Weekly football Preview: ‘Big Game’ — Burbank vs. Burroughs

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WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Memorial Field (Burroughs High)

RECORDS: The Bulldogs are 6-3, 5-1 in the Pacific League; the Indians are 2-7, 2-4

LAST WEEK: Burbank defeated Glendale, 49-6; Burroughs lost to Pasadena, 35-32

OUTLOOK: It is a rivalry game steeped in tradition, ripe with excitement and long on history. For the 70th time, Burbank and Burroughs will take to Memorial Field to once again clash in the annual “Big Game” crosstown football contest. Along with providing its share of memorable moments over the decades, the game brings together the city for a one-night spectacle that often pits family against family, friends against friends and former teammates against one another. The ‘Big Game’ has also featured outstanding players who have gone on to compete at the collegiate level as well as in professional football, including the NFL. Burbank graduate Paul Cameron went on to garner All-American honors at UCLA, finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting and played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Erik Kramer of Burroughs went on to play in the Canadian Football League and had a 10-year NFL career as a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers. More recent participants in the “Big Game” include Bulldogs’ James Williams, now a running back at Washington State and Indians’ Chance Bell, a current running back at San Diego State. “What it comes down to is just do your job and enjoy the moment, and that’s what I’ve been preaching,” said Burbank coach Adam Colman, who also played in the “ Big Game’ for the Bulldogs. “It’s going to be fun, there’s going to be a lot of stuff going on … try and appreciate it as a kid because you just don’t get an opportunity like this a lot. It’s a special game, it’s a special rivalry that not many schools get to experience. And you certainly don’t get to experience that after high school. Even the guys who are going to play college ball you won’t play a rivalry game against a kid you grew up with and all your friends in the stands watching. This is different.” In this year’s game, Burbank comes in with a chance to claim a share of its second straight Pacific League title. But the Bulldogs need help. Arcadia (7-2, 6-0) clinched a league share last week with a win against Muir. If Crescenta Valley (8-1, 5-1) upsets Arcadia on Friday, the Bulldogs, Apaches and Falcons would finish as tri-league champions. Burbank is tied for second in league with Crescenta Valley and could finish no worse than third, guaranteeing a CIF Southern Section playoff spot. Burbank has received a fine effort this season from senior quarterback Matthew Porras, who has completed 115 of 208 passes for 1,971 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. On the ground, Porras has 102 carries for 427 and three touchdowns. Senior receivers Erik Harutyunyan (34 catches for 600 yards, five touchdowns; four interceptions) and Duncan Smith (29 catches for 619 yards and seven touchdowns; five sacks) have also contributed mightily on both sides of the ball. Senior Chadz Vang has caught 21 passes for 317 yards and six touchdowns and rushed 29 times for 283 yards and two scores. Burroughs ill be looking to finish its season on a high note and will not qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive season. “This is a huge game that our boys need to clock in and be involved with the whole way,” Burroughs first-year coach Rand Holdren said. “Burbank is a very good football team and we have to treat that accordingly and work hard all week ...The outside factors for this game are significant and it’s our job as a staff to keep the kids concentrated on what matters, and for us that’s what’s inside the white lines during the game.” The Indians have been paced on offense by sophomore running back Luke Rogers, who had run the ball 186 times for 731 yards and five touchdowns. Running the Indians offense is senior quarterback Nathan Piper, who has completed 79 of 174 passes for 700 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also has four rushing touchdowns.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: Burbank has defeated Burroughs in the “Big Game” the last two seasons and has been victorious in five of the last six meetings.

Twitter: @jefftsports