MEMORIAL FIELD — It will take at least another week for the Burroughs High football team to christen the newly renovated Memorial Field with a victory after it lost its season and home opener to visiting Paraclete Friday night, 35-10.
The Indians had difficulty taking care of the ball and turning drives into touchdowns, as three turnovers led to Spirits scores in the loss with the most devastating coming 18 seconds before halftime when Paraclete’s Christian Ruiz stripped a Burroughs wide receiver of the ball on a fourth-and-11 screen pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown, which gave the visitors a 17-3 lead at halftime.
“That was a momentum swing right there,” Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. “They came out all fired up and they had the lead. Realistically, we felt we should have scored two touchdowns and been up, 17-7. We didn’t capitalize.”
Burroughs appeared to have taken a quick touchdown lead when Israel Montes, who ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, barreled his way to the goal line but was ruled down with inches to go. The Indians had three chances to punch the ball in for the score, but couldn’t gain any ground, which led to a 17-yard field goal and 3-0 lead six minutes into the game.
The Spirits (1-1) took the lead, 7-3, on a five-yard run from Tylan McBride with 17 seconds left in the first quarter. The score was set up by a 19-yard run to Burroughs’ 10-yard line from Chris Campbell after Paraclete recovered an Indians fumble at their 39.
The fumble came just two plays after Montes recovered a loose ball at Paraclete’s own 31-yard line after a botched option toss from the Spirits.
The Indians committed three turnovers in the first half, as a promising red-zone drive was flipped when Paraclete’s Tyler Carvalho intercepted a Burroughs pass at his team’s own four-yard line and returned it 50 yards with 8:34 left in the half.
“We looked like a team that played its first game and they looked like a team that had played its second game,” Knoop said. “They’ve got some great players. For a small school, they’re loaded.
“We’ve just got to get better. It’s hard to tell what you’ve got to work with until you play a real game.”
Burroughs was held to a three-and-out on its opening second-half drive after a low snap led to a 13-yard loss and forced the Indians to punt the ball out of their own end zone, which set the Spirits up 35 yards away from another score.
Carvalho pushed the lead to 21-3 when he hit Antoyne Hutcherson, who ran a wheel route out of the backfield, with a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-five four minutes into the third quarter.
The Spirits signal caller, who completed seven of 10 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns, threw for his second score of the night when he hit Triston Brown with a wide receiver screen over the middle for a 31-yard score for a 28-3 advantage with 9:38 remaining in the game.
Montes finally got Burroughs into the end zone with 6:32 to go in the game with a one-yard run. The score was set up by a muffed Paraclete punt that was recovered by Noah Tipton at the Spirits’ 10. The Indians forced three turnovers of their own in the game, as Dillon Meza intercepted a Paraclete pass at Burroughs’ 40 and returned it 16 yards.
Burroughs lost the top two quarterbacks on its depth chart to minor injuries Friday, as starter Andrew Williams came out of the game with a severely sprained ankle with 4:30 left in the third and backup Angel Manzanero came off the field when the wind was knocked out of him late in the fourth.
“They’ll be fine, we’ll get them back,” Knoop said of his quarterbacks.
Paraclete added insult to injury when Charles Green broke through several Burroughs tackles for a 46-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left in the game to cap the scoring.