Game stopped after injury

Grant Gordon

Burroughs High started off the Foothill League season in one of the

worst ways imaginable.

It was disastrous because of a 41-0 loss to Valencia High, and

dire because the game ended prematurely with Indian Gary Cole lying

on the field.

Cole was hit on the crown of his helmet during a punt return and

remained on the Burroughs 33-yard-line after the play, telling

trainers he felt "a little bit of numbness," according to Indians'

Coach Keith Knoop.

With 3:04 remaining, officials ended the game, as trainers

attended to Cole, a junior running back, while awaiting emergency

personnel to take him to nearby Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

The medical attention was viewed as a precaution, though, as Cole had

regained movement.

The Valencia homecoming crowd exited Dr. Paul Priesz Stadium in a

somber silence, and the Indians all walked past Cole, as some of the

players told him "Hang in there," and "We love you Gary."

"It started bad and ended bad," said Knoop, whose team encountered

its toughest test, and worst loss, of the season.

With junior quarterback Michael Herrick leading a potent Viking

no-huddle offense, Valencia (5-1) -- ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern

Section Division II -- marched 84 yards in eight plays on its first

drive of the game. It culminated with a three-yard Shane Vereen

touchdown run, and the Vikings never looked back.

Offensively, Burroughs found no solace, either.

In the first half, the Indians gained just 19 total yards and

converted only three first downs. For the game, Valencia outgained

Burroughs, 363-120.

Burroughs did have two prime chances to score in the second half,

but both were thwarted by a stingy Valencia defense.

In the fourth quarter, the Indians drove 38 yards to the Viking 17

before quarterback Nick Payne, who was just seven of 15 for 87 yards, was intercepted.

Running back Thomas Kyle was likewise contained, as he ran for a

season-low 41 yards in 18 carries. He was also thrown for a loss in

five carries.

The performance by the Vikings came a week removed from a 33-3

nonleague pummeling at the hands of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

"I almost wish [the Vikings] would've won [against Notre Dame],"

Knoop said. "If they played Notre Dame again, they'd beat 'em. I'm

convinced of that."

Knoop is also convinced that his team must find some way to

improve, as its league season has just begun.

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