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Burbank football can't stop run in playoff opener

Burbank Bulldogs' defense unable to halt Norwalk ground game in 49-14 first-round CIF playoff loss at home.

November 09, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

MEMORIAL FIELD — It was Norwalk High’s potent offensive attack against Burbank’s stingy defense when the two met Friday in a CIF Southern Section first-round playoff football game.

Entering the contest, the Lancers had the No. 1 offense in the Southeast Division, scoring 39.9 points a game, while the Bulldogs had the top-rated defense, giving up an average of 15.6 points a contest.

However, it was apparent early in the contest at Memorial Field that Burbank was going to have trouble containing the Norwalk rushing attack.

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Scoring all of their touchdowns on the ground, and having two running backs gain more than 100 yards, the Lancers took advantage of Burbank mistakes in the first quarter and rolled to 49-14 victory.

The Bulldogs end the season with a 7-4 record after placing second in the Pacific League behind champion Muir. Burbank was able to qualify for the postseason this season after missing the playoffs last season.

Norwalk (9-2) — which finished third in the Suburban League — used a methodical ground assault to eat up yardage against the Bulldogs. The Lancers’ running backs took advantage of an explosive offensive line that continually moved the Burbank defense back all night, paving way for the wing-T ground game.

“I actually think they’re better than we thought they were going to be,” Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. “They didn’t get any big plays against us, but they moved the ball very well.

“Our goal was to match them point for point. We thought if we could do that then we would have a chance. But we fell behind early and that really hurt us.”

The Lancers received a solid performance from running back Rashaad Perry, who led the offense with 154 yards rushing in 21 carries and scored two touchdowns. Teammate Bryan Sullivan had 10 carries for 107 yards and Malcom McAllister carried the ball 15 times for 94 yards and one touchdown.

It was mistakes by Burbank in the early going that set up Norwalk with a short field on three occasions in the first quarter. The Lancers took the mistakes and turned them into three touchdowns.

The game began on an ominous note for the Bulldogs when an attempted on-side kick was recovered by the Lancers at their own 47-yard line. It took them just seven running plays to score, as Perry powered over the goal line for a five-yard score with 8:37 left in the first.

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