VALENCIA — Trying to get his team prepared for its attempt to win its second straight Pacific League championship, Burroughs High football Coach Keith Knoop scheduled a challenging nonleague schedule.
In consecutive weeks the Indians take on Saugus, Canyon and Hart, running a gauntlet of former Foothill League foes.
What makes the trio of games even more difficult for the locals is that they have to play them all on the road.
Burroughs opened the season Friday with a nonleague Zero Week game against the Centurions at College of the Canyons. Mistakes by the Indians opened the door for Saugus, as it scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter to earn a 26-20 victory.
“We scheduled these three teams because we wanted to be ready when we play in our league,” Knoop said. “If we can survive these games without any injuries, hopefully that will benefit us once league rolls around. We wanted to play against tough teams.”
Friday’s performance wasn’t to Knoop’s liking.
“I was disappointed with some of the mistakes that we made,” Knoop said. “I was disappointed with some penalties that we got, I was disappointed with the dropped passes that we had and I was disappointed with the way our offensive line played.”
Knoop said some of the mistakes were probably attributed to it being the first game of the season.
“You have your share of mistakes in the first game,” he said. “But we made some mistakes at really crucial times, and that’s what hurt us.”
The Burroughs defense had trouble containing Saugus’ run-oriented attack. The Centurions attempted just eight passes during the game.
The running game was led by junior quarterback Jared Carbajal, who gained 159 yards in 22 carries and scored a touchdown. He also threw for a touchdown.
The Indians countered with a balanced offensive scheme. Senior quarterback Lucas Yanez completed nine of 14 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. However, three of the passes were dropped.
He connected with senior Matt Volland with touchdown strikes of eight and 69 yards.
With the scored tied at 20, Saugus drove the ball down the field to set up the winning score in the fourth quarter. With 2:58 left, Carbajal hit Denley Rodriguez on a four-yard play-action-pass across the middle.
Burroughs started out the game by scoring the first touchdown on an eight-yard strike from Yanez to Volland with 4:41 left in the first quarter.
The duo’s other touchdown combination tied the score at 14.
The Indians took the lead with 5:27 left in the third quarter when senior Tadeo Zuniga scored on an eight-yard run.
Zuniga finished with 56 yards in 16 carries.