BURROUGHS HIGH — The Burroughs High football team got a playoff lesson from Coach Keith Knoop last week.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Indians failed to win a CIF Southern Section postseason contest under the coach’s tenure.
“For me, I was 0-7 in the playoffs,” said Knoop, who has been with the program for 18 years. “I talked with the guys about some of the tough playoff matchups we’ve had in the past, and we felt that last week we finally got a draw that was representative of what we had done during the year.”
The Indians were able to go out a get their coach his first playoff win, defeating El Rancho, 41-21, in a Southeast Division first-round game at Memorial Field.
It was Burroughs first playoff win in 23 years.
Things get tougher for the co-Pacific League champions this week. The Indians will take on Mayfair at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a second-round game at Bellflower High.
Burroughs (7-4) won a share of the league title for the second-straight year, and the third time in five seasons. Mayfair (7-4), from Lakewood, finished second in the Suburban League behind La Mirada.
In their opening postseason game last week, the Monsoons defeated Diamond Ranch, 25-20.
In many of their games this season, Burroughs has had to battle back in the second half. However, in their CIF opener, the Indians set the tone early in the contest.
“We’ve been a second-half team all year,” Knoop said. “But for once we were a first-half team and we came out and took advantage of [El Rancho’s] mistakes. It was good.”
Burroughs and Mayfair have a great deal in common. Both teams began the season 0-3, playing some tough opponents in the preseason. On the field, the squads are also very much alike.
“They are a mirror image of us,” Knoop said. “They essentially run the same offense and the same defense that we do. They also have some very good-looking kids and a lot of talent. They look like a very well-rounded team.”
Mayfair has a solid player in senior running back Jason Logologo, who rushed for nearly 200 yards in the win against Diamond Ranch. The Monsoons like to run the ball, as they gained more than 280 yards on the ground last week.
Mayfair also can throw the ball behind senior quarterback Evan Hunko (6-feet-5, 200 pounds). The team also has an All-CIF defensive end in Filo Fonoti (6-3, 265 pounds).
“We are a little banged up right now,” Knoop said. “In last week’s game there was a time when we ran out of guys who knew how to run certain plays, and we had to punt twice.
“But we’re going to be ready and these guys are rearing to go.”