MEMORIAL FIELD — Difficulty defending the pass and personal-foul penalties are two problems that have plagued the Burbank High football team in its first two games of the season.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, those problems didn't prove costly last week against an inferior Chatsworth team, as Burbank was able to come away with a win.
However, against a talented West Ranch squad from the tough Foothill League on Thursday night, those same difficulties proved to be the Bulldogs' downfall.
Burbank committed four personal-foul penalties and Wildcats quarterback Gerrit Mouw riddled the Bulldogs defense in a 28-7 victory for West Ranch at Memorial Field.
Taking advantage of the personal-foul penalties, the infractions helped the Wildcats (1-1) sustain drives and continually gave their offense good field position.
"Those penalties are on us," Burbank senior lineman Jacob Jimenez said. "We shouldn't be making those kinds of mistakes. We just have to do a better job at staying calm and not losing our heads."
Mouw paced his team's offense, completing 21 of 24 passes for 204 yards and no interceptions. He threw for one touchdown, hitting Rawson Redick on a 20-yard pass.
The Wildcats' other three touchdowns came on the ground, two on scoring runs of one yard by Jose Bermudez. The other rushing score came on a 39-yard touchdown scamper by Zahr Lyttle.
"The penalties cost us, yes," said Burbank Coach Hector Valencia, whose team dropped to 1-1. "But overall I don't think we played very bad. That's a good team over there and we made them work for their points.
"But we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. We missed some good chances."
One of those chances came with 8:54 remaining in the game and West Ranch holding a 21-7 lead. Burbank quarterback Zak Tomlinson found wide receiver Daniel Lopez in the end zone on an eight-yard pass. Lopez appeared to catch the ball, but a Wildcat defender came quickly up and hit him hard, jarring the ball loose. It was ruled an incomplete pass.
"If we make that play and score there, then it's a different ball game," Valencia said. "Those are the things we have to capitalize on."
The Bulldogs also suffered a miscue on the second play from scrimmage when a receiver fumbled the ball at the West Ranch 17 after a catch on a half-back option.
"We can't make mistakes like that," Valencia said. "We had good field position and we gave the ball away."
The Bulldogs were in the game early, after West Ranch scored on its first possession of the first quarter to take a 7-0 advantage.
Burbank came right back and mounted a 10-play, 50-yard drive the culminated with a one-yard plunge up the middle by junior running back Joseph Pendleton. The drive was set up by a fine run-back on the kickoff by sophomore James Williams, who brought the ball out to midfield.
Pendleton carried the ball 15 times for 58 yards.
But after tying the score at 7, the Burbank offense continually came up short.
It looked as if the half would end in a tie. However, West Ranch mounted a drive in the waning seconds. The Wildcats scored with 31.9 seconds left on one of Bermudez's one-yard scoring bursts.
In the third quarter, West Ranch scored with 1:17 left to increase its lead to 21-7. The team tacked on a final score with 1:43 left in the contest.
Tomlinson began the game strongly, completing his first four passes. However, three of his next eight passes were intercepted.