“It was nice how the kids put it together,” said Valencia, a Burbank graduate and former player. “We didn’t practice for a week, but the kids were still ready.”
Valencia’s statement proved to be true, judging from the Bulldogs’ first drive.
Burbank, running a no-huddle offense, opened the season with a four-play, 72-yard drive that lasted 39 seconds and ended with Ulises Ochoa’s eight-yard touchdown run.
“All week, we thought about starting the game fast,” Ochoa said. “That gave us a big boost.”
The junior gave his team a boost with a career-high 154 yards rushing and three touchdowns in just 16 carries. He shared the load with senior fullback Leo Rodas. Rodas contributed 122 yards on the ground in 13 carries, as the Bulldogs averaged 7.9 yards per rush.
“We are a run-balanced, hurry-up offense,” Rodas said. “The combination of me and [Ochoa] is the strongest point of our offense. If we can establish the run, it will open up the rest of the game.”
Bulldog quarterback Adam Colman passed for 142 yards and a touchdown to Cole Hazlewood, who also returned a punt 16 yards for a score.
The Bulldogs were also aided by a strong defense that was led by defensive back Sam Bethany, who had a pair of interceptions and a third called back because of a penalty.
Friday’s victory gave the Bulldogs high expectations for the remainder of the season.
“We wanted to make a statement,” Rodas said. “Our goal is a [league] championship.”