CHINO — Isaac Glover and the Burbank High football team found multiple gaps to aid their running game Friday in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Divison VII playoffs against Don Lugo.
In the third playoff meeting in four seasons between the teams, the Bulldogs’ first play against the Conquistadors was a 19-yard run from Glover, followed by a 75-yard march from third-string quarterback Vincent Vang.
That set the tone for the Bulldogs as Glover ran the ball 23 times, scored three touchdowns and contributed 222 yards rushing to the team’s total of 376 offensive yards as Burbank registered a 40-20 road win.
“I just saw holes opening up,” Glover said. “Our line was executing, and this whole week, we were working on execution with the offensive line. If we get the line moving, we can get the ball moving.”
The Bulldogs were without starting quarterback Aram Araradian and back-up Kuba Raymond. Araradian was out with a lingering shoulder injury he suffered against Muir on Oct. 14 and Raymond was sidelined with a minor knee injury sustained against Burroughs on Nov. 1. Both were suited up, but Burbank coach Adam Colman wanted to be cautious about their well-being.
“It was a team effort — offense, defense, special teams, guys on the sideline,” Colman said. “We talked about it at practice Wednesday night and then at walk-throughs and yesterday.[We said] ‘Be a superstar in your roles and everyone just embrace your role.’ ... I think the guys really embraced it. I can’t say enough and I’m so proud of them and everybody.”
The No. 8-ranked Bulldogs (5-6; third in the Pacific League) will host the division’s top-seed, Serrano (11-0), in a quarterfinal contest at Memorial Field next Friday.
Vang added a rushing touchdown and 111 yards in five keeps, while Bulldogs receiver Ben Burnham caught two passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.
“We just kept rolling,” said Vang, who was told he was starting on Tuesday. “Our defense did great. We did what we had to do. I was a bit nervous, but back in youth football, I played quarterback, so I was used to it. Coming back and playing for high school, it was a bit nerve-racking.”
Don Lugo quarterback Johnnie Valdez completed six-of-nine passes for 92 yards, an interception and a touchdown. Conquistadors running back Gary Garcia scored twice in 23 carries for 92 yards.
Vang’s 75-yard run on the opening drive set up Glover for a four-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead at 10:35 in the first after the missed extra-point attempt.
Don Lugo (4-7; tied for third in Mt. Baldy League) answered right back with a one-yard run from Garcia to tie it at 6 at 6:46 after the Bulldogs blocked the PAT.
Two sacks from the Bulldogs stopped the Conquistadors from advancing from midfield, and after a Don Lugo punt, Glover ran 60 yards to score his second touchdown to put Burbank up,13-6, with 9:59 left in the second.
Don Lugo again responded on its next drive with another one-yard touchdown from Garcia with 4:59 left in the half. Burbank blocked the extra point attempt again to stay in front, 13-12.
The Bulldogs completed a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive with a three-yard run from Burnham with four seconds left in the half. Burnham sparked the Bulldogs downfield with a 43-yard reception on the trick play from receiver Brandon Pena.
A Don Lugo three-and-out gave Glover a chance for eight carries and 56 yards on the ensuing Bulldogs’ drive, capped by a one-yard run for a 26-12 lead at 7:21 in the third.
After the Conquistadors turned the ball over on downs at the Burbank 48, the Bulldogs took advantage of their field position and scored on a 12-yard run from Vang for a 33-12 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
On fourth down with 4:31 to go, the Conquistadors scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jojo Galindo to cut the Burbank lead to 33-20. But a 12-yard scoring run from Devin Housholder finished the Bulldogs’ scoring with 2:09 left.