For the next month, the Burbank High football team will spend plenty of time on the road.
It’s a rather daunting task for the Bulldogs, yet one they’ve embraced.
While Burbank showed some signs of improvement in its first of four straight games as the visitor, it succumbed to Golden Valley, 43-28, in a nonleague game at Canyon Country Canyon High on Friday night.
Burbank, ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section VII, dipped to 0-2 with road games coming up against Orange Vista, Hart and Arcadia, which won the league championship last season.
“It’s a challenge when you go on the road and play against a team like [Golden Valley],” said Burbank coach Adam Colman, whose team opened the season Aug. 23 with a 14-7 nonleague defeat against Moorpark at Memorial Field. “You find out about yourself playing against teams like this and next week against Orange Vista.
“I warned [our players] that we played well against Moorpark and that it’s football and you have to prove yourself every week. They were lulled into a sense of complacency.”
Golden Valley (1-0) never trailed and received an impressive effort from running back Johnathan Kaelin, who rushed for 295 yards in 13 carries. The senior scored two rushing touchdown to aid the Grizzlies, who got 103 yards rushing and one touchdown in 11 carries from Christopher Alcantar to turn aside Burbank.
"[Kaelin] is tough to tackle,” Colman said.
Golden Valley, which is in the Foothill League, took an 8-0 lead after a 12-yard run by Alcantar with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies extended the lead to 15-0 on an eight-yard touchdown run by Kaelin with 9:02 to go in the second quarter.
Burbank closed to within 15-7 on a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aram Araradian (27 of 40 for 366 yards and two touchdowns) to Isaac Glover with 8:07 to play in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies responded on the ensuing drive when Mekhile Newton caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Jaxson Miner with 6:57 to play in the first half to make it 21-7.
The Bulldogs appeared to be in good shape in the waning seconds of the second quarter, but Glover fumbled on the 3-yard line with eight seconds left on a first-and-goal. Carlos Meza of Golden Valley recovered the ball.
“I was running and their guy came in from the outside and knocked the ball loose,” Glover said. “It turned out to be a big play.
“I thought we did a lot of things better and we’ll try to go from here and build off of it. We are playing a tough nonleague schedule, but one that will get us ready for league.”
Kaelin scored on a 35-yard run in the opening minute of the third quarter to give Golden Valley a 28-7 lead.
Glover scored on a seven-yard run to bring Burbank to within 28-14 with 9:46 left in the third quarter.
Alcantar rushed for a nine-yard touchdown run to give the Grizzlies a 36-14 cushion on the next drive.
Burbank, which finished second in the Pacific League last season, closed to within 36-22 on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Kuba Raymond to Brandon Pena with 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Luke McCoy of Golden Valley scored on a one-yard run to make it 43-22 less than a minute later.
The Bulldogs closed out the scoring on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Araradian to Ben Burnham with 6:35 to go.
Burbank, which committed three false-start penalties after committing 14 versus Moorpark, will take on Orange Vista in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Sept. 6.
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