BURBANK HIGH — On the surface, Thursday's boys' soccer match between Burroughs High and Burbank looked like nothing more than a battle for pride.
The Indians had already clinched second place in the Pacific League and the Bulldogs had been knocked out of postseason contention.
However, a controversy arose when the Burbank coach noticed a Burroughs player, who he claimed was kicked out of the teams' rivalry contest earlier in the season, was suited up and played in the match.
Under the CIF Southern Section Constitution and By-Laws, a player ejected for fighting must not only sit out the team's next match, but also may not compete in any future contest against the same team.
The Burroughs coach claimed his player was not ejected from the previous match with the Bulldogs for fighting, but merely received a red card, forcing him to sit out just one contest — which he did.
The controversy couldn't spoil a fine performance from Burroughs senior Mauricio Cortez, who tallied four goals to power the Indians to a 5-2 victory at Burbank High.
Following the game, Burroughs Coach Allen Machuca talked about the controversy.
"I talked to the referee assigner [who worked the previous rivalry match] and he said there was nothing in his report about fighting," he said.
Burbank Coach Frank Chavez said the Indians player was definitely red-carded for fighting.
"I was there. I saw what happened. He was thrown out for fighting," Chavez said.
The schools' administrators were left to sort out the issue.
In the match, it was Burbank (4-7-3 in league) that struck first. Christian Garcia scored a goal in the 12th minute to put the hosts on top, 1-0.
But Burroughs (9-2-3 in league) struck back, as Cortes tallied his first goal in the 25th minute to tie the score.
Cortes struck again five minutes later. However, the lead was short-lived after Garcia scored his second goal — his second straight on a header — in the 38th minute, as the score was tied at 2 at the half.
It was all Indians in the second half. Burroughs came at the Bulldogs with a n attacking offensive attack, led by Cotres.
"I think it's our speed that really helps us," Cortes said. "We are all there to support one another, and when I'm running down the field it's nice to see a few guys there with me."
Burbank had some chances to score in the second half, but was unable to make good on any of them.
Cortes scored a goal five minutes into the second half, and another in the 73rd minute. Teammate Alex Escalante scored the final goal in the 76th minute.