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Burbank football faces 'mirror image' La Serna in CIF semifinal

Football: Bulldogs on road for Southeast final-four game against Lancers and prolific quarterback.

November 26, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

Burbank High football Coach Hector Valencia didn't have to go too far to pick the brain of someone who had first-hand knowledge of the Bulldogs' next opponent.

That opponent is La Serna, and Burbank will face the Lancers in a CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at California High in Whittier.

In the opening game of the playoffs, cross-town rival Burroughs absorbed the brunt of La Serna's potent offensive attack, with the Indians coming out on the losing end of a 55-7 result.

"The thing about La Serna is they're not very big, and when you watch them on film they kind of put you to sleep because they are so methodical and they are so good at what they do," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "They are incredibly well-coached, their kids don't make many mistakes and what's killer about them is that they play snap to whistle every single play. Nobody takes a play off.

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"When you play them, they do what they do so well they kind of sneak up on you. You make a mistake and they take full advantage and the next thing you know you're already behind. For us, we were down, 48-0, and it was like it happened so fast."

Valencia has been in contact with Knoop, who has provided the Burbank coach with game film and other information about the Lancers.

"He has helped us out a great deal," Valencia said. "We have a good relationship and he's a good guy in that respect. We just want to gather as much information as possible."

Burbank (10-2) enters the game after making an impressive run through the first two rounds of the playoffs after tying for second place in the Pacific League and earning a No. 2 seed from the league for the postseason. The Bulldogs opened the playoffs Nov. 15 with a 49-14 win at home against Mayfair and followed that up with a 42-0 win last week against Santa Fe.

"I think the last three weeks Burbank has really been on a roll," said La Serna Coach Margarito Beltran, referring to the Bulldogs' win against Burroughs in the regular-season finale and its two playoff victories. "During those three games they have definitely stepped up and they have been playing well."

Valencia said the Burbank program has been to the CIF semifinals previously, but it has been more than 80 years since the Bulldogs were in the final four.

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