When the Burbank High football team stepped onto Memorial Field for the season opener last Friday, Bell Gardens offered little resistance which resulted in a 33-14 nonleague win by the Bulldogs.
Burbank was never headed and the scoring commenced in the first quarter when senior strong safety Kalani Williams recovered a blocked punt deep inside Bell Gardens territory.
It took three plays as junior quarterback Ryan Meredith, who completed 11 of 14 attempts for 164 yards, found senior wide receiver Oharjee Brown (36 yards on three receptions) with an eight-yard toss that made it 7-0 and 8:18 left on the clock.
“I can run with the ball, but I’m more of a pocket passer,’’ said Meredith, who didn’t have an interception.
The Bulldogs (275 total net yards) extended their lead to 13-0 and 4:15 showing before the half when junior running back James Williams (71 yards on 10 carries) scooted in from two yards out capping a 10-play drive.
“It’s only one game, but I think we can make the playoffs and do better than we did last season when we lost in the first round,’’ said Williams, who also caught two passes for 61 yards.
Burbank moved in front 19-0 when Meredith hit Brown with a 23-yard dart as 13.6 seconds remained before the intermission.
“We have a seasoned quarterback who is more poised and not nervous,’’ said Burbank Head Coach Hector Valencia. “Last year we were a running team. This year we have more weapons.”
Burbank led 27-0 when junior running back Tony Toledo waltzed into the end zone from two yards out as 9:29 was left in the third quarter.
Bell Gardens quarterback Charles Ontiveros (23 of 33 for 196 yards and two interceptions) made it a 20-point deficit after driving the Lancers 43 yards on five plays as he scored on a four-yard sprint and 2:03 showing in the third quarter.
The Lancers (332 total yards) also received a 13-yard pass from Ontiveros to wide receiver Anthony Chavez (four receptions and 40 yards) that reduced the lead to 27-14 and 6:20 left in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs (1-0) responded when Meredith found James Williams with an 18-yard toss and 3:10 left in the final quarter as Bell Gardens (0-1) had few answers on the night.