In the 91st annual Little Big Game match-up between rivals Burlingame and San Mateo, Burlingame piled up the stats, earning The Paw for the ninth straight year with a 38-7 victory.
Despite a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers racked up five touchdowns over the final three quarters to defeat the Bearcats. Quarterback Jordan Malashus scored a three-yard rushing touchdown on fourth down at the start of the second quarter, giving the Panthers a huge energy shift.
“We had the momentum and it was early in the game. Worst case scenario they stop us and they have a long field to go,” said Burlingame coach John Philipopoulos.
Despite this, the Bearcats silenced the Panthers crowd by recovering a fumble at the Burlingame two-yard line. A punt from the Bearcats' Anthony Villalobos put the Panthers in bad field position, and after the fumble, San Mateo quarterback Luke Bergstrom capitalized on the turnover with a two-yard run for a touchdown.
Although it seemed like it was brewing to be a close game, the Panthers regrouped and scored two more touchdowns before the end of the half. Jordan Malashus put the Panthers back on top with a 16-yard touchdown pass to his brother Devin Malashus, and Curtis Lauti had a two-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds remaining in the second quarter, putting the Panthers in great position at halftime.
“Our guys were moving every single play one-hundred percent. My brother was running down the field catching all the balls I threw, and we were physical every single play,” said Jordan Malashus.
The Malashus brothers had a huge impact in this game with Jordan going 10-of-13 with 128 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, and Devin scoring both a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. Panthers running back Lucas Meredith also padded the stat sheet, putting up 115 rushing yards on the day to help drive the Panthers to their eighth win on the season.
The Panthers scored two more touchdowns and a field goal in the second half, and left the Bearcats scoreless. The Panthers had 333 total yards on the game with 205 rushing yards. The Bearcats were held to 169 total yards, but also found success in the run game, putting up 127 yards.
The Little Big Game was San Mateo's final game of the season, but Burlingame will head into the Central Coast Section playoffs next week. This was a big win for Burlingame, but they still have a lot to look forward to with playoffs coming up.
“The rivalry is part of it but we are trying to win an outright championship, we are trying to continue to work hard and get better for CCS, so we had the rivalry but we have other goals as well,” Philipopoulos said.