MEMORIAL FIELD — Since the start of the Pacific League, Burroughs High football Coach Keith Knoop has been telling his team that it has to knock down “a door at a time” in order to achieve its goal of winning the league title.
The Indians broke down “Door Number Four” on Thursday night.
It took them a while to put away Glendale, though.
The Nitros played keep-away from the Indians for the first half, controlling possession for more than 18 minutes of the half. The strategy worked, as Glendale trailed by just eight at the half.
But the few times the Indians had possession in the second half, they scored and the Nitros couldn’t keep up, as Burroughs ran away with a 35-6 victory on a muddy and slippery Memorial Field.
“We kick down one door at a time,” Knoop said. “It took us a whole half [Thursday].”
Burroughs (4-3, 4-0 in league) didn’t have many opportunities in the opening half. The Nitros (0-7, 0-4) ran 36 plays to the Indians’ 13, as Burroughs’ offense was on the field for just 5 minutes 51 seconds.
During that span, it scored a pair of touchdowns on Zander Anding’s 48-yard run and Matt Volland’s 44-yard reception from Lucas Yanez. On their two other possessions, the Indians threw an interception on the first play of a drive and had the first-half clock run out.
“We wanted to spread them out and we let our quarterback [Alex Yoon] run a bit,” said Nitros Coach Alan Eberhart, whose team’s only scores came on 29- and 41-yard field goals by Nick Villapando, largely set up by the running of Yoon (59 yards) and Chan Kim (76 yards).
“We felt we knew what they were going to do defensively. We didn’t want them to put eight guys in the box.
“We made some plays and we made some stops.”
For all of the valiant efforts the Nitros have put forth this season, Eberhart has also realized that his team is winless.
“We’ve been in four games this year, but we still have lost seven games,” he said.
Thursday’s game got out of reach on the first play of the second half.
Yanez kept the ball himself and raced 44 yards for a touchdown to give Burroughs a 21-6 lead. At that point, the Indians had gained 214 yards in just 14 plays, an average of 15.3 yards per play.
“We knew once we got the ball and wherever we got the ball, we were going to score,” said Yanez, who rushed five times for 81 yards and was eight of nine passing for 111 yards. “We knew that our running game was going to open up the passing.”
After a Glendale punt, Burroughs drove 96 yards in 13 plays, taking 6:52 off the clock and ending the drive with a five-yard touchdown run by Tadeo Zuniga. The senior finished with 13 carries for 128 yards.
Said Knoop, who concluded the team huddle at the end of the game with a loud yell of “Door Five,” referring to his team’s game against Crescenta Valley next week: “You give us the ball and we’re going to do stuff with it.”