Tehachapi at Garces-Balersfield

November 8, 2013

Tehachapi’s David Carter #9 lunges forward for extra yardage in last week’s 24-14 loss at Garces. Carter finished the night with 47 yards rushing,
a touchdown, and was among the team leaders in tackles. Photo by Mark Nessia, The Tehachapi News.

Turnovers Turn The Tide
Warriors Fall in SEYL Title Game, 24-14

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

The Warriors went into the locker room at halftime down only 10-7, but key turnovers in the game shifted momentum away from Mountain Football in 24-14 loss to Garces last Friday in Bakersfield.

The game was marked as the SEYL championship, with both squads coming into the contest with undefeated league records.

Tehachapi (7-3; 4-1 SEYL) held the explosive Rams offense in check for the most of the night, limiting Garces (8-2; 5-0 SEYL) to only 45 yards through the air, by far their lowest total in league play and second lowest of the season.

The Rams also registered just over 200 yards on the ground, with most of that yardage coming from just one player. Multiple tackles for loss were recorded in the backfield by a host of Warriors, led by David Carter and Micah Fjeld with nine tackles each, followed by Ty Curry with eight tackles and Angel Garcia with three tackles.

On offense, Skylar Valencia led the ground game with 72 yards on 21 carries and Carter had 47 yards on 11 carries, including a one yard touchdown run in the second quarter. In the passing game, Chris Llamas threw a 19 yard pass to Valencia and a pair of completions to Chris Rhodes for 32 total yards.

Rhodes would score on one of his catches, hauling in a 10-yard touchdown reception with just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

This season’s league contest will mark the last time Tehachapi and Garces will play in the regular season in the considerable future. Garces will move to the SWYL and Tehachapi to the SYL next year, so a league meeting will not be in the cards. In addition, both schools will not play in a pre-league contest for at least the next two seasons, with THS electing to fill the non-league void with Centennial in a two-year agreement.

With the regular season concluded, Tehachapi will enter the CIF Division II playoffs as the No. 6 seed, taking on No. 11 seed North this Friday night at home. Despite the Warriors already logging in a 42-7 victory over the Stars earlier this season in league play, Mountain Football has no intention of overlooking a surging Stars team.

North’s offense came alive in a 44-21 victory over East last Friday, a game that was a must-win for the Stars in order to get into the playoffs.

The game against North will kickoff at 7 p.m. this Friday night at Coy Burnett Field.

Warrior running back David Carter #9 fights for yardage up the middle of the line against Garces Friday night in Bakersfield.
The Rams defeated the Warriors 24-14 to claim the 2013 SEYL title. Photo by Felix Adamo, The Bakersfield Californian.

Croney Help Garces Rumble To SEYL Title, 24-14

Posted on November 9, 2013 by Zach Ewing, Sports Editor, The Bakersfield Californian

For those who have trouble sleeping on planes, try the Sheldon Croney method: Carry the ball 27 times in a rivalry game, get hit multiple times on just about every carry and then take a 4 a.m. flight.

If Croney did sleep on his way to Tucson, Ariz., early this morning, he might have dreamt of the scene on Sam Tobias Field on Friday night after Garces' 24-14 victory over Tehachapi that clinched the Southeast Yosemite League title for the Rams (8-2, 5-0 SEYL).

"We knew it would be a physical game," said Croney, grass stains on his jersey but a smile on his face. "I don't mind a couple of extra carries. I just had to keep the legs moving and get every extra yard, because they all count."

Croney, whose flight will take him to the University of Arizona for an unofficial recruiting visit, rumbled for 168 yards and three touchdowns in his 27 carries, adding to his school-record touchdown total (now 51, and he's only a junior) and collecting many of the yards after contact.

"Sheldon had a remarkable game," Garces coach Jim Maples said. "So many of his yards came after he was hit, it was amazing. He is a special player."

Never was that more apparent than on his first touchdown, when two Tehachapi defenders hit Croney in the backfield for what appeared to be a 5-yard loss. Instead, he rebounded off them and bounced to the left side, beating the other Warriors to the end zone for a 10-yard scoring run and a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.

"We drilled him in the backfield, stood him straight up," Tehachapi coach Steve Denman said. "He just bounced right off. He's a legit Division I player."

Tehachapi (7-3, 4-1) fought back, scoring on David Carter's 1-yard run with 13 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to 10-7. The teams each had exactly 103 yards at halftime, with Garces' scoreboard advantage coming from a fumbled snap on a Tehachapi punt, a Blake Logan interception and a Christian Curutchague 32-yard field goal.

"The bottom line is, mistakes killed us in the first quarter," Denman said. "We can't spot them 10 points like that."

After the teams traded punts to open the second half, Garces took control with a 12-play, 85-yard drive -- Croney gained 63 of the yards -- that took up more than five minutes of the third quarter. When it was over, Croney had another 10-yard touchdown run and Garces had a two-possession lead.

David Grimm sacked Tehachapi quarterback Chris Llamas on the next possession, leading to another Croney TD, and the Warriors didn't answer until Llamas found Chris Rhodes for a 10-yard touchdown with 2:45 left. Tehachapi's vaunted rushing attack, neutered by the scoreboard deficit and a swarming Rams defense, gained just 121 yards.

"Our defense played really good," Maples said. "We put them in bad positions at times, but they got some stops."

The upshot is that Garces, the defending Division II section champion, should receive a top-two seed in this year's playoffs, which will be seeded by the Central Section commissioners this morning in Porterville. The Rams also get to keep the Ogilvie Bowl Trophy for the foreseeable future -- these teams have played 34 times in the past 31 years, but they move into separate leagues next year and have not scheduled each other.

"It means a lot," Croney said. "We knew this was the last time we would play them in our league, and we wanted to leave a stamp for the Garces program."

The jovial scene on the field was a far cry from Week 0, when Garces faded in the second half and lost 34-21 to a San Luis Obispo team that finished 4-6. Since then, the Rams are 8-1, with a loss to Division I favorite Bakersfield, and they'll ride a six-game winning streak into the playoffs.

"We like our chances," Maples said. "There are some good teams in Division II, but we like where we're at. It reminds me a little bit of last year; we're peaking at the right time."

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi  0  7   0  7 14
Garces  3  7   7  7 24

The Scoring:

First Quarter:

G – Curutchague 32 Field Goal

Second Quarter:

G – Croney 10 run (Curutchague kick)
T – Carter 1 run (Rodriguez kick)

Third Quarter:

G – Croney 10 run (Curutchague kick)

Fourth Quarter:

G – Croney 13 run (Curutchague kick)
T – Rhodes 10 pass from Llamas (Rodriguez kick)

Tehachapi vs Garces Stats

First Downs14 14
Rushes-Yards43-121 32-203
Passing Yards51 45
Comp-Att-Int3-8-1 6-14-0
Total Yards172248
Punts4-39.8 3-30.0
Fumbles-Lost2-1 1-0

Individual Statistics:


Tehachapi: Valencia 21-72, Carter 11-47, Curry 2-17, Terle 3-3, Urciel 1-1, Llamas 4-(-5), TEAM 1-(-14);
Garces: Croney 27-168, Pavletich 4-36, TEAM 1-(-1).


Tehachapi: Llamas 3-8-1-51; Garces: Pavletich 6-14-0-45


Tehachapi: Rhodes 2-32, Valencia 1-19; Garces: Frasch 3-24, Lundy 1-11, Vansquez 1-10, Croney 1-0.

JV: Tehachapi 26, Garces 00
FS: Tehachapi 00, Garces 43