GLENDALE — The Burbank High football team started off Thursday night's Pacific game against Glendale with a rhythmic 60-yard touchdown drive, but it's what the Bulldogs did next that really set the tone for what would snowball into a 56-8 blowout at Moyse Field.
An onside kick — with less than three minutes elapsed in the first quarter — had the same effect on the Nitros that it did on just about everyone else in the stadium, utter surprise. It was recovered by the Bulldogs at the Nitros 49-yard line and four plays and 1:10 later Burbank led by two touchdowns.
"We were not gonna back up, we were just gonna go after them," Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. "From what I've seen in every game, [Glendale's] been playing every team great in the first half, so I'm thinking this team is legit and it's really good, so my thing was to just to be aggressive."
Glendale (0-5, 0-2 in league) was back on its heels from that point on and never regained its balance, as Burbank (4-1, 2-0), the No. 2 team in the CIF Southeast Division, had put the game away by the early stages of the second quarter and led, 56-0, at halftime.
"It surprised us, they did a great job of coming out and being able to hit us in the mouth," Glendale Coach Alan Eberhart said.
And, the hits kept coming.
Nitros quarterback Alex Yoon was sacked on a dropback on Glendale's first possession of the game with just under six minutes elapsed in the first quarter and was knocked out of the game. That play also set up a punt on fourth-and-long that gave Burbank a short field for a 21-0 lead via a 38-yard drive capped by the second of three touchdowns on the night for Ulisies Ochoa (61 yards in 10 carries).
"As a team, we executed," Ochoa said. "There's was a couple things we could have done better, but overall, we dominated how we wanted to. It was a good win."
At the 3:20 mark of the first quarter, Glendale, which totaled negative-six yards of offense in the first half, fumbled the ball away on its own 10-yard line on the first play of its second possession of the night and saw Burbank go up, 28-0, on a six-yard Ochoa run with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
Burbank's Jose Rodriguez returned a punt 71 yards for a score and a 35-0 lead with less than two minutes gone by in the second quarter and the Bulldogs went up 42-0 after an interception led to a Steven Rivera rushing score at the 7:17 mark.
"Preseason was kind of rough here and there, but we're starting to put it together," Ochoa said. "Today we won the way we wanted to. I'm happy with this team so far."
The Bulldogs would manage to squeeze two more touchdowns into the final seven minutes of the first half. Ochoa broke a 23-yard run to set up his own four-yard scoring run at the 3:29 mark and a failure to get a punt off on fourth down of the Nitros' next possession set up Burbank at the Glendale 24-yard line. Quortney Brazier, who finished with a team-high 98 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns in just six carries, scored on a 19-yard run with 24 seconds left in the half.
"Their game plan was sound and they're a good football team," Eberhart said. "I told [Valencia] afterwards I was real proud of him and how they conducted themselves in the second half, too. It showed a lot of class because it could have been out of control more than it was. We didn't play well."