Tehachapi at Exeter

September 3, 2010

Warrior running back Phil Rhodes #22 broke open on this play and scored on a 32 yard TD run with 11:41 left in the
3rd quarter to spark a second-half rally. Lineman Cesar Meza #57 assists with a block. Photo by thswarriors.com

Defense, Big Plays Fuel Comeback
Warriors Erupt In 2nd Half For 38-25 Win

Posted September 7, 2010 by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

After spotting Exeter an 18-7 lead in the first half, a seemingly different Mountain Football came out of the gate in the third and fourth quarters.

Tehachapi used the momentum of good field position and methodical running and defense to overwhelm the Monarchs in the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points to register a 38-25 comeback win in their season opener.

After scoring in the closing seconds of the second quarter, Exeter was hit with a 15-yard excessive celebration penalty that was assessed on the kickoff at the start of the second half.

The penalty resulted in good field position for the Warriors to start the third quarter and the apparent pendulum shift they needed to spark the come from behind win.

"For us, it was just getting back to fundamentals and not making bad mistakes. Coach (Dennis) Ruggles told the players that in life you deal with adversity and that first half was an example of that," said head coach Steve Denman. "We came back in the second half and got a good drive going and got some turnovers to turn it around."

Tehachapi had 269 yards rushing overall, with Phil Rhodes collecting 89 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns and Michael Lowder 57 yards on 10 carries and a score.

Other rushers included Marcus Curiel with 47 yards on five carries and Adam Bullard with a 24 yard run.

"We did a good job on the ground, we were able to spread the ball around and get a lot of different guys in the game," added Denman. "We had some players that were given an opportunity and they took advantage of it."

Cory Lange was also credited with 95 yards caching and rushing in the game, hauling in a pair of touchdown passes from quarterbacks Levi Garrett and Bobby Howell.

"Cory is a great athlete for us, a well disciplined kid and he did well when we needed him. He stepped up, and a lot of other guys stepped up and did a great job," Denman said. "We'll need to continue to play fundamentally sound (this week) in our first game at home. We just need to hang on to the ball, no turnovers tackle and block."

Tehachapi will play Garces-Memorial this Friday night at home in their season opener. The game will mark the fourth-annual Ogilvie Bowl contest and give Tehachapi an opportunity to be the first home team in the series to win the Ogilvie Trophy. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.

The contest will be the game of the week on ESPN 1230 Bakersfield, and will be streamed live on espnbakersfield.com from play-by-play and THS alumni announcer Corey Costelloe.

Warrior quarterback Levi Garrett #2 is brought down by an Exeter defender. The Warriors defeated the Monarchs, 38-25,
in the season opener for both teams. Photo by the Visalia Times-Delta

Tehachapi Scores 31 Unanswered To Beat Exeter

Posted September 4, 2010 by Mark A. Peinado, The Visalia Times-Delta

EXETER While Hurricane Earl was bashing the East Coast on Friday night, another hurricane blew into Exeter at the start of the second half.

That would be Hurricane Tehachapi and its juggernaut of an offense.

The Warriors trailed by 11 points at halftime but they reeled off 31 unanswered points in the second half to power past Exeter 38-25 in the season opener for both teams at Monarchs Stadium.

"First half we played good and the second half we played terrible," Exeter head coach Ben White said. "You can't do that against a really good team or you're going to lose.

"We have a lot of things to improve on. There is no reason to hang our heads, they are a good team."

The Monarchs led 18-7 at halftime but the second half saw Tehachapi, who this year has moved up to Division II after winning Division III titles in 2007 and 2008, moved the ball at will on the Exeter defense.

It began with the opening drive as it took just three plays and 19 seconds for the Warriors to score as running back Michael Lowder ran in for the touchdown from 32 yards out.

