The play was inspired, the crowd spirited and the celebratory atmosphere resembled a fall confrontation.
The only letdown about last weekend's football game between all-star teams composed of graduating seniors from the Burbank and Glendale areas might have been the final score.
A 19-19 tie in the inaugural contest at Burroughs High probably left a few observers unsatisfied. However, in just about every other way, the game was a success.
Long scoring passes, tough running attacks, exciting kick-off and punt returns and skillful interceptions provided an entertaining evening for players and spectators, including coaches from nearly every local junior college program.
"This was a lot of fun, the score doesn't matter that much," said Tony Gibson, a running back from Marshall High. "It was great playing with the guys from the other schools.
"I hope people who still have eligibility get a chance to play in this game next year."
Marshall High Coach Ken Gerard, who coached the Glendale-area team, and Burroughs High Coach Randy Stage, who directed the Burbank-area all-stars, were happy with the way their players performed.
"I was really pleased with the way the kids played," Gerard said. "I think we should have won.
"I heard all along that they had better talent, but I think we outplayed them. They got a little lucky with a couple of plays."
Apparently, that's also the way the Glendale-area players felt.
Following the game, which featured 15-minute quarters instead of the regular 12-minute periods, the players gathered along the sideline and celebrated as if they had won.
"Our guys thought they could have played better," Stage said. "We were really explosive, but we didn't have many backups for our starters and the longer quarters took a toll."
Glendale won the toss, elected to receive the opening kick-off, then muffed the kick, allowing Burbank to begin the game's first possession at the Glendale 40-yard line.
On the first play from scrimmage, Burbank split end Steve Hubbell lined up wide to the left and ran a deep corner route to the end zone.
Marco Arcipresti, Hubbell's teammate at Burroughs High, threw a perfect spiral that Hubbell hauled in for the touchdown.
"That wasn't exactly the way we would have liked to start off," Gerard said. "I wasn't sure how our guys were going to react after that."
Glendale, however, came back to tie the score with the aid of its own pair of high school teammates.
Former Marshall quarterback Sid Oxford, who led City Section passers with 1,725 yards last season, connected with Gibson on a 14-yard pass that gave Glendale a first-and-goal on the two.
Running back Rafik Thorossian, who played at Glendale High, scored on the next play with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
Glendale took the lead early in the second quarter on a touchdown set up by Danny Hernandez's spectacular 77-yard punt return to the seven.
"I thought I was going to be able to outrun them (Burbank players)," said Crescenta Valley's Hernandez, who also had a 30-yard return earlier in the game. "I was getting down near the end zone and I looked back over my left shoulder when they got me."
Two plays after the return, Oxford scored on a quarterback sneak to give Glendale the lead.
Glendale appeared to have gotten on track and looked like it was going to take its 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Burbank defensive back Dan Shaw tied the score when he intercepted a Steve Solano pass and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown with two seconds left in the half. A two-point conversion attempt failed.
Solano, who played at Hoover High, redeemed himself in the second half by connecting with former La Canada tight end Greg Thompson in the right corner of the end zone on a nine-yard play-action pass to give Glendale a 19-13 lead with 8:19 left in the third quarter.
"I just threw the ball to the outside," said Solano, who will not play football but will compete as a pole vaulter next year at Glendale College. "The touchdown was an easy gimme because the defense got sucked in on the dive."
Burbank scored the game's final touchdown on a six-yard halfback-option pass from Tarin Cardenaz to Tom Kilby with 4:46 left.
Sam Cooper, however, missed the extra-point kick and the game ended in a tie. "There were no winners," Gerard said, "but there were no losers either. That's what these games should be about."