BURBANK — After snapping an 11-game nonleague losing streak last week, the Burroughs High football team felt the sting of its daunting pre-Pacific League slate yet again when Camarillo visited Memorial Field Thursday night.
The four-time Pacific View League champion Scorpions, who are ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Western Division, defeated the Indians for the second year in a row and almost matched its 37-point margin of victory from 2012 with a 48-14 win.
"From the previous two games, our offense was much better tonight," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "Special teams and field position is what it came down to tonight."
After mounting two strong drives to start the game, the Indians' offense was slowed the rest of the night and forced to punt on seven of its final nine drives. Burroughs started inside its own 15-yard line on three of those drives and saw others stopped by penalties.
Camarillo put the game away quickly and had a 27-7 lead by halftime. Its starting quarterback, Jake Constantine, who completed 11 of 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns, played during just four drives, as the Scorpions held a 24-7 lead with 5:25 to play in the first half.
Despite suffering another lopsided loss heading into Pacific League play against Glendale next week, there were some bright spots for Burroughs.
The most notable ones came from defensive and offensive lineman Hawkins Mann, a senior transfer from Illinois who's verbally committed to Boise State, and the passing connection between senior quarterback Andrew Williams and senior wide receiver Conor Joyce.
Mann, who even logged an 18-yard carry, lived up to his name on the defensive side of the ball and racked up three tackles for a loss, totaling 18 yards, including two sacks. His other tackle for a loss was for four yards and was a two-man job with Burroughs' Brad Peppmuller, who also had a two-yard sack.
"As I knew, [Mann's] not as conditioned with the rest of us so he had to fight over that," Knoop said. "What a great spirit, though. He was cramping and out of shape and vomiting at halftime, but he was still going hard. We have to get him to rub off on a lot of our guys and if we can then we could be a pretty special team with him. He's a different dude, he's a big-time football player."
Even with a nice stat line in his debut as an Indian, Mann was nowhere near content.
"A lot of work to do, not satisfied, not at all," he said. "A lot of work, personally and on a team perspective, but we've get a great group of guys here, a good staff of coaches, so I know we're going to get back to work."
Offensively, Williams and Joyce were bright spots for the locals, scoring both Indians' touchdowns. Williams played a nearly flawless first half, completing his first nine passes, before he finished 17 of 23 for 229 yards and two scores. Joyce had five catches for 139 yards.
"He's just coming around, you know," Knoop said of Williams. "We had some good offensive plays, we ran some hurry-up and he did everything we asked him to do. He's only going to get better and really be great by the end of the year. I think his confidence is really coming in."
Burroughs' offense started strong against a tough Camarillo defense and took 4:40 off the clock and drove the ball 57 yards on its opening drive. It looked to keep moving on a fourth-and-one play at Camarillo's 24-yard line, but the Indians' Aidan Anding was stuffed, forcing a turnover on downs.
Six plays later, Camarillo scored on a 52-yard touchdown pass. While Constantine played well in the four drives he orchestrated, it could have been the luckiest play of the night. A Burroughs defensive back tipped the ball in the air only to see Ryan Muscarella (101 yards on five catches) haul in the deflection and sprint the rest of the way for the score with 5:25 to play in the first quarter.
The Indians answered right back about 3:15 later and scored on a 42-yard pass from Williams to Joyce on third-and-nine from their own 37. Williams also completed a 36-yard pass to Hunter Guerin to keep the drive alive on third-and-13 at Burroughs' 21.
Camarillo would score touchdowns on its first three drives. It then added a pair of field goals in the second quarter, as Garrett Erickson connected from 31 and 34 yards out, the last coming as the first half expired with the Scorpions holding a 27-7 lead.
Burroughs didn't have much else to cheer about until Williams hit Joyce again down the left sideline for a 71-yard bomb that brought the score to 41-14 with 9:01 to play.