With its starting running backs unable to practice all week because of injuries prior to Burbank High’s CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal, the Bulldogs were at a distinct disadvantage.
With star running back James Williams hobbled, Joseph Pendleton knocked out of the game in the first half and Tony Toledo not even suited up for Friday’s contest against No. 2 La Serna, Burbank turned to its defense to take some of the pressure off.
The Bulldogs’ defense did something no other opponent has been able to do against the Lancers in the playoffs — keep them in check for long periods.
However, despite their best efforts, La Serna was able to tally a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to earn a 28-21 victory at California High.
“What I liked about our guys is that we fought until the very end and they never gave up,” said Burbank Coach Hector Valencia, whose team earned wins against Mayfair and Santa Fe to earn a spot in the semifinals. “When they scored that last touchdown they were still out there trying to score. I have to give a lot of credit to my guys for that.”