BURBANK — Any hopes the Glendale High football team had of seizing a Pacific League playoff berth were greatly dimmed on Thursday night in a 54-13 loss at Burroughs that quickly descended into chaos for the Nitros.
Glendale (5-4, 2-4 in league) entered the game needing a win to control its own playoff destiny, which is now far out of the Nitros’ hands.
In sixth place entering tonight’s slate of league games, the Nitros need fourth-place Arcadia to lose to Burbank tonight and to Crescenta Valley on Nov. 14, and for Burbank to lose to Burroughs on Nov. 14., just to have a chance to fall into a three-way tie for fourth with the Apaches and Bulldogs.
Then there’s the Nov. 14 Battle for the Victory Bell, in which Glendale would still have to defeat archrival Hoover for any of this to matter.
“There’s things we need to fix,” Glendale Coach Rafik Thorossian said. “Now we’ve gotta play Hoover next week and hopefully we can win that.”
It took all of two plays on the Indians’ opening drive for the Nitros’ fortunes to sour and by halftime they were considerably dampened under a 34-0 deficit.
With less than a minute elapsed in the first quarter, Burroughs quarterback Lucas Yanez faked a handoff to Dominique Barnes that allowed Yanez an opening to race 69 yards for a touchdown.
Glendale countered with a 27-yard drive to the Burroughs 35-yard line, but Burroughs defensive back Kole Adams-Hurd picked off a pass from Glendale quarterback Moises Chavez at the 20-yard line and returned it for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead at the 6:40 mark.
Five minutes before halftime, another Chavez pick was returned for a touchdown, this time with Dalton Williams running it back 55 yards.
Perhaps the most painful score allowed by Glendale in the first half came after the Nitros had backed Burroughs (6-3, 4-2) up to third and 37 at its own 38-yard line with the second quarter clock ticking down under 30 seconds.
Barnes broke a 62-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds remaining to send the Nitros to the locker room at a low point.
“The kids knew it was a big game,” Thorossian said. “I don’t know if they were too nervous, but, the [Nitros] team that I know, and the way they can play, wasn’t here tonight.
“I can make up excuses or whatever, but at the end of the day, our guys didn’t play.”
Glendale fell behind, 41-0, on a blocked punt returned for a score following its first possession of the second half.
Chavez’s fourth interception of the night seven seconds of game time later led to another Indians score and a 47-0 lead at the 8:04 mark.
Sarmen Bakhshi (85 rushing yards in 19 carries) scored the Nitros’ first touchdown on a six-yard run with 7:31 left in the game. Chavez scored on a one-yard keeper with 3:15 to play.