Downey scores early, wins 35-7

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Downey High was the No. 7th-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division IV before meeting Burbank last Friday night at Memorial Field.

When the nonleague football game concluded, the Vikings showed why they are thought of so highly after routing the Bulldogs 35-7.

Senior running back Baraq Ross accounted for four touchdowns, including three in the second half.

Ross ran for a game-best 202 yards on 19 carries and established the tone early after finding the end zone on Downey’s initial drive from a yard out and 8:55 left in the first quarter.

On the Vikings’ next series, junior quarterback Kijon Foots (15 of 22 passes for 213 yards and one interception) found senior wide receiver Nicholas Whitney (89 yards on five catches) with a 62-yard toss as 5:21 remained for a 14-0 edge.

Downey (524 total net yards) opened the second half by using two plays and led 21-0 on a 70-yard burst from Ross down the left sideline and 10:55 remaining.

Burbank (212 total yards), which reached the Division VIII championship game in 2016, then drove from its 40-yard line to the Downey five.

But junior quarterback Matthew Porras (15 of 26 passes for 124 yards and two picks by Whitney) tossed an incomplete pass on fourth down.

“This is the best team we’re going to play all season,’’ said Burbank head coach Adam Colman. “This is a young team and it’s still learning.’’

The Vikings (2-1) responded with a march that began at the Downey five-yard line and culminated with a five-yard burst from Ross as 1:53 remained in the third quarter for a 28-0 advantage.

On Downey’s next series, the lead ballooned to 35-0 when Ross dotted the end zone after a 17-yard scamper and 8:10 showing in the fourth period.

The Bulldogs (1-2) avoided being blanked when Porras (54 yards on 11 rushes) scored on a 12-yard run and 3:55 left.

“I’m proud of how they fought and that’s pride,’’ said Colman, who is in his first year. “That touchdown at the end was important. We moved the ball well, but we didn’t convert in the red zone.’’

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The Sports Department Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at richsports5@sbcglobal.net.

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