Garrett D. Uribe
Although it was a loss, one of the Burbank High football team's best
efforts last season came with a six-point Foothill League loss to
At the time, the Cowboys were ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section
Division II, and the Bulldogs gave them all they could handle, as a
Burbank penalty late in the fourth quarter helped lead to Canyon's
On Friday, Canyon came into its league opener against the host
Bulldogs ranked second in the division, and this year's installment
turned out to be very different from the 2003 result.
Assisted by Burbank turnovers, the Cowboys used a big second-half
effort to defeat the Bulldogs, 50-23, at Memorial Field.
Behind the passing of Burbank senior quarterback Mike McDonald --
who completed his first nine passes -- Burbank (3-3) looked
impressive in the first half, as it went into the locker room with a
However, five turnovers in the second half allowed the Canyon
(6-0) offense to keep rolling.
"We're a young team, and we just fell apart in the second half,"
Burbank Coach Greg Sobiech said. "There is no excuse for the way we
played in that second half.
"When you commit five turnovers, you're not going to beat anyone."
Despite the loss, McDonald put together a fine game. The senior
completed 16 of 24 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns. In six
games, McDonald had thrown for 1,903 yards and 24 touchdowns -- both
Another positive note for the Bulldogs was the return of senior
wide receiver Jesse Ayers, who was injured in the Bulldogs' second
game of the season Sept. 16 against Chaminade.
Ayers returned in a big way, gaining 177 yards in five receptions
and one touchdown.
Burbank also got a great effort from junior receiver Jason McNeil.
Along with a 53-yard reception for a touchdown, he also ran a kickoff
back 84 yards for a touchdown.
On defense, Bulldog sophomore defensive back James Antaplyan had
Sobiech realizes how tough the competition is in the Foothill
League. And this season, there doesn't appear to be a weak team in
Along with Canyon, the league includes Hart (ranked fourth),
Valencia (ranked fifth) and Saugus (ranked 10th). Burroughs is no
slouch either, as the Indians have a 4-2 record.
Things don't get any easier for the Bulldogs, as they face the
Centurions at 7:30 Thursday in a league game at College of the