GLENDALE — The football was slipping through many players’ grip in the Pacific League opener between Glendale High and Burroughs at Moyse Field on Friday.
The Indians fumbled the ball once in each half, while the Nitros dropped the ball three times in that span, but the visitor’s offense picked up in the final two quarters, while the hosts continued to try and figure out how to handle the ball.
Burroughs cleaned up its mistakes in the second half and took advantage of the Glendale turnovers to stay undefeated with a 49-6 Pacific League victory.
“Glendale played with a ton of passion and a ton of heart,” Burroughs coach Rand Holdren said. “I respect what [Glendale coach] Cary Harris is doing with that program. I talked to him before the game and he knows that they pushed us in the first half. We had to put it together and play a ball game.”
The Indians, who are ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Division XI, improved to 5-0, while Glendale is 1-4 after its fourth straight loss.
It was a struggle for Glendale to hang on to possession, with three fumbles in the both halves and two muffed snaps on kickoffs in the third quarter.
“We made some changes with a new center in there to help us out,” Glendale coach Cary Harris said. “We had three fumbles in the first quarter and we got right back to it. We had a chance to score, but they stopped us on the 1-yard line. The guys didn’t give up and came back and got score right before halftime. It’s a two-score ball game.”
Burroughs quarterback Nick Garcia threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns on a six-of-12 passing effort. Indians running back Jon English finished with a touchdown and 105 rushing yards in 11 carries and one reception for 50 yards and a touchdown. Senior Aiden Forrester scored two touchdowns on an 87-yard catch and a 51-yard run.
Glendale quarterback Juan Estrada completed five of 11 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, while receiver Ethan Aldrete had two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Glendale dropped back-to-back snaps on its opening drive and Burroughs recovered the second on its 49-yard line, and, on the first play of the Indians’ next drive, Forrester converted the turnover into a 51-yard touchdown run to give Burroughs a 7-0 lead at 9:07 in the first.
Glendale muffed its snap on the next play, and Burroughs recovered it on the Nitros’ 45-yard line, only for English to score on a 15-yard run eight plays later. After a missed extra point, the Indians led the Nitros, 13-0, with 5:35 left in the first.
The Nitros stripped Garcia of the ball at 1:23 in the first and built momentum on runs from senior Matthew Quiroz and sophomore Dennis Perez, but the Indians defense stood firm and stuffed Glendale at the 1-yard line with 8:28 left in the half.
“We executed the second half, but the first half was way too slow,” Garcia said. “We weren’t executing anything. I took it into my own hands and played my game. In the first half, I was doing some things that was out my character, but, in the second half, I did what I needed to do.”
After a pair of penalties on the offense, Garcia connected with Forrester for an 87-yard touchdown to extend the Burroughs lead to 20-0.
Glendale got on the board just before halftime with a 31-yard pass from Estrada to Ethan Aldrete to slice the Burroughs advantage to 20-6.
The Nitros went three-and-out on their first possession and muffed the snap on a punt attempt, which receiver Carson Cardenaz recovered in the end zone to give the Indians a 28-6 lead after the two-point conversion at 9:22 in the third.
The Indians scored again on the first play of their first drive of the quarter with a 50-yard pass from Garcia to English for a 35-6 lead at 7:19 in the third.
Garcia threw his third touchdown pass with 1:37 left in the third frame on a 13-yard connection to Vincent Harris for a 42-6 score.
In a series of fumbles on both teams, Burroughs came out on top on Elijah Dower’s recovery on the Glendale 35. Five running plays later, Carlos Andres Rodriguez (nine carries, 44 yards) scored from the one for the final scoreline.