Tehachapi at Garces (Bakersfield)

December 2, 2011

Warrior Wyatt Vance goes up high to make a big interception Friday night against Garces.
The Rams went on to defeat the Warriors, 27-13, ending Tehachapi's bid for back-to-back
CIF Division II titles.   Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Warriors End Playoff Run
Defending Champs Cut Down By Garces

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News on Dec. 4, 2011

Both teams played inspiring defense, but Garces was able to make a few more plays on offense to avenge last year's semifinals in 27-13 loss for the Warriors.

Jack Blewett ended the game with nine tackles, followed by seven tackles from Cory Lange, Adam Bullard, Blake Delwisch, Ty Curry, and Kris Kapitzke, but the swarm could not prevent two goal line scores and an early 14 yard touchdown reception by the Ram passing attack.

Tehachapi (10-2) won the turnover battle in the game, with Cory Lange registering a field goal block and punt block and Wyatt Vance and Adam Bullard interceptions.

On offense, Marcus Curiel finished his amazing senior season as a Warrior with 1,334 yards on the ground after accumulating 44 yards on 10 carries. Wyatt Vance followed suit with 31 yards rushing, ending his senior season with 1,127 yards on the ground.

The Warriors passing game came to life in the third quarter when Bobby Howell connected with Cory Lange on a 27 yard touchdown. Lange finished with 103 yards on four catches and became the all-time single season reception yardage leader for Tehachapi with 732 yards recorded in 12 games.

Howell would also find Chris Counihan in the final seconds of the game on a 10 yard scoring strike, with the quarterback closing his junior year with 113 yards and two touchdowns against Garces and 934 yards and nine touchdown passes overall for the season.

The Tehachapi News will celebrate the SSL champion Warriors with a listing of the All-SSL first, second and honorable mention players in the coming weeks. The Warriors had a record 12 players named to the first team and five players named to the second and honorable mention teams.

Garces runner Dominic Frasch carries the ball as Tehachapi defenders Adam Bullard (11) and Blake Delwisch (85) look to make
a tackle. Garces offensive lineman Kevin Boyer is at right.    Photo by John Harte, The Bakersfield Californian.

Garces Stymies Tehachapi To Avenge
Loss In Last Year's Semifinal Loss

Posted by Jeff Evans, The Bakersfield Californian, on Dec. 2, 2011

BAKERSFIELD - There wasn't going to be a repeat of last year's Division II semifinals on Friday night. The Garces defense made sure of that.

The top-seeded Rams throttled the No. 4 Tehachapi running game, then swarmed Warriors' quarterback Bobby Howell in a 27-13 win at Sam Tobias Field.

Garces (11-1) advances to next Friday's Division II Central Section title game against No. 3 Clovis North, which downed No. 2 Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial 35-20 in the other semifinal.

"Our defense did amazing," said Garces quarterback Philip Anspach, who passed for one touchdown and had two 1-yard TD runs. "They shut down every aspect of their game."

Tehachapi finishes 10-2, with both losses to Garces. In last year's semifinals, the Warriors beat Garces 34-21.

But on Friday, Tehachapi was limited to two first downs and 44 yards in total offense in the first half. The Warriors averaged 331 rushing yards in their first 11 games but finished with only 39 net rushing yards in this one.

Marcus Curiel, who came into the game with 1,290 yards and 23 touchdowns, had 44 yards on 10 carries. And Wyatt Vance, who had 1,096 yards and 15 TDs before Friday, had only 31 yards on nine attempts.

"We wanted to contain Curiel and bottle him up. That was our strategy on defense," said Jim Maples, Garces' associate head coach. "We wanted to make them throw the ball to beat us. We knew we could put pressure on (Howell)."

Howell rarely had time to throw until Tehachapi's late fourth-quarter drive when the Rams were in a prevent defense. Garces blitzed frequently and sacked Howell seven times and Howell was hurried frequently when he wasn't sacked. He was only 5-of-16 for 113 yards, with 70 of those coming on the final drive.

"We saw some things last week on film that we thought we could take advantage of off the edge and off play-action, and the kids executed it," Maples said.

"This was our best defensive game we played all year," Maples added. "The kids stepped up and played a remarkable football game."

The Rams only led 7-0 at halftime. The touchdown was a 14-yard pass from Anspach to Angus Bellue with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

Tehachapi's Cory Lange blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt by Reed Robertson, and the Warriors had a chance to tie it after reaching the Garces 8-yard line in the final seconds of the half. But three incomplete passes into the end zone ended the half.

Tehachapi, which hadn't made a field goal all season, passed up a field goal attempt in the final seconds of the half, a scoring threat set up by an interception by Adam Bullard.

"We felt our chances were better to go for it. That's the bottom line," Tehachapi coach Steve Denman said.

Anspach's first 1-yard TD run capped a 64-yard drive with 7:28 left in the third quarter.

Lange, who had four receptions for 103 yards, caught a 27-yard TD pass from Howell with 1:13 left in the third to pull Tehachapi within 14-7. That capped a drive set up by an interception and 45-yard return by Vance.

Lange blocked a punt to give Tehachapi a first down at the Garces 30 early in the fourth quarter the 14-7 game, but the Warriors turned the ball over on downs at the 15.

Dominic Frasch, who had 120 yards on 11 carries, broke loose for 67 yards moments later to give Garces a first down at the 1, and Anspach took it in on the next play.

Tehachapi got closer on a 10-yard TD pass from Howell to Chris Counihan with 10 seconds left, and Garces' Mark Stinson took the ensuing onside kick 55 yards for a score on the game's final play.

"Defensively we played a great game," said Denman, whose Warriors won the D-II title last year. "We had our opportunities, as bad as we played. We had a couple of turnovers and had a chance to get it into the end zone and we didn't. ...

"If you get into the red zone, you'd better score. We weren't able to do that."

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi  0  0   7  6 13
Garces  7  0   7 13 27

The Scoring:

First Quarter:

G - Anspach 14 yd. pass to Bellue (Robertson PAT kick) 1:50

Third Quarter:

G - Anspach 1 yd. run (Robertson PAT kick) 7:28
T - Howell 27 yd. pass to Lange (Scaggs PAT kick) 1:13

Fourth Quarter:

G - Anspach 2 yd. run (Robertson PAT kick)
T - Howell 10 yd. pass to Counihan (PAT kick failed) 0:10
G - Stinson 55 yd. kickoff return (PAT kick failed) 0:00


First Downs612
Passing Yards11373
Total Yards152303

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING - Tehachapi: Curiel 10-44, Vance 9-31, Howell 8-(-36)
Garces: Frasch 11-120, Vehlewald 13-66, Hellman 9-31, Carlovsky 4-7, Anspach 5-6.

PASSING - Tehachapi: Howell 5-16-0-113. Garces: Anspach 9-14-1-73, Adams 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING - Tehachapi: Lange 4-103, Counihan 1-10. Garces: Bellue 2-24, Rector 2-23, Sweaney 2-20, Frasch 1-3, Antongiovanni 1-2, Vehlewald 1-1.

Varsity Tehachapi (SSL 5-0; 10-2 overall), Garces (EYL 4-0; 11-1 overall)