PASADENA — Burroughs High running back Zander Anding had to leave Friday’s Pacific League opener against Pasadena in the first half. The senior was experiencing shortness of breath and was feeling light-headed.
However, after resting on the sideline in the second quarter to catch his breath, Anding went right back into the game — and back to work.
The running back probably left the Bulldogs defenders a little breathless themselves during the league opener, as he scored four touchdowns in pacing the Indians to a 49-34 victory on the road.
The win was the first of the season for Burroughs (1-3, 1-0 in league).
Anding had 29 carries for 302 yards and three rushing touchdowns of 14, 13 and nine yards. He also had a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He would have racked up more yardage and more scores, but he had two touchdowns called back because of Indians penalties.
“I had some long runs in that first half, and I think that’s what got to me,” said Anding, who also had carries of 22, 35, 36, 31 and 22 yards. “But after I rested a bit, I felt a lot better.
“The line blocked really, really good tonight. They opened some real wide holes for me.”
The Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1) had problems containing Anding and stopping the Burroughs offense. Although the Pasadena offense played well behind a stellar five-touchdown performance from junior quarterback Brandon Cox, the defense sputtered.
“That’s my fault,” Pasadena Coach Randy Horton said. “I handle the defense and I have to take the blame for that. The offense showed up and scored points for us, but our defense didn’t show up at all. After the first series, we just didn’t want to tackle.”
Cox had a fine night, completing 15 of 23 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns of 59, 35 and 22 yards. He also ran for two touchdowns, including a 77-yarder.
Senior wide receiver Riian Simpson had seven catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
But the night belonged to Anding and the Indians, who had to fight their way back from an early defect in the first quarter.
“We knew what [Pasadena] was going to do,” Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. “But we had some kids out for disciplinary reasons this week and we had some kids in there who probably shouldn’t have been playing in some spots. They did expose us at times, but we didn’t tackle particularly well.”
While Anding was sidelined, Israel Montes came in and helped carry the load at running back. He finished with nine carries for 67 yards and a one-yard touchdown.
Pasadena struck first in the first quarter, as Cox hooked up with Keith Law on a 59-yard strike with 6:58 remaining.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, Anding scampered 93 yards to tie the score.
After the score, Burroughs pulled off a successful onside kick that was recovered on the Pasadena 40-yard line. The Indians moved the ball and scored on a 14-yard touchdown run from Anding.
Burroughs increased its lead to 21-7 on Montes’ score.
Both teams scored in the second quarter and Burroughs went into the locker room with a 28-13 advantage.
“We knew it was going to be a physical game, but we just didn’t want to match their intensity,” Horton said.
The Indians continued their offensive blitz in the second half. On the first series of the third quarter, Burroughs orchestrated a 77-yard scoring drive that ended with Anding finding paydirt on a 13-yard run to put the Indians up, 35-13.
Knoop said he has no problem giving Anding a heavy workload.
“As long as he can stay healthy, I’m going to give him the ball 35 times a game if that’s what it takes to win,” Knoop said. “He is just dangerous, not only as a running back, but also as a receiver out of the backfield.”
The Bulldogs tried to narrow the gap in the second half, as Burroughs went into the fourth quarter with 42-26 lead.
Although Cox tried to rally his team, the Bulldogs just couldn’t make up the deficit.