MEMORIAL FIELD — The Burbank High football team couldn't afford another Pacific League loss after last week's one-point, double-overtime setback to Muir.
This meant Friday night's encounter against Arcadia could make or break their chances at a league title. But all is well, as the Bulldogs easily handled the Apaches, 42-14, at Memorial Field.
Senior quarterback Robert Linda was especially effective as a runner.
In the opening half, Linda accounted for 161 yards on the ground with scoring runs of 19, 56 and 54 yards.
"This was a game we had to have," Linda said. "In the loss to Muir, we just couldn't execute, and they scored at the end of the game."
Senior tailback Marcus Hood had a 21-yard scoring dash to give the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1 in league) a 28-0 lead and 1:15 left in the second quarter.
Hood carried the ball 11 times in the first half and ran for 58 yards.
"I'm so proud of my coaching staff and the kids," Burbank Coach Greg Sobiech said. "Our defense played its best game of the year. I have to give a lot of credit to my defensive coordinator [Angelo Dahlia]. A win like this shows the rest of the Pacific League that when they play Burbank, they'd better have their chin straps on because we come to play."
Burbank forged a 14-0 lead on Linda's 56-yard scoring scamper and just under 11 minutes left before the half.
The Apaches (2-3, 1-1), who finished second in the league a season ago, fell behind, 20-0, when Linda ripped off a 54-yard touchdown run and 8:02 left.
Linda's extra point try went wide left.
Senior defensive back James Antaplyan intercepted Arcadia quarterback Nick Ponce early in the second half and Linda then hit Antaplyan, who plays wide receiver, with a 48-yard scoring strike to make it 35-0.
With 11:45 left in the fourth quarter, sophomore Kevin Hunter tossed his first varsity touchdown when he found Antaplyan on a 36-yard pass.
"I thought it was going to be a close game," Antaplyan said. "This is how we have to play the rest of the season. In a way, it was surprising. Not that we won, but by how much we won."