By Bonta Hill
Next week, Burton High School hopes to have a number of players back on the field when grades get posted.
But for this week, the Pumas had to bear with the reality of suiting up just 13 players, and it was simply too much to overcome in a 45-0 Academic Athletic Association loss to visiting Lowell on Friday.
The Cardinals (2-2, 1-1) rolled to a 26-0 halftime lead and cruised to victory, as their ball-control double-wing offense rushed for 349 yards on the day.
“It’s very tough and playing with only 13 guys. Rest is not an option,” said Burton head coach Anthony Rollins. “We do a lot of conditioning and those guys won’t say they’re tired, but they’re just beaten, bruised, banged up, and their pride is hurt a little bit. It’s difficult.”
After Burton (0-3, 0-2) turned the ball over on its opening series, things quickly rolled downhill for the undermanned Pumas.
Lowell attempted only two passes during the game, but with the running game churning out yards at-will, it was unnecessary for the Cardinals to go to the air.
Lowell senior running back Reggie Webb scored the first two Lowell touchdowns and rushed for 97 yards on 10 carries, while Lorenzo Pesino had 99 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
The Cardinals had great field position throughout and their only scoring drive of over 50 yards came on their opening possession.
“This game is nice and all, but we’re going to have to do better next week against Galileo,” said Lowell head coach Danny Chan. “They’re way faster, hungrier, and I’m not sure if we’re going to be ready for that, but we have to be. It’ll be fun.”
Quarterback Allan Abilar was the lone bright spot for the Pumas, rushing for 56 yards, but was under tremendous pressure throughout.
Burton finished the game with 11 players, and Rollins expressed his desire to stick with the Burton program, despite having to cancel two non-league games this season and the yearly struggle to fill out a complete roster.
“As long as I keep getting kids out here, I’ll always feel like it’s worth coaching,” Rollins said. “Whether 11 show up or 40, I’ll always keep coaching.”
L: 8:13 — Reggie Webb 11-yard run (Toby Kuang run on conversion)
L: 10:40 — Webb 2-yard run (Michael McCarthy run on conversion)
L: 6:22 — Safety
L: 2:20 — Kuang 1-yard run (Webb run on conversion)
L: 9:00 — Lorenzo Pesino 27-yard run (conversion failed)
L: 7:44 — Luke Gonhes 19-yard run (McCarthy kick good)
L: 3:01 — Pesino 27-yard run (kick failed)