East Bakersfield at Tehachapi

October 14, 2016

Warrior quarterback Chris Garcia #1 runs for yardage against East High School Friday night in Tehachapi. The Warriors came back in the 4th quarter
to defeat the Blades, 20-14.   Tehachapi tarvels to Golden Valley this Friday night. Photo by The Bakersfield Californian.

Last-Minute TD Powers Warriors To
SYL Win Over East, 20-14

Posted on October 15, 2016 by John Nelson, The Tehachapi News

Go figure.

Chris Garcia was sick at practice early in the week, then he missed two days of practice, still sick.

“Then he came in and had his best game,” Warriors head coach Steve Denman said.

Go figure.

Garcia threw for one touchdown and ran for another — a game winner with 34.4 seconds to play — as the Warriors beat previously unbeaten East 20-14 Friday night, Oct. 14, at Coy Burnett Field.

There couldn't have been two teams whose preseasons were more different. The Blades came in 7-0 with a 42-0 victory over West in their South Yosemite League opener. The Warriors were 1-5 and had lost their league opener to Independence 32-8 a week earlier.

“We played one of the toughest preseasons, maybe the toughest we've ever had,” Denman said. It included three elite private schools in Garces, Bakersfield Christian and Paraclete.

“Maybe it'll make the kids a little tougher mentally and physically, as long as we can stay healthy.”

That could be a key for the Warriors, who had as many as 12 players at practice with the flu during the week, Denman said. Then, there was Keyron Scott.

In only his second game back after missing nearly a year with knee surgery, the 2015 Warriors rushing leader appears to be working his way back into form.

It didn't come without a major scare, however, when he went down in a pile of tacklers midway through the third quarter and had to be helped off the field, dragging his right leg.

He lay stretched out on the sideline for at least two minutes, and there was an almost-audible sigh of relief from the crowd when he finally rose and walked off unaided.

“It was just a cramp,” Denman said.

Just a cramp. Phew.

Scott later returned and, although he did not score, had several key runs and wound up with 102 yards on 23 carries.

“He's starting to get his rhythm back,” Denman said. “He was out for a year. It takes a while to come back from an injury like that. It's tough to overcome, not just physically but also the mental aspects of getting hit again.”

Although the offense went in fits and starts, the Warriors defense was solid throughout.

After a scoreless first quarter, Tehachapi finally got on the scoreboard with 4:53 left in the first half when Garcia hit Tyler Metzler with an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The drive was set up by a Warriors fumble recovery on the East 21. A holding penalty set the Wariors back to the 31, but Garcia had a 24-yard run that kept the drive alive.

The Warriors led 6-0 after the 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Two minutes into the second half, the Warriors took a 12-0 lead on Zion Dean's 14-yard scoring run.

It looked like the Warriors were on a roll, but it didn't last long.

The Blades defense held firm, and their quarterback, Richard Lara, threw touchdown passes on East's next two possessions, a 34-yarder to Garrett Sherman and a 16-yarder to Alan Lopez that made it 14-12 with 11:47 left in the game.

“They're a good football team, and they do a lot of things well offensively,” Denman said. “They've got a kid who can pass, and some running backs with a lot of speed.”

Still, there was plenty of time left.

Unable to move the ball, however, the Warriors turned it over on downs on their next possession.

They got the ball right back on an interception by Cameron Walsh, but that drive, too, stalled.

The Warriors didn't get it back again until only 3:08 was left to play, still trailing 14-12. When they did get it back, though, it was on the East 35 after a very short punt.

Scott ran it down to the 29, and one play later, Garcia skirted the left sideline to the 13. Two short Scott runs got it down to the 5, and Garcia punched it in for the winning score.

Garcia finished with four completions in 10 attempts for 56 yards and also rushed for 95 yards.

“Chris does a lot of things you can't coach,” Denman said of his sophomore QB. “He's learning to throw the ball, and he keeps his eyes downfield even under pressure — or, he's able to take off a run it.

“Our offense came through at the end,” said Denman, who earned the 297th victory of his 35-year head coaching career at Tehachapi.

The game ended a string of four in a row at home for the Warriors, who now go on the road for their next two games at Golden Valley and Ridgeview. They wind up their season at home on Friday night, Nov. 4, against West.

