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Second half foils Bulldogs

October 16, 2004

Garrett D. Uribe

Although it was a loss, one of the Burbank High football team's best

efforts last season came with a six-point Foothill League loss to

Canyon.

At the time, the Cowboys were ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section

Division II, and the Bulldogs gave them all they could handle, as a

Burbank penalty late in the fourth quarter helped lead to Canyon's

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winning score.

On Friday, Canyon came into its league opener against the host

Bulldogs ranked second in the division, and this year's installment

turned out to be very different from the 2003 result.

Assisted by Burbank turnovers, the Cowboys used a big second-half

effort to defeat the Bulldogs, 50-23, at Memorial Field.

Behind the passing of Burbank senior quarterback Mike McDonald --

who completed his first nine passes -- Burbank (3-3) looked

impressive in the first half, as it went into the locker room with a

23-21 lead.

However, five turnovers in the second half allowed the Canyon

(6-0) offense to keep rolling.

"We're a young team, and we just fell apart in the second half,"

Burbank Coach Greg Sobiech said. "There is no excuse for the way we

played in that second half.

"When you commit five turnovers, you're not going to beat anyone."

Despite the loss, McDonald put together a fine game. The senior

completed 16 of 24 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns. In six

games, McDonald had thrown for 1,903 yards and 24 touchdowns -- both

school records.

Another positive note for the Bulldogs was the return of senior

wide receiver Jesse Ayers, who was injured in the Bulldogs' second

game of the season Sept. 16 against Chaminade.

Ayers returned in a big way, gaining 177 yards in five receptions

and one touchdown.

Burbank also got a great effort from junior receiver Jason McNeil.

Along with a 53-yard reception for a touchdown, he also ran a kickoff

back 84 yards for a touchdown.

On defense, Bulldog sophomore defensive back James Antaplyan had

two interceptions.

Sobiech realizes how tough the competition is in the Foothill

League. And this season, there doesn't appear to be a weak team in

the bunch.

Along with Canyon, the league includes Hart (ranked fourth),

Valencia (ranked fifth) and Saugus (ranked 10th). Burroughs is no

slouch either, as the Indians have a 4-2 record.

Things don't get any easier for the Bulldogs, as they face the

Centurions at 7:30 Thursday in a league game at College of the

Canyons.

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