By Josh Levine
Burton High School kept its playoff chances alive on Thursday with an impressive 46-22 victory over Lowell High School.
The Pumas (4-5, 3-3) scored 22 points in the first quarter on just nine plays from scrimmage. They had 162 rushing yards in the quarter, with Dumar Afalava rushing for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our offense carried us through the first half,” said Burton head coach Anthony Rollins. “Our offensive line got some good blocks for us and we had some great downfield blocking.”
The Cardinals (0-8, 0-6) had their second highest point total of the season, but could not find a way to hold off the Burton running backs.
“Today was a pretty bad game for us,” said Lowell head coach Danny Chan. “We were very inconsistent, and it’s clear we can’t tackle. It’s not that we can’t tackle; we just are taking bad angles to the ball. We work on it in practice, but it doesn’t show.”
Running back Yuriy Torchiyan led the Cardinals with 104 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, including a 65-yard score in the second quarter.
The Cardinals controlled the ball for the majority of the game, but the Pumas scored on all five of their first half possessions to take a 38-22 lead into the break.
In total, the Cardinals ran 55 plays for 226 yards, but the Pumas ran 38 plays for 387 yards.
“Yeah we only scored six eight points in the second half, but our main focus was defense. After allowing 22 first-half points, I made sure that we didn’t allow any more,” Rollins said. “Next week is our game against Balboa and we can’t do that.”
The faceoff against Balboa could decide decide which team fills the fourth and final spot in the AAA playoffs.
“Burton has never made the playoffs. Usually Balboa is the team that keeps us from making the playoffs. This is a big rivalry and we feel like we have a chance,” said Rollins.
While Burton eyes a potential postseason bid, Lowell will have to prepare for a game against Lincoln. Both 2009 playoff teams are are winless this season.
“We need to win this game,” Chan said. “Hopefully the double wing offense we use is effective and keeps their offense off of the field and we can make some tackles. The lack of leadership we have this year has been hurting us, but we have a good shot next week.”
B: 5:33 — Joseph Satale 1-yard run (Conversion failed)
B: 5:20 — Dumar Afalava 40-yard run (Alex Moreno run on conversion)
L: 2:26 — Yuriy Torchiyan 5-yard run (Conversion failed)
B: 1:37 — Afalava 51-yard run (Donte McGlotheu run on conversion)
L: 6:57 — Julian Manuel 4-yard pass from Robert Jordan Lee (Reginald Webb run on conversion)
B: 6:05 — Delron Marmen 42-yard run (Marmen run on conversion)
L: 5:54 — Torchiyan 65-yard run (Lee run on conversion)
B: 1:34 — Moreno 16-yard run (Simi Kofe run on conversion)
B: 1:46 — Lochlein Sekona 1-yard run (Moreno run on conversion)