Warrior running back Keyron Scott seemed like his old self again rushing for over 100 yards against East High. Assisting Scott with the blocking
is Jackson Caudle (#55) and Garrett Curel (#42).Scott and the Warriors travel to Bakersfield this Friday to play Golden Valley (2-5; SYL 0-2.).
The Warriors are now 2-5; SYL 1-1.   Photo by John Harte, The Bakersfield Californian.

East Loses Heartbreaker On Late Score By Tehachapi

Posted by Jeff Evans, The Bakersfield Californian, on Oct. 14, 2016.

TEHACHAPI — The winning formula for Tehachapi on Friday night was simple: Let sophomore quarterback Chris Garcia carry the ball on arguably the biggest play of the season thus far.

Garcia, with a huge push from his offensive line, blasted through the East line to score a 5-yard touchdown run with 34 seconds remaining to lift the Warriors past East 20-14, spoiling the Blades’ undefeated season.

“Stay calm and make the right decisions for the team,” Garcia said of his final drive thoughts. “I’ve got to thank the whole team. We all play together.”

Tehachapi improved to 2-5 with head coach Steve Denman picking up his 297th career win. The Warriors are 1-1 in the South Yosemite League. East fell to 7-1 and 1-1.

“Our offense came through at the end when we needed a big drive,” Denman said. “Our quarterback made some plays for us. Our running backs made some big plays for us when we needed it.”

Tehachapi had a 12-0 lead before East took a 14-12 lead on two second-half touchdown passes by Richard Lara, the second a 16-yard throw to Alan Lopez on a fourth-and-9 play where Lopez outjumped two Tehachapi defenders with 11:47 left in the game.

Trailing by two, Tehachapi started the game-winning drive on the East 35 with 3:08 remaining after a short punt.

Garcia set up the touchdown with a 19-yard run on third-and-7 from the 32. That gave the Warriors a first down at the 13 with 1:52 left.

Keyron Scott gained ran for 3 and 5 yards to reach the 5, and Garcia then won it with his run behind the center and right guard.

“They were worried about speed sweep outside with Keyrone,” said Denman. “We thought it would be open a little bit up the middle.”

The Tehachapi defense limited East to 73 net yards in the first half, which ended with the Warriors leading 6-0 on an 11-yard second-quarter pass from Garcia to Tyler Metzler.

The Blades picked things up after that. Garrett Sherman caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Lara midway through the third quarter to trim Tehachapi’s lead to 12-7 and the Lopez score made it 14-12.

“The kids responded very well in the second half and played their tails off,” Fanucchi said. “We got the lead, then we kind of got a little stagnant on offense. They finally broke through.”

Garcia completed 4-of-10 passes for 56 yards and he ran eight times for 95 yards. Scott had 23 carries for 102 yards and Zion Dean had Tehachapi’s other touchdown, a 14-yard run in the third quarter.

Lara was 10-of-22 for 114 yards but the East running game never got untracked. The Blades finished with 76 net rushing yards, with 41 of those by Jonathan Monroe on a second-quarter run.

“We just came up and played a very determined football team tonight who wasn’t going to go down 0-2 in league,” Fanucchi said. “They were going to defend their home field. We didn’t expect anything different.

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
East Bakersfield  0  0   7  7 14
Tehachapi  0  6   6  8 20

The Scoring:

2nd Quarter:

T: Metzler 11 pass from Garcia (run failed)

3rd Quarter:

T: Dean 14 run (run failed)
E: Sherman 34 pass from Lara (Serna kick)

4th Quarter

E: Lopez 16 pass from Lara (Serna kick)
T: Garcia 5 run (Scott run)

East vs Tehachapi Stats

First Downs
Passing Yards114 56
Total Yards228 289

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING—Tehachapi: Scott 23-102, Garcia 8-95, Podratz 6-17, Dean 6-19.
East High: Monroe 7-58, Esparza 19-14, Holmes 2-0, Lara 9-(-5), Olea 1-1.

PASSING—Tehachapi: Garcia 4-10-0-56. East: Lara 10-22-1-114.

RECEIVING—Tehachapi: Bethany 2-32, Metzler 1-11, Walters 1-13. East: Lopez 3-49, Olea 4-25, Sherman 2-40, Monroe 1-0.

Varsity Records: Tehachapi 2-5 (SYL 1-1). East High 7-1 (SYL 1-1).

JV: Tehachapi Braves 42, East JV's 07.
FROSH: Tehachapi Indians 00, East Frosh 28.