ARCADIA — The Burroughs High football team had Arcadia flustered and out of sorts in the first half of their Pacific League game Friday.
In the second half, the Indians had the Apaches’ heads spinning.
Burroughs came out prepared to deal with the high-octane Arcadia offense and the defense stepped up, notching two interceptions and recovering three fumbles. On offense, the Indians received another stellar 300-plus rushing game from Zander Anding.
It was all too much for the Apaches to overcome, as Burroughs used a big second-half push to knock off visiting Arcadia, 41-29.
While many picked the Apaches (3-2, 1-1 in league) as the favorite to win the Pacific League championship this season, the Indians — who shared the title with Arcadia last season — believed they had a game plan that could help them knock off their rival.
“We thought we had a really good chance, but everyone doubted that we could beat them,” said Anding, a senior running back. “But that just pumped us up even more. It was a test and we passed. It just feels amazing that we were able to come together as a team and win this.”
Anding provided Burroughs (2-3, 2-0) with a huge offensive push. With 112 rushing yards in the first half, Anding came on in the second half, finishing the night with 302 yards in 33 carries and five touchdowns. Four touchdowns came in the second half, and his scores came on runs of 19, 20, 15, two and one yard.
It was the second straight week that Anding rushed for more than 300 yards, a first in Burroughs history. He has rushed for more than 1,100 yards in five games.
“He has just matured so much as a player,” Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said of Anding. “Before he didn’t take football all that seriously, but now he is very focused and he takes it very seriously.”
The Indians began the game by striking first, as quarterback Eli Peppmuller scored on a six-yard keeper. Burroughs showed it meant business when it made it 14-0 following a 19-yard scoring run by Anding.
The Indians went into halftime engulfed in a tight battle, 14-7.
Arcadia responded early in the second half by converting on a 24-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.
The Burroughs defense was bombarded with a steady diet of passes courtesy of Arcadia quarterback Myles Carr. On the night, Carr completed 30 of 51 passes for 324 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Arcadia only ran the ball 20 times on the night, with not much success.
Following the Arcadia field goal, Burroughs began to dominate the game. The Indians went up, 21-10, and then took advantage of two big Apaches miscues.
On the ensuing kickoff, Arcadia lost the ball and the fumble was recovered by Burroughs’ David Distefano on the Arcadia 31-yard line. The Indians turned the gift into a score when Anding found pay dirt on a 15-yard scamper with 2:13 left in the third quarter.
When the Indians kicked off again after the score, the Apaches again lost the ball and it was recovered by Sean Gnasso.
“Getting those two fumbles was huge,” Knoop said. “That’s what we really needed to put the pressure on them.”
Burroughs again cashed in on the miscue, giving the ball again to Anding, who raced over the goalline for two yards with 11:55 left in the game to give the Indians a 34-10 advantage.
However, Arcadia wasn’t about to crawl into a hole. It scored 19 straight points and trailed by only five, 34-29, with 3:49 left.
But on Burroughs’ next possession, Anding capped his night by scoring from one yard out.
Knoop said his team worked hard throughout the week to get prepared for the Apaches.
“Arcadia doesn’t change much in what they do from week to week,” Knoop said. “We just tried to prepare the kids as much as possible for them. We showed them their tendencies and what they liked to do. We are in better shape than anyone that we will play and [Arcadia] was tired at the end of the game.”