ARCADIA — The Burbank High players and coaches knew they would face a motivated and focused Arcadia football team when the teams squared off Friday in a Pacific League game.
A week earlier, the Apaches, who many in league picked to take this year's championship, had a poor showing and, as a result, suffered a 12-point loss to Burroughs.
Arcadia couldn't afford another loss if it expected to keep its title hopes alive.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs took the brunt of Arcadia's wrath, scoring early and taking advantage of Burbank mistakes to gain an initial advantage. That was all too much for the Bulldogs to overcome, as they suffered a 38-7 loss on the road.
"We knew that they were going to come out and try and take it to us. We knew they were going to bring their 'A' game," Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. "After what happened last week, we knew that they were going to do all that they could to get back on track."
The loss was the first in league this season for Burbank (3-3, 2-1 in league), which opened the campaign with convincing victories against Glendale and Hoover. But the Apaches — who shared the league crown last season with Burroughs — proved to be a much tougher opponent for the Bulldogs.
"You have to give Arcadia a great deal of credit," Valencia said. "They are very well coached and they have some outstanding athletes. We just didn't help ourselves with the mistakes that we made. When we make a lot of the little mistakes, they seem to come back and hurt us."
Those mistakes enabled the Apaches to jump out to a 25-0 lead in the first quarter. Behind quarterback Miles Carr, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns, Arcadia turned the screws on the Bulldogs from the opening kickoff.
It got so bad for the Bulldogs in the first quarter that they gave up two safeties after the ball was hiked over the Burbank punter's head and into the end zone on consecutive punt attempts.
While the Burbank defense had trouble containing the Apaches, the team's offense sputtered in the first quarter. Along with accumulating minus-35 yards of total offense in the opening frame, the Bulldogs weren't able to gain a first down. In contrast, Arcadia totaled eight first downs in the first quarter.
"When you're down by that many points that early, it's just very difficult to fight your way back," Valencia said. "But the good thing is that our guys never gave up, and we ended up playing better in the second half."
The Apaches tacked on another touchdown in the second quarter to enjoy a 32-0 advantage at the half.
Burbank did settle down in the second half, shutting down Arcadia in the third quarter and allowing just a late score in the fourth.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board with 5:15 left in the game when quarterback Zak Tomlinson connected with Francis Nicks on a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Burbank's Herman Castro carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards and caught seven passes for 56 yards.