Burroughs beats Burbank 48-13 to secure its first Pacific League championship since 2015

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In the 75th installment of the Burroughs-Burbank homecoming game, The John Burroughs Bears defeated crosstown rival Burbank by the final of 48-13 to secure its first Pacific League title since 2015. Bears quarterback Chris Kulikov won the MVP of the homecoming game with 3 touchdown passes as 2 of them went to Ethan Hubbell and the other went to Aeneas Pichardo. Prior to the big game, both teams had momentum, as the Bulldogs defeated Pasadena 34-6 while the Bears, defeated Crescenta Valley 28-7 last week. Last season Burbank pulled off the upset over Burroughs 30-27 back on October 28th of 2022. Before kickoff, the homecoming courts of both schools were honored in a pregame ceremony along with a coin toss ceremony with Burbank Vice Mayor Nick Schultz as he was accompanied by members of the United States Marine Corps along with honorary captains, Laura Friedman(Member of the California State Assembly), and Sebastian Lozano(District Director of the California State Assembly) along with State Senator Anthony Portantino.

On the gridiron, Burroughs recovered the opening kickoff which set up a rushing touchdown by Santiago Sanchez. Chris Kulikov then threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Hubbell to make it a 14-0 game after Burroughs stopped Burbank’s offense on their first possession of the game. Burbank responded with a rushing touchdown by Joseph Caballero. Burroughs had a 14-6 lead over Burbank at the end of the 1st quarter. The Bears continued to pull away in the 2nd quarter behind Kulikov’s two touchdown passes to Aeneas Pichardo and his second touchdown connection to Ethan Hubbell. Kulikov also scored a touchdown on the quarterback keeper which propelled the Bears to a 34-6 lead over crosstown rival Burbank at the halftime break.

The 2nd half started off with defensive stands for both the Bears and Bulldogs, but Burbank got the first touchdown pass of the 2nd half as Sean Garrett got a double reverse score to make it a 34-13 game for the Bulldogs. Burbank thought they started their hopes of a comeback but Burroughs continued to pull away with 2 more scores as Jake Scozzola got a rushing touchdown in the 3rd, while Roberto Gutierrez put the game away with one more score in the 4th. “We talked about being focused and locked in all week, and we finished off the league season the right way,” said Burroughs head coach Jesse Craven. Craven also stated that he was happy that his starting quarterback Kulikov played the way he did when asked about his MVP performance of the homecoming game. “It feels awesome, I’m proud of the kids and the whole program.” said former Burroughs head football coach and current athletic director Keith Knoop. Knoop led Burroughs football to a league championship in 2015 as he was the last man to lead the program to a league title while Craven now etches his name in the record books of head coaches that have led Burroughs football to a Pacific League championship.

With the loss, the Burbank Bulldog’s season has come to a close as they finish the 2023 season with a 3-7 overall record and a 1-4 record in Pacific League play. Burroughs improves to 9-1 overall and 5-0 in Pacific League play to secure its first league title since 2015, they will take on Augoura in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs. The next Burbank Burroughs game will be in the fall of 2024 when Burroughs will be the home team while Burbank will serve as the visiting team, which will be the 76th installment of the game.

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