 28-0, on Nov. 29. The team

began the playoffs Nov. 15 by beating Thousand Oaks, 14-12.

Moorpark (8-1) has only stumbled once this season, falling in its

season-opener Sept. 13 to Agoura, 14-8.

In the playoffs, the Packers opened the postseason with a 26-0 win

against Simi Valley White and rolled to a 34-6 victory against

Ventura in the second round. In their semifinal game, the Packers

defeated Agoura, 20-12.

The Vikings and Packers have met once this season, with Moorpark

coming back to stake a 16-12 win Oct. 11.

“We were leading in that game, 12-0, against them,” Fry said. “We

just had some problems in the second half.”

Although Burbank boasts a productive offense that is just as

effective with the run as the pass, it is the team’s defense that has

shined. Along with giving up just four points a game in the playoffs,

the unit surrendered 9.7 points a game during the regular season

The defense is led by Kyle Budrick, Jordan Barrett, Matt Bertole

and Michael Hodib.

The Burbank offense is anchored by quarterback Anthony McDonald,

wide receiver/running back Jonathon Mesa, Barrett -- who plays

tailback -- and Budrick -- who plays fullback.

“We like to mix it up on offense,” Fry said. “We can pass when we

have to, and we can run when we want to. So we’re very versatile.”


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