After stopping the Monarchs on downs, Tehachapi's offense was on the move again. Not even an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty could stop them. That made it third-and-goal from the Exeter 16, no problem for the Warriors as quarterback Levi Garrett found Cory Lange for a 16-yard touchdown.

It was Lange's second touchdown of the game and it gave Tehachapi its first lead of the game, 21-18, with 5 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Warriors were just getting started.

After a 25-yard field goal from Travis Farewell made it 24-18 to end the third quarter, Tehachapi tacked on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Warriors ended up running the ball 37 times for 229 yards. They had 10 different players run the ball. Their rushing attack and the lack of a consistent offense from Exeter in the second half proved to be a winning formula for Tehachapi.

"They didn't change their game plan, they just executed better," White said. "I guess we fell apart in the second half. I have to watch the film. My hat's off to them, they executed. That's why they have a great coach and why they have a great program. They know what they're doing.

"It was a good test for us. This game is going to help us in the future to play a tough Division II team."

All appeared great for the Monarchs upon the completion of the first half.

Exeter initially took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter as Joey Kunkel scored on a 1-yard run. That score was setup by an AJ Tobias 39-yard run.

The Monarchs made it 12-0 early in the second quarter as Tobias scored from three yards out on fourth-and-goal from the Warriors 3. Jacob Sertich's interception and subsequent 41-yard return made that touchdown possible.

Tehachapi cut the lead to 12-7 and it looked like that would be the halftime score as Exeter was at its own 20 with 1:05 remaining.

But a couple of big runs from Tobias and Kunkel and a Warrior late hit penalty, the Monarchs were suddenly at the Tehachapi 35 with :05 seconds left to play. Exeter quarterback Zach Vernon found Sertich in the end zone with no time left for a 18-7 lead headed into halftime.

Tobias finished with 23 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown. Sertich had four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.

The Monarchs look to get on the winning track next week at rival Woodlake.

"This is going to make us hungry," White said. "This is going to make us a lot more motivated and force us to work even harder throughout the week to get better and improve because eventually we want to be like a Tehachapi program playing for a Valley title year after year."

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi  0  7  17 14 38
Exeter  6 12   0  7 25

The Scoring:

First Quarter:

E -- Kunkel 1 run (kick blocked)

Second Quarter:

E -- Tobias 3 run (run fail)
T -- Lange 46 pass from Howell (Farewell kick)
E -- Sertich 35 pass from Vernon (pass fail)

Third Quarter:

T-- Rhodes 32 run (Farewell kick) 11:41
T-- Lange 15 pass from Garrett (Farewell kick) 5:44
T-- Farewell 24 FG 2:38

Fourth Quarter:

T -- Rhodes 10 run (Farewell kick)10:08
T -- Lowder 2 run (Farewell kick) 5:21
E -- Rolden 1 run (Alvarez kick) 1:04


First Downs1011
Passing Yards6197
Total Yards350263

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING - Tehachapi: Rhodes 14-89, Lowder 10-57, Curiel 5-47, Lange 1-34, Bullard 1-24, Garcia 3-20, Garrett 1-11, & Stephens 1-7.
Exeter: Tobias 23-123, Kunkel 8-43.

PASSING--Tehachapi: Garrett 1-3-1, 15 yards; Howell 1-1-0, 46 yards.
Exeter: Vernon 5-13-1, 54 yards; Rolden 2-3-0, 43 yards.

RECEIVING--Tehachapi: Lange 2-61 yards; Exeter: Sertich 4-86, Valencia 1-6, Aguilar 1-4, Tobias 1-1

Varsity Tehachapi (1-0), Exeter (0-1)

Junior Varsity - Tehachapi 51 Exeter 21
Frosh - Tehachapi 0 Madera South 39

The Warrior defense played a tremendous second half forcing Exeter to commit numerous turnovers
sparking a second half Tehachapi rally. Adam Bullard #11 and Logan Smith #62, above,
close in for a tackle on an Exeter running back. Photo by the Visalia Times-Delta