SOUTHEAST GLENDALE - More often than not, the Glendale High football team's woes have come down to its defense spending too much time on the field.
Oddly enough, the Nitros suffered from the reverse dilemma when facing Burbank in a Pacific League game Thursday night at Moyse Field, as they were flattened by the Bulldogs' explosive rushing attack and one big-yardage scoring play after another.
Burbank ran just 15 offensive plays in the first half, but made the most of them, scoring 35 points and opening the floodgates for a 56-10 victory in which three of its tailbacks topped the 100-yard rushing mark.
James Williams nearly doubled that milestone all on his own, as he finished with 194 yards and three touchdowns in just four carries, all in the first half, to help the Bulldogs, ranked 10th in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division, erase the bad taste of last week's league loss to Muir. Teddy Arlington added 147 yards in eight carries with a touchdown and Joseph Pendelton had 104 yards in eight carries with three scores.
"I just followed my blockers and went from there," said Williams, whose third score of the game, a 62-yarder that started just outside the right hash before reversing field all the way up the left sideline with zeros on the clock, gave Burbank (6-3, 5-1 in league) a 35-3 lead at halftime. "We had to have a good game this week because of what happened last week."
On the other hand, Glendale (2-7, 1-5) was coming off a big win last week over Crescenta Valley, but never found an opening on Thursday despite dominating time of possession and totaling 174 yards in the first half on six drives, three of which reached into Burbank territory.
"They run their offense really well and they have some good football players over there and we couldn't make tackles," said Glendale Coach John Tuttle, who got 83 yards in 18 carries from Daniel Jung. "Our guys were just bouncing off their running backs.
"I was pleased that we moved the ball in between the 20s, we've just got to get better when we start getting in the red zone."
After Glendale's opening drive stalled at midfield, Arlington returned the ensuing punt 77 yards to the Glendale 11-yard line, where Pendleton punched it in from four yards out two plays later for a 7-0 lead with 6:36 left in the first quarter.
Burbank scored in just two plays on its second possession, as well, when Williams followed up a Jung sack with a 64-yard run up the right side, breaking several tackles inside the 15 for a 14-0 lead at the 5:26 mark.
A 34-yard field goal from Martin Marin got Glendale on the board at the 7:56 mark of the second quarter, but the Bulldogs answered with another two-play scoring drive that saw Williams again take off down the right side and break away with stiff arm at the 20 to complete a 51-yard run and make it 21-3 with 7:30 left in the first half. After a Glendale punt, Pendleton and Arlington took turns eating up chunks of yardage on a four-play, 86-yard drive. Pendelton opened with a 42-yard run and Arlington went for 42 two plays later, setting up his own two-yard run moments later.
"They set it up for each other, they understand that they have to compliment each other," Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said of his stable of backs. "While James can stretch it outside, it opens it up for Joseph sneaking the ball inside and the other way around."
Burbank kept up the pace to open the third with a five-play, 56-yard sprint down the field that ended with Pendleton's 30-yard run. The Bulldogs took a 49-3 lead with 4:44 left in the third when Martin Caro rushed for 22 yards to complete a three-play, 49-yard drive.
"We talked about it all week that you have to play as a unit," Valencia said. "You can't have one guy freelancing and do something different, missing their assignment, and it actually showed today. It was just good execution through the plays, everyone sticking to their proper blocking scheme and obviously we had hard running from our running backs from all sides."
Glendale didn't get its first touchdown of the night until the 9:30 mark of the running-clock fourth quarter when Christian Osorio punched in a two-yard run.
"The defense really stepped it up tonight," Valencia said. "We knew we were going to give up some yards here and there, but again you bend, but don't break."