Reiger Burgin scored four touchdowns as West Ranch beat Royal High of Simi Valley 44-21 on Friday night as it continues on the path to what could be an undefeated preleague season.
“I feel great,” Burgin said. “Everyone was blocking, everything came in the second half and we were just golden.”
John Cotti recovered a Royal fumble at the 20-yard line, then Burgin rumbled down the field for three plays before finally punching it in from the 5-yard line on a fourth-and-4 for West Ranch’s first touchdown of the evening near the seven-minute mark in the first quarter.
The scoring didn’t resume for the Wildcats (4-0) until the second quarter, but the defense continued their dominance. Nick Aquino blocked a punt and the defense as a whole limited the Highlanders to two three-and-outs.
West Ranch coach Chris Varner said he was happy with some of the defense’s big plays, but is still looking for improvement.
“It just shows that we still haven’t played our best football,” said Varner. “If we can cut down on the mistakes and keep the good plays, then that’s the goal.”
Richard Padilla kicked a field goal with 2:06 left in the quarter to put the Wildcats up 10-0. The Cats ended the first half with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Walker Eget to Brandon Wyre.
Burgin put up another touchdown with 7:54 left in the third quarter, this one from 11 yards out, to make it 24-0.
Royal (0-4) was able to score its first touchdown at the 5:14 mark as Gabriel Landless ran it in from the 1-yard line.
“He got loose on a couple plays, we had some breakdowns,” said Varner. “We’ve got to improve on our tackling. It was sloppy at times and then other times looked real good. You can’t be inconsistent in this game, you won’t go very far.”
Burgin got his third touchdown of the night two minutes later on a five-yard run, but the Highlanders struck back with 1:50 left in the quarter with another scoring run from Landless.
On his final touchdown of the evening, Burgin took off on a 35-yard tear with 10:48 remaining in the game.
Jackson Reyes had the longest touchdown run of the evening, wheeling 84 yards down the field to make it 44-14 in the Wildcats’ favor.
Royal’s Jony Ireland intercepted a Eget pass with four minutes remaining to bring the final score to 44-21.
The Cats will look for their next win at St. Genevieve on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. as they look to finish preleague undefeated.
“Hopefully,” Burgin said. “That’s the plan. That’s what we’re going to do.”