GLENDALE — With running back Zander Anding carrying the majority of the load on offense this season for the Burroughs High football team, the senior had a sizable target on his back when his squad took on Los Altos on Friday night in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
If the Conquerors hoped to defeat the Indians, they would likely have to stop Anding.
Anding did his part, gaining more than 200 yards, but the Burroughs offense could do little else. In addition, penalties and turnovers proved costly for the No. 3-ranked Indians, as they were defeated by unranked Los Altos, 37-29, at Moyse Field.
Anding ended a fine career in which he broke numerous records and put up gaudy numbers for Burroughs (6-5). On the night, he had 15 carries for 216 yards and one touchdown of 65 yards.
"He is an amazing football player," Los Altos Coach Dale Ziola said. "He definitely got his share tonight and he did some damage."
But Anding should have had much more against the Conquerors (8-3). He had nearly 155 yards called back because of holding penalties, including a touchdown run of 85 yards nullified in the second half.
"If we didn't have the holding penalties we could have kept running all night," said Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop, whose team shared the Pacific League championship with Arcadia. "We just couldn't get the ball back in the second half."
With Los Altos leading, 37-29, with just over two minutes left in the game, Burroughs had the ball on its own 34-yard line. However, a miscue on a handoff resulted in the Conquerors recovering a fumble and taking over on the Indians' 29.
"Honestly, on that last drive I believe we were going to go down and score the winning touchdown," Knoop said. "But this is football. This is playoffs and you can't get holding penalties and you can't commit fumbles."
The Indians received two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Brad Hunt. Damien Beltran also returned a kickoff 95 yards late in the third quarter to put Burroughs in front, 28-23.
Burroughs, which held a 22-9 lead at the half, was riddled in the second half by Los Altos quarterback Shane Virnala and running back Justin Fa'aola. Fa'aola, who had just eight carries for 30 yards and no touchdowns in the first half, went wild in the second half, ending the night with 27 carries for 195 yards and a touchdown.
Virnala was 14 for 20 for 152 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also had 14 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The Indians looked to be in control in the first half after the Conquerors went ahead, 6-0 in the opening minutes of the game. But the Indians came back, scoring 22 unanswered points.
"The first half we dominated and the second half they took the ball away from us basically," Knoop said.