GLENDORA — Deep postseason runs and upsets of ranked teams has been a norm of the Burbank High football team the last two playoff drives.
That was the not case, however, Friday evening as the Bulldogs lost in the first round for the first time in three years, 56-35, to No. 5-ranked Glendora at Citrus College in the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs.
“I just want to say thank you, thank you,” Burbank second-year coach Adam Colman said when asked what message he had for his team. “It’s a special group and dear to my heart personally. My first head coaching gig was as a [junior varsity] coach when these guys were sophomores.”
With the defeat, Pacific League runner-up Burbank, ranked No. 10, capped its season with a 7-4 record, while Palmores League champion Glendora improved to 10-1 behind a stellar effort from running back Xzavier Ford.
The junior was phenomenal behind a dominant offensive line, rushing 22 times for 315 yards and five touchdowns.
Each of Ford’s scores was sensational as the player turned in rushing touches of 70, 53 and 45 yards along with two scores of 38 yards.
“Today, it was honestly all the O-line and it was a team effort,” Ford said. “I didn’t do anything special.”
That isn’t to say Burbank didn’t have its big efforts as quarterback Matt Porras completed 28 of 38 passes in his swansong for 358 yards, five touchdowns and one interception, while rushing 12 times for 43 yards.
Senior receiver Erik Harutyunyan hauled in 12 catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, while senior tight end Duncan Smith tallied five grabs for 104 yards with one touchdown (a 25-yard catch) and also had a sack on defense.
While those numbers were great, they were just a notch below the explosive Ford.
The running back opened the contest with a 70-yard touchdown run on a third and one.
Even as Burbank answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Porras to Chadz Vang at 5:23 in the first quarter to tie the score, Glendora pushed back.
The Tartans responded with the last three touchdowns of the first half.
Two scores came via passes of 36 and 35 yards from Glendora quarterback Jacob Gonzalez (seven of 12 for 118 yards and two scores), while Ford busted through for a 53-yard touchdown run to send Glendora into halftime up, 28-7.
Burbank never recovered, as Ford scored on a 45-yard touchdown run to give the home team a 35-7 lead with 7:22 left in the third.
Burbank did tally touchdown passes of 25 yards and 34 yards to Smith and Jack Saptya to close within 42-21 with 10:40 remaining.
However, Ford scored his fifth touchdown, this from 38 yards, to ice the game as Glendora went up, 49-21, at the seven-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
To its credit, Burbank battled to the end and finished with two 12-yard touchdown passes from Porras to Harutyunyan.
Porras, who led his team to an upset of top-seeded South Hills in last year’s Division VII quarterfinals en route to the program’s second straight semifinal appearance, did not want to be taken out of the game.