By Ryan Kuhn
A two-touchdown lead at the end of the first quarter was not enough for Burton High School to pull off the upset against visiting Washington on Saturday.
The Eagles scored 28 unanswered points in the final three quarters to win 28-14 on the road and remain undefeated in Academic Athletic Association play.
“[It] was hard that we dropped this game. Coming in, we felt we could win this one,” said Burton head coach Anthony Rollins. “Nobody predicted this and even the score doesn’t show how close this game actually was.”
The Pumas (0-5, 0-4) started the game by recovering an onside kick and Burton quarterback Alan Alibar scored on a 38-yard run just over a minute later.
“We practiced that all week long,” Rollins said of the onside kick. “We trust our guys with their speed to get down there and if it bounced at all, we felt like we had a good chance to grab it.”
After giving up another touchdown on Burton’s second drive, the Washington (5-2, 4-0) defense shifted the momentum when linebacker Vincent Chen scored on a 18-yard interception return in the second quarter.
From there, the Eagles’ momentum would keep on rolling, as they tied the score at 14-14 on 60-yard drive that ended with Lajarie Mabrey’s 3-yard touchdown run.
“We just had to play hard,” said Washington senior quarterback Aram Gevandian. “If we focus and do our assignments, then we can beat any team in this league.”
It took 38 minutes, but Washington’s running game slowly wore down the Burton defense and the Eagles took the lead when Mabrey ran for his second touchdown of the afternoon with 9:40 remaining in the game.
With one last chance to tie the game, Burton’s hopes for of their first win disappeared when Abilar was intercepted.
“This being an emotional game, turnovers hurt,” Rollins said. “I tell them to keep their heads up, but I now know we have the team we thought [we] had and have to work on finishing.”
Despite being winless on the season, Washington head coach Karl Finley said he was impressed with the Pumas.
“They came to play today and they slapped us around a little bit,” he said. “I think our kids took them for granted because of their record.”
B: 10:39 – Alan Abilar 38-yard run (Abilar run on conversion)
B: 0:40 – Dumar Afalava 29-yard pass from Brandon Lee (conversion failed)
W: 7:23 – Vincent Chen 18-yard interception return (Adam Badi kick good)
W: 0:18 – Lajarie Mabrey 3-yard run (Badi kick good)
W: 9:40 – Mabrey 15-yard run (Badi kick good)
W: 2:18 – Phillip Montgomery 23-yard pass from Aram Gevandian (Badi kick good)