Football preview: Burbank vs. Burroughs

BURBANK VS. BURROUGHS

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Memorial Field (Burroughs High).

RECORDS: The Bulldogs are 7-2, 4-2 in the Pacific League; the Indians are 6-3, 5-1.

LAST WEEK: Burbank defeated Hoover, 49-0; Burroughs defeated Arcadia, 37-14.

LAST YEAR: The Bulldogs defeated the Indians, 37-14.

OUTLOOK: There is plenty at stake and several interesting story lines involved in this year's 65th rendition of the Big Game cross-town rivalry. Burroughs, in fact, still has a chance at a share of Pacific League championship. However, that chance is mighty slim. To finish as a co-league champion, the Indians would have to defeat the Bulldogs. In addition, league-leading — and defending champion that is ranked No. 4 in the Southeast division — Muir would have to lose in its cross-town rivalry game to Pasadena. That is highly unlikely because the Mustangs come into that game with a 6-0 league record, while Pasadena is 1-5. But the Indians, whose only loss came against Muir, can control their own destiny with a victory in the annual clash. A victory would give Burroughs a second-place finish and one of only three guaranteed CIF Southern Section playoff spots from the Pacific League. On the other hand, if the Bulldogs come out victorious, then things get a bit complicated. If that happens, and Crescenta Valley (4-2) takes care of Arcadia (3-3) in their annual rivalry, the Falcons, Indians and Bulldogs would all finish tied for third place in league. Since the teams took turns beating one another, coin flips would have to determine which team would be awarded the third and final playoff spot. Even if either Burbank and Burroughs do lose, there is a chance that the losing team could possibly get a wild-card berth into the postseason out of the Southeast Division. That chance is pretty good considering Burbank would have a 7-3 record and Burroughs would have a 6-4 mark. As for the game itself, Burroughs will try and slow down a Burbank — ranked No. 7 in the division — offense that averages a league-best 45.5 points a game. That offense is led by junior running back James Williams and junior quarterback Ryan Meredith. The team also has an accomplished wide receiver in senior Oharjee Brown, a transfer from Burroughs. The Bulldogs' defense has played well this season as well, as it is second-best in league, giving up an average of 15.5 points a game. The Burroughs defense has played well as of late. Led by senior defensive and Hawkins Mann, who has committed to San Diego State, the Indians have surrendered just 14 points in their last three league contests. The Burroughs offense has also shown it can step up, as it has been paced by senior quarterback Andrew Williams, senior wide receiver Conor Joyce and junior running back Javier Pineda. Although there is much that is unclear as to the outcome of this season's game, there is one thing for certain: there won't be a tie. In fact, there has never been a tie in the storied history of the Big Game.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: Burroughs has won six of the last eight Big Game meetings with Burbank dating back to 2005.

Jeff Tully

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