BURBANK — Ahead late, the Burbank High football team could afford to trade touchdowns with Crescenta Valley in the second half of Friday night’s Pacific League game and the Bulldogs certainly gave as good as they got, and then some, in their 38-21 win at Memorial Field.
“We didn’t dwell on what they did,” Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. “We just said, ‘OK we’ve got to take care of our business now and it showed.’ They definitely pounded the ball on us, but we were bending and didn’t break too much.”
James Williams’ 59-yard touchdown run, which capped off a 168-yard rushing night for the sophomore back, gave Burbank (5-2, 4-0 in league) its final 17-point lead and officially ended CV’s comeback hopes with 5:20 to play in the fourth quarter, but it was another big-yardage play earlier in the fourth that finished off the Falcons.
Less than three minutes after Kyle Tavizon had rushed for a 20-yard touchdown out of the Wildcat formation to pull Crescenta Valley (3-4,1-3) within 26-21 with 11:12 left in the game, Burbank faced a third and seven from its own 46-yard line.
Bulldogs sophomore quarterback Ryan Meredith dropped back and hit senior Francis Nicks in stride down the right sideline for a 40-yard gain to the Falcons’ 14-yard line. Williams took the drive to the one on the next play before Meredith punched it in himself for a one-yard touchdown and 32-21 lead with 8:23 left after the run attempt failed. Crescenta Valley reached midfield on its next drive, but had to punt and never got another look at the game.
“Francis made a nice move, they were pressing up on that one,” Valencia said. “We just took a shot at it going deep.”
Earlier, CV’s William Wang’s five-yard touchdown run at the 3:36 mark of the third, set up by Chad Eggertson’s 29-yard punt return, cut Burbank’s lead to 20-14, but Burbank had an answer.
Williams broke a 49-yard run on the first play from scrimmage of Burbank’s next drive, fumbling the ball on the CV three-yard line, but Burbank offensive lineman Michael Wong scooped the ball up in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Defensively we knew every single play [they were going to run] on every single down, but they were able to do it, they ran it and they did it,” said CV Coach Paul Schilling, who got 85 yards in 27 carries from Wang. “As soon as we got back [on defense after scoring], we got comfortable. I don’t know if we got worn down, but our guys played really hard and [the Bulldogs] are good.”
It was the second score of the night by a Burbank lineman, as defensive tackle Steven Kim recovered a punt blocked by Andy Park for the game’s first points in the second quarter.
Crescenta Valley fell behind, 14-0, when Teddy Arlington caught a 32-yard pass from Meredith at the 4:18 mark of the second for a touchdown, but the Falcons trailed just 14-7 at the half after CV drove 49 yards to score on an eight-yard Wang run with 1:59 left.
Burbank took a 20-7 lead at the 9:08 mark of the third on a 22-yard pass from Meredith to Arlington.
“Offensively, we made some good strides, this is the best we’ve moved the ball against a good defensive team,” Schilling said. “We got some things going.
“Burbank’s heads were hanging at halftime and they were up. Our guys were fired up and they played hard.”