With a score of 22-21, the Burlingame Panthers, led by head coach John Philipopoulos, beat the Sacred Heart Prep Gators.
Elijah La Guardia (#25) helped lead the Burlingame Panthers to victory through some big offensive plays against the Gators. La Guardia is a senior who plays running back, and he finished off the night with 20 carries for 126 total yards and two touchdowns.
The love of football started at an early age for La Guardia. He grew up watching former 49ers such as Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis. Those were his role models and they inspired him go out and have fun. He started playing football in 3rd grade for the San Bruno Rams.
La Guardia has become a big part of the Panther's offense. His experience as a three-year starter on varsity has played a tremendous role in his growth as a running back. Coach Philipopoulos mentioned that he has a physical running style with great vision and patience. He also loves how versatile La Guardia is at the position. "He's a guy we can count on and insert in there because we trust," said Coach Philipopoulos.
The Panthers depended on La Guardia on Friday night. Along with his two touchdowns, he had a key 2-point conversion which sealed the game for his school. The game came down to the last play, and his coach trusted him to get into the end zone.
As an upper classman, La Guardia takes pride in being a leader on and off the field. He is also a part of a leadership class, which runs activities and programs around the school to create a more united community and culture. "La Guardia is a key player, hard worker, great citizen and asset to the program," said Coach Philipopoulos.
As the school of this week's recipient of the 49ers PREP High School Player of the Week presented by U.S. Bank, Burlingame High School will receive a grant from the 49ers Foundation to put towards its football program.