HomeBlocksFront-GridBurbank Celebrates 115th Anniversary, Castaic Spoils Festivities

Burbank Celebrates 115th Anniversary, Castaic Spoils Festivities

As part of the celebration of Burbank High School’s 115th anniversary, the Bulldogs’ home game against Castaic was played on campus at Kemp-Kallem Field.

The stands were full on the rare occasion.

There were festivities held beforehand, which included the dedication of a memorial plaque honoring longtime coach and athletic administrator Frank Kallem, recognition of alumni and former athletes, words from school officials, and the presentation of a California State Senate certificate by state Sen. Anthony Portantino.

“It was great,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of playing on campus. “It’s always great getting to play here. You can just tell the atmosphere, the environment is awesome.”

California state Sen. Anthony J. Portantino, Burbank High Principal Julie Markussen and Burbank School Board member Charlene Tabet hoist a plaque presented by Portantino prior to the Bulldogs’ game against Castaic on Sept. 1. Burbank High hosted a rare football game at Kemp-Kallem Field as part of its 115th anniversary celebration.
As part of Burbank High’s 115th anniversary celebrations, school officials dedicated a memorial plaque to longtime athletic director, teacher and coach Frank Kallem and presented the honor to his family members (pictured). The ceremony was held before Burbank’s football game against Castaic at Kemp-Kallem Field.

On the field, the Bulldogs started on the wrong foot, went down early and struggled through the first half in a 39-13 defeat to the visiting Coyotes on Sept. 1 in nonleague.

Burbank (0-3) kicked off to start the contest, but 15 seconds in, the hosts faced a 7-0 deficit.

Castaic’s Gage Gibson received the kickoff and bobbled the ball at first before collecting it, taking it down the right side and returning the opening kick for a 94-yard touchdown.

“We focused so much on starting strong and we started off about as bad as you can,” Colman said. “That was a little deflating early on and it took us a little bit to bounce back from that, and we just fell behind and playing catchup is hard.”

The ensuing Bulldog possession ended on a high shotgun snap that sailed over the head of quarterback Daniel Zacariaz on fourth down, setting up Castaic (2-1) near midfield. Soon after, the Coyotes scored when quarterback Tyler Lewis could not find an open receiver, so the junior ran the ball for a 6-yard touchdown on fourth down. Burbank junior Joseph Caballero blocked the extra point, making it 13-0 in favor of the visitors.

Burbank then could not manage a first down and punted. This time the Burbank defense made the stop when Landon Williams intercepted a tipped pass. However, the Coyotes returned the favor soon after, intercepting Zacariaz.

The Burbank defense held again. Bulldogs senior Brandon Elizalde had a sack, and the Castaic possession came to an end when Burbank senior Dylan Muriano tackled a Castaic receiver short of the line to gain on fourth down.

On the next Castaic possession, the Coyotes scored the first of three touchdowns in the final 3:54 before half, starting with a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Paul Lotz.

On the following possession for the hosts, Burbank got on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run by junior Jacob Mendieta. Earlier in the drive, receiver Ezekiel Alvarez made a 22-yard reception when he came back to catch an underthrown pass just before it dropped to the turf. Chris Aguirre tacked on the extra point, and it was 19-7 with 1:31 left before the break.

The Coyotes answered immediately when Lewis tucked the ball away and ran for a 58-yard touchdown on the first play of the possession. The Bulldogs could not make a first down after that and punted the ball back to the Coyotes with 40 seconds left in the quarter. The visitors made the most of it when Lewis found Lucas Milan with a pass into the end zone as time expired, making it 31-7 at halftime.

The Bulldogs reined in the Coyote attack in the second half, holding them scoreless until deep into the fourth quarter.

“I think we finally got the effort in the second half that we’ve been really trying to get out of them,” Colman said.

Castaic’s first possession of the third quarter ended when Bulldog junior Justin Arteaga sacked Lewis on fourth down.

The ensuing Burbank possession covered 68 yards for the only score of the third quarter. The touchdown came from a 2-yard rush by Mendieta, who also had a 19-yard run earlier in the drive to cross midfield.

Both teams had trouble with turnovers in the second half, with the Coyotes coughing up two fumbles and Zacariaz throwing three interceptions.

The only touchdown of the fourth quarter was a 9-yard carry by Jacob Pimental with 3:44 left, followed by a two-point conversion to set the final margin of 39-13.

Mendieta finished with 17 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Caballero ran 13 times for 54 yards.

“[Mendieta] ran really hard,” Colman said. “He is one of the few guys on the team with experience at the varsity level, so he is a little more comfortable and he is like, ‘I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.’ He ran hard. We ran the ball well overall.”

Zacariaz finished 10 of 34 through the air for 134 yards with four interceptions. Alvarez had a big night with seven catches for 101 yards. Mendieta had two receptions for 16 yards and Jack Rogerson one catch for 17 yards.

Burbank running back Joseph Caballero is swarmed by Castaic players as he tries to gain yardage during the Bulldogs’ game against the Coyotes.
Burbank receiver Ezekial Alvarez hauls in a pass during the Bulldogs’ game against Castaic at Kemp-Kallem Field. Alvarez finished the night with seven catches for 101 yards.

First published in the September 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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