With the high school football season in just its second week, Burroughs High already had the chance to equal its win total from last season when the Indians played host to Victor Valley on Friday.
The Indians did not let the opportunity slip by.
With a dominant performance from start to finish, Burroughs downed Victor Valley, 46-12, in nonleague action at Memorial Field.
“These kids are starting to have fun and that is what is important,” Burroughs second-year coach Rand Holden said. “Everybody is stepping up.”
With the win, Burroughs starts a season 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
“It’s cool to be 2-0. But at the end of the day it doesn’t mean much,” Holden said. “What is important to me is that these boys come together and they become the best football team they can be. The sky is the limit.”
The win over Victor Valley (1-1) also means the Indians have matched their win total from last year.
“It’s a complete turnaround,” Indians quarterback Nick Garcia said. “It’s really exciting, but it is not over now. We’ve got to keep on going. We are headed to the playoffs.”
Behind a strong offensive line, Burroughs running back Jon English ran for 151 yards in 15 carries with two scores. He also caught two passes for 60 yards.
“It was a really good win. We all executed really well,” English said. “I’m happy about my performance. It was my first time starting on varsity. I’m so proud of the team for playing well.”
Even more impressive was that the elusive sophomore was pushed into a starting role only due to a leg injury to Luke Rogers.
“English had an amazing day. He is a fast running back,” Garcia said. “He is very elusive. He made up for the lack of our star running back Luke Rogers. English stepped up and he made it happen.”
Burroughs got off to a strong start thanks to a quick mistake from the visitors. After the Jackrabbits received the opening kickoff they gave the ball away on their first play via a fumble on a completed pass. Indians Jose Oliveros recovered the loose ball.
It took the host’s five plays to turn the Victor Valley miscue into points. With 9:51 left in the first quarter, Adrian Leon carried the ball up the middle for a five-yard score in which he was barely touched. Leon would finish with 80 yards in 15 carries with one touchdown.
Indians Micheal Pentland recovered the ensuring on-sides kick and Burroughs was unable to cash in.
The hosts found pay dirt late in the quarter with a drive that featured English. The final play was a nine-yard run up the gut with 2:40 left. The sophomore also had 17- and a 22-yard runs on the possession. English had nine carries in the first half for 69 yards.
Late in the first quarter, Burroughs’ Christopher Romero picked off an Isaiah Padilla pass and had a long return to set up his team with a short field at the 37-yard line. On fourth down of the drive, Burroughs was at the 29-yard line needing two yards to keep it going. However, the Indians got a lot more when Garcia hooked up with John Alajijan for the 29-yard score.
The Burroughs defense than forced a three-and-out to give the offense another chance, which it made good on with a one-yard quarterback keeper by Garcia for the touchdown. On the previous play English caught a short pass and turned it into a 49-yard gain, pinballing and picking his way through throngs of defenders.
Victor Valley, of the Desert Sky League, then broke through for a touchdown of its own. Padilla tried a dive up the middle from the three yard line, but was stood up. The senior then went around the pile for the score.
Burroughs answered right back. With 30 seconds to go in the half, Garcia hit Alajijan for another score. This one came from four yards out on an inside slant. Burroughs led 33-6 at the break.
If there was any hope for the Jackrabbits after the break English did significant damage when he rumbled for a 60-yard touchdown on the first snap of the second half.
“We had a motion with one of our receivers. I delayed a little and then cut through a bit. I just ran as hard as I could and got the touchdown,” English said.
Burroughs’ final points came 5:51 left. On fourth down, Garcia lofted a pass that just cleared a Jackrabbit’s finger tips dropping into Ellington Simmons’ hands for a 22-yard touchdown.
A running clock followed.
Garcia finished nine of 22 for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
“We played all four quarters, which we weren’t able to do last year,” Garcia said. “We just decided as a team to play all the way through and play hard.”
Victor Valley scored a purely cosmetic touchdown on the final play of the game to set the final score.
Up next for Burroughs will be the Indians’ road opener against La Palma Kennedy on Thursday.
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