THOUSAND OAKS — Last year in Pacific Youth Football, the Burbank Green junior squad went undefeated and won the league’s Super Bowl.
This season, the Vikings and coach Corey Enman had the chance to match that feat if they could beat the Camarillo Roadrunners Saturday afternoon at Thousand Oaks High. It was not an easy road, as the Vikings lost their starting quarterback in the first quarter and were tied going into the fourth, but Burbank pulled out a 14-8 win for another perfect season.
“After last year we went undefeated and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to recreate that chemistry,” Enman, who won the PYFL East Coach of the Year award this season, said. “But these guys came in [and did it]. It’s really a testament to the parents. They raise extraordinary young men.”
Burbank Green (12-0), the No. 1 seed from the East, was tied with Camarillo (10-2), the No. 2 seed from the West, going into the final quarter and faced a fourth down and goal to go from the 14-yard line. Back-up quarterback Isaac Cordova then threw it out wide left to Sebastian Leal short of the end zone, but Leal threaded his way in for what turned out to be the winning touchdown with 10:17 to go.
“That touchdown just came from the heart,” Leal said. “I just had to make it and I came up with a touchdown.”
The Vikings defense, which was stout and physical through the contest, then made it stick, stopping Camarillo on consecutive fourth downs on the Roadrunners’ next two possessions to seal the win.
“The kids, they’re aggressive and when they get hit they, they get tested, they just come together and play amazing,” Enman said.
Leal, who also had a made a key interception on defense in the final minute of the second quarter, was responsible for both his team’s touchdowns. Midway through the second quarter, Leal, as the second man through the line, took the handoff from Cordova and ran seven yards for the only touchdown of the first half. Cordova followed with a successful run on the two-point conversion and the Vikings would lead, 8-0, at the break.
For being scoreless after the first, the quarter was a difficult one for the Vikings. With 4:17 left, starting quarterback Bryce Young went down with an injury to his lower left leg and would not see the field again.
Fortunately for the Vikings, however, it was Cordova who had been their starting quarterback in last season’s undefeated campaign ending in a Super Bowl win and he stepped in admirably.
“It is fitting that [Cordova] gets to come back in and lead us to our second championship,” Enman said. “Isaac is what this team is about: unselfish. He’ll do anything for his teammates and stepped up big when we need it. He was awesome.”
On Cordova’s second possession under center, set up by a Michael Sorokin fumble recovery, he led them on a touchdown drive and would finish five of eight for 77 yards and the score. He also led the Vikings in rushing with 61 yards on 10 carries.
“It was a good nail-biter,” Cordova said. “It was really intense.”
Camarillo scored its touchdown midway through the third quarter. Following a Vikings fumble, the Roadrunners took seven plays to cover 12 yards ending with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Charbonnet, who led his team with 21 yards on 13 carries.
“It’s been a phenomenal year and there is no better way to end it than this way,” Enman said.
As a bonus, the junior Vikings are headed next to Las Vegas to play in a tournament over the Thanksgiving holiday.