Devin Chen/Special to The ExaminerBurton’s Patrick Lealaimatafao-Tagaloa (with the ball) and the Pumas had to cancel two upcoming games.

Devin Chen/Special to The ExaminerBurton’s Patrick Lealaimatafao-Tagaloa (with the ball) and the Pumas had to cancel two upcoming games.

Injuries force Burton to cancel two nonleague games

Due to a rash of injuries on an already limited roster, Burton High School’s football team has canceled its final two nonleague games of the season against De Anza and Richmond.

After playing with just 18 players in their opening-week loss to Hercules, the Pumas we’re heading into this weekend’s matchup against De Anza with just 14 healthy players.

“Our team just got plagued with injuries and we already had low numbers to start,” Burton coach Anthony Rollins said. “When you add the injuries, it makes the experience of [nonleague] games nonproductive. It’s not worth it for us or the teams we would be playing.”

Despite the cancellation of the nonleague games, the Burton athletic department has not considered canceling its Academic Athletic Association season, according to San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins.

“The only comment I can make is that we hope they work everything out,” Collins said. “We’ve asked them if they are forfeiting their season and they have told us no. They are under the impression that they will be ready to play in three weeks.”

Rollins says Burton’s AAA schedule is not in danger of being canceled, and expects to have around 25 players in uniform for its league opener at Galileo on Sept. 30.

The Pumas don’t have much margin for error, however, and if they continue to struggle with injuries, AAA forfeits could be a possibility.

“I hate to say it, but it’s one of those game-time decisions. It depends on who is injured and at what position,” Rollins said of potential injury problems in the future. “Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps backward before you can move forward.”

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