Burbank football overcomes penalties in win over Pasadena

PASADENA — Penalty flags were flying at a frenzied pace Friday night when the Burbank High football team took on Pasadena in a Pacific League game.

The teams combined to commit 33 infractions for a whopping 305 yards.

But those penalties didn’t seem to matter as much for one of the squads, which was able to move the ball on the ground and play tough defense.

That team was Burbank, which despite losing the penalty battle, was able to notch a 34-8 victory at Pasadena to remain tied for the league lead.

“We did make our share of mistakes tonight,” said Burbank Coach Hector Valencia, whose squad was penalized 18 times for 170 yards. “But we didn’t have the big penalties that really hurt us. There are just some things that we need to work on so we don’t have so many penalties.”

The victory keeps Burbank (4-2, 3-0 in league) in a tie for first place in league with Muir (3-3, 3-0), as the two are the lone unbeaten league teams.

Sophomore running back James Williams said staying in contention for a league championship is paramount in the minds of the Burbank players.

“We are all trying to go undefeated in league so we can get those rings,” Williams said. “We have been getting way better in practice and I think that has shown in our games.”

Williams led a Burbank running attack that Pasadena (1-5, 1-2) had trouble containing. Williams rushed for 144 yards in 11 carries and scored three touchdowns. Teammate Teddy Arlington tallied two touchdowns and had 99 yards in 17 carries.

Arlington scored on a 14-yard run with 6:18 left in the first quarter and Williams found the end zone with 4:06 remaining on a brilliant 54-yard run to put Burbank in front, 14-0, after one quarter.

Along with his team committing 15 penalties for 135 yards, Pasadena Coach Randy Horton was disappointed with his players’ efforts Friday.

“Any little thing that happens to them they want to quit and they don’t want to fight,” he said. “It’s hard to win games when kids just don’t want to fight. I’ve never seen anything like this where kids just quit and lay down — in the middle of the game.”

Pasadena was playing its fourth straight game without senior quarterback Brandon Cox, a University of Arizona commit who broke a bone in his foot during the second game of the season. Horton said Cox will remain sidelined for at least another two weeks.

Sophomore Caleb Devine has taken over for Cox at quarterback. Against Burbank, Devine carried the ball 17 times for 61 yards and accounted for his team’s lone touchdown. He also completed 12 of 23 passes for 75 yards and two interceptions.

Williams added a three-yard run in the second quarter to stake Burbank to a 21-0 lead at the half. His final tally came on a seven-yard run in the fourth quarter. Arlington punctuated his team’s touchdown tally with a four-yard scamper with 4:46 left in the game for a 34-0 advantage.

“It’s great to have three, maybe four running backs that we can use at any given time,” Valencia said. “Those guys have worked really hard to earn their reps.”

Pasadena finally got on the board with 1:29 left when Devine ran it in from 15 yards out. The quarterback completed a pass to Elijah Trejo for the successful two-point conversion.

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