But Burbank began to self-destruct. However, despite a valiant comeback attempt by the Matadors in the second half, the Bulldogs were able to hold on to a 44-36 victory.
Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said he didn't think it was complacency that led to his team's struggles late against San Gabriel (0-3).
"No, I think it was just all the little mistakes that we were making," said Valencia, whose team committed four turnovers — all in the second half. "Those are the things that really killed us. But we were the ones that shot ourselves in the foot."
The Bulldogs (2-1), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division, did receive a fine effort from senior running back Ulises Ochoa. Ochoa ran for 184 yards in 22 carries and had touchdowns of five, 22 and 12 yards.
Ochoa is one of the main reasons why Burbank jumped out to a 37-0 lead, as he ran for 145 yards in the first half.
The Burbank defense also played well in the first two quarters. It held San Gabriel to minus-11 yards of offense in the first quarter.
But the Matadors began to come back in the second half. They scored two touchdowns to cut the lead to 37-14 at the half.
Bulldogs senior quarterback Adam Colman also played well. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. However, he also had two interceptions.
His two touchdown throws of 20 and 46 yards were both caught by senior Ryan Thanaratnam. He ended with 133 yards receiving in six catches.
The Matadors continued to claw their way back in the game in the second half. When they converted a two-point conversion attempt with 7:31 remaining, San Gabriel was within eight-points of the lead.
"We just didn't execute well," Valencia said. "We can't play like that against other teams. Our execution is something that we definitely have to work on."
The Matadors had one last position with 5:24 left. However, a fourth-and-nine play from their own 42-yard line fell short.
When Burbank got the ball back, Colman ran for a first down with 2:29 remaining to allow the Bulldogs to run out the clock.
With a bye next week, the Bulldogs, who won a share of the league crown in 2009, open Pacific League play Oct. 1 at Muir.