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Burroughs Sparked by Defense

November 28, 1987|STEVEN FLEISCHMAN | Times Staff Writer

Before Burroughs High's game Friday night at La Canada, a fire truck circled the field.

That proved to be appropriate as the Indians' defense thoroughly extinguished La Canada's offense in their 37-7 victory in the second round of the Northwestern Conference playoffs. In next week's semifinal round, Burroughs plays El Segundo, a 20-19 winner over Monrovia on Friday.

La Canada was held to 121 yards, 63 of those coming late in the fourth quarter with the outcome already decided. The Indian defense also forced six turnovers.

"Our defense did a good job," Burroughs Coach Butch McElwee said. "We did the same thing we did all year, go after people and control the gaps."

Ahead, 14-7, at halftime, the Indians took control of the game in the third quarter with two touchdowns and a safety, while their defense held La Canada to one yard in the quarter.

On its first possession of the second half, Burroughs marched 63 yards in seven plays with Doug Dragomer scoring on a four-yard run.

On the ensuing possession, Burroughs forced La Canada to punt from its own 15-yard line, and Scott Pavkovich blocked Chuck Siegler's punt into the end zone for a safety.

Wes Bender scored from nine yards out on the Indians' next possession to give Burroughs a 30-7 lead with 1:56 left in the quarter.

After the game, La Canada Coach Nic Larez complained that McElwee had run up the score.

"They showed less class than the last time we played them," Larez said. "They left their first string in there until a minute and a half left."

Bender did the bulk of the running for Burroughs (11-1) because Dragomer's playing time was limited because of an ankle injury. Bender finished with 121 yards and 2 touchdowns in 15 carries. Barrett completed 9 of 12 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown, a 76-yard pass to tight end Jason Teitel for the Indians' final score.

Burroughs did not play a flawless game, however. The Indians were penalized 12 times for 115 yards and committed four turnovers.

"It seemed like the referees had a twitch in their wrists, they were throwing flags so much," Barrett said. "But we were able to overcome it."

Burroughs also had a touchdown called back on the first play of the game. Receiver Kevin Strasser took a pitch from Barrett and passed to Bruce Luizzi for an 80-yard score that was negated because of an illegal formation.

When starting quarterback Mark Hansen injured his ankle in the third quarter, La Canada (9-2-1) moved running back Dave Palidino to that position. He had never played quarterback before Friday.

Primarily a running team, La Canada was forced to go to the air when Burroughs stopped the Spartans' running game. Before leaving, Hansen completed just 3 of 12 passes for 32 yards and had two interceptions.

In a turnover-plagued first half, Burroughs scored on its second possession when Bender went over from two yards out with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Indians quickly scored again when Kevin Monaco recovered Hansen's fumbled pitch at La Canada's 10-yard line. Three downs later, Barrett scored on a one-yard bootleg. Tommy Phillips' point-after made the score 14-0 with 10:14 left in the first half.

La Canada scored when Dan Solis picked off receiver Kevin Strasser's flip back to Barrett on a flea-flicker play. The 45-yard play brought the Spartans back to within a touchdown.

In the first half, the Indians' defense held the Spartans to just 63 total yards. The Indians had 146 yards.

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