East Bakersfield at Tehachapi

October 6, 2022

Warrior defender Andrew Aquirre #27 got whistled on this play for a face mask penalty. Closing in to assist
are Karson Tiewater #2 and Mike Jones #33. Tehachapi will travel to North Bakersfield Friday night Oct. 14. Kickoff is
scheduled for 7:30 pm   (Photo by Eliza Green, The Bakersfield Californian.)

Tehachapi Rolls To 35-0 Victory Over East Bakersfield

Posted by Ron Stapp, The Bakersfield Californian on October 7, 2022.

There’s still plenty of football to be played this season, but following Tehachapi’s performance on Thursday night at East High, it’s safe to say "Mountain football" is back.

The Warriors scored three early touchdowns, and made two defensive stands to keep the Blades out of the end zone, cruising to a 35-0 victory in South Yosemite Mountain League play.

Mountain football became synonymous with the Warriors’ hard-nosed style of play during a successful run that included 14 league titles and seven section championships during the 35-year career of hall-of-fame coach Steve Denman, who retired following the 2016 season.

While the team’s toughness may not have wavered, Tehachapi was just 8-23 in the three seasons since, finishing 5-6 last season in coach Kris Krempien's first season, coming on the heels of acanceled season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this year’s squad is playing with a familiar confidence, and it’s translated into victories on the football field. Tehachapi (7-1) moved to 2-0 in the South Yosemite Mountain League and has equaled its highest win total overall since going 7-6 in 2017. That team won the South Yosemite League title in Doug DeGeer's first season as coach, sharing it with Ridgeview and Independence the year after Denman retired.

The Warriors haven’t won a league title since, but are in the running to change that this season with league games remaining with North (3-3, 1-0) and West (1-5, 0-1).

“It feels great,” Krempien said. “Any time you wins seven games, even out of 10, it’s great. So the kids are playing great. We’ve been a little dinged up, but got a lot of guys playing time tonight. We were able to run the ball effectively tonight — we didn’t have too many possessions with how often our defense was on the field.”

Tehachapi wasted little time taking control on Thursday, stunning the Blades (1-6, 0-1) with three touchdowns in less than 4 minutes in the first quarter.

After Karson Tiewater capped a 12-play, 64-yard drive on the Warriors opening possession of the game with a 7-yard touchdown run, teammate Adrian Pina halted East's first drive, returning an interception 45 yards for a score to make it 14-0 just seven minutes into the game.

Then after an 11-yard Blades' punt, Tehachapi took over at the East 26, and needed just one play to add to its lead — a 26-yard TD run by AJ Anderson to make it 21-0 with 2:55 left in the first quarter. Anderson finished with a game-high 82 yards rushing on 10 carries.

“I mean we came out, started the ball on offense, something we haven’t done this year, and marched down, a methodical drive, took a lot of time off the clock, chunk plays here and there and then scored defensively twice certainly helped,” Krempien said. “I’m really proud of the way they played. Our defense was on the field a lot and we gave up no points, which is always good.”

East’s offense caught fire late in the first half behind the arm of senior quarterback Mathew Moore, moving the ball inside the Warriors’ 10. Moore had a 39-yard completion to Lorenzo Patino at the Tehachapi 19. He also connected with Marco Cusguen for a 28-yard pass play earlier on the drive.

But the Warriors’ defense held, and when Moore’s fourth-down pass into the end zone fell incomplete, Tehachapi took over at its own four-yard line with 21 seconds left in the first half.

Moore had similar success late in the game, moving his team to the Warrior nine-yard line in the final seconds of the game, but his throw into the end zone was broken up by Kaleb Songer as time expired. Moore finished 13 of 25 passing for 161 yards.

“I mean momentum’s always huge in this game,” Krempien said. “So when you get your backs against the wall and you’re thinking, ‘hey they might score and they get the ball to start the second half.’ But then we get the stop, it’s huge. It was a huge stop for us to go into the half with a little more momentum on our side.”

Tehachapi added to its lead in the third quarter when Tiewater stripped the ball from Eric Romero as he battled for extra yardage, and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0 with 9:56 left in the third quarter.

Andrew Aguirre closed the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown run with 4:20 left in the third quarter. With a running clock in the fourth quarter, Tehachapi only ran 30 plays from scrimmage in the game — seven in the second half — and attempted only one pass, a first down incompletion that led to the Warriors only punt of the night midway through the second quarter.

“Just overall a very good team win,” Krempien said. “We played four full quarters, which we haven’t done in a while.”

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi 21  0  14  0 35
South High  0  0   0  0 00

East High vs Tehachapi Statistics

First Downs     10
Rushes-Yards     28-161
Passing Yards    161   0
Comp-Att-Int   13-25-1  0-1-0
Total Yards     161
Punts   1-21.0
Penalties      5-65

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING — East High: .
Tehachapi: Anderson 10-82, Tiewater 10-33, Hart 1-6, Jones 5-30, Aguire 1-6.

PASSING — East High: Moore 13-25-1-161 . Tehachapi: Root 0-1-0-00.

RECEIVING — East High: . Tehachapi: None.