ARCADIA — The Burroughs High football team entered Friday night's contest with Arcadia very much still in the hunt for a Pacific League championship.
However, the Indians would need a little help from a league foe to stay in the running. Burroughs was hoping Crescenta Valley would be able to pull of an upset of league-leading Muir on Friday that would create a logjam of three teams at the top of the standings.
That didn't happen.
The Falcons were defeated by the Mustangs, who remain the lone undefeated league team.
The Indians were able to take care of their own business, however, jumping on top of the visiting Apaches early and notching a 37-14 victory on the road.
In the other game, the Mustangs beat the Falcons, 39-26,
"We couldn't control the other game, but we knew that if [Crescenta Valley] was able to knock off Muir we would be right there in the championship race with one game to go," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "We would have taken help where we could get it.
"But even if they didn't beat Muir, we have to win this game and then beat Burbank next week and we finish in second place – period."
With the win, Burroughs improves to 6-3, 5-1 in league, with its only league loss coming against first-place Muir. The Indians are in second ahead of the Falcons (7-2, 4-2) and Burbank (7-2, 4-2).
"It's important we win the game next week against Burbank because not only will it give us second, but we would get a better place in the CIF playoffs," Knoop said. "Because if we lose it would come down to a coin flip and I don't want to have to rely on that."
The Indians looked good on offense early, as Knoop chose to use more of a ground attack. The benefactor of the ground game was junior running back Javier Pineda, who carried the ball 18 times for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
Pineda got Burroughs started by scoring on a 45-yard run with 8:53 remaining in the first quarter.
The Indians made it 14-0 after they recovered a fumble, took over possession and scored on a five-yard touchdown run by Sean Johnson with 11:18 remaining in the second quarter.
Burroughs kept up the pressure in the second quarter and, when Eric Gordon ripped off a 12-yard scoring run with 7:27 left before the half, the Indians had a 21-0 advantage.
Arcadia (5-4, 3-3) scored a touchdown late in the second half and Burroughs went into the break with a 21-6 ¿lead.
Pineda added his second score in the third quarter and Connor Garden had a safety to increase Burroughs' lead to 30-6 with 6:49 remaining in the game.
Hunter Gueren finished the Indians' scoring with an 18-yard run.
Arcadia tallied a late touchdown on a 99-yard kickoff return.
"We ran the ball a lot more tonight and we didn't pass as much as we usually like to," Knoop said. "But I think we kind of dictated what we wanted to do for most of the game.
"On defense, I think we were just too physical for them. I am disappointed with the kickoff return for a touchdown. That's only the fourth kickoff return for a touchdown in my 21 years here at Burroughs."