Gabe Bressler (34) rushes for a big gain in a CIF playoff game at Kerman. The senior led the Warriors by rushing for over 100 yards in the game,
and over 900 yards for the season, the leading rusher in the South Sequoia League. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News
Posted by thswarriors.com on November 9, 2006
Warrior Season Ends in Kerman
Kerman 35, Tehachapi 12
KERMAN - The Kerman Lions advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a convincing 35-12 win over the Warriors Thursday evening. The Warriors finish the season with an overall season record of 6-5. Kerman, the 3rd place team from the Northern Sequoia League, improves their season record to 7-4 overall, and will travel to #1 Division III seed Golden Valley (Bakersfield) next Friday night.
The Warriors were their own worst enemy throughout the evening, committing a number of costly miscues. Those miscues included two lost fumbles, an interception that was returned for a TD, a muffed punt, and an onside kick that was returned for a TD.
The Warriors were also frustrated by the slick passing of Lion QB Kevin Richards who connected on key passes throughout the game --- going 11-13 for 138 passing yards. Richards came into the game as the leading passer in the North Sequoia League.
Warrior coach Steve Denman was quoted in the Bakersfield Californian as stating, "We played against a good team and we made too many mistakes. We played well defensively, but we weren't up to par offensively." In frustration, Denman also added, "three-and-out, three-and-out, and then we turned the ball over, we just didn't execute and we didn'throw the ball well."
Kerman returned the opening kickoff of the game all the way to the Warrior 41 yard line. On a 9 play drive, the Lions advanced the ball to the Warrior 13 but a 20 yard field goal attempt sailed wide of the goal posts with 7:47 left in the 1st quarter.
On their first possession, the Warriors were forced to punt from their own 32 yard line, but the Warrior punter was ruled down at the 18 yard line when his knee touched the turf while fielding the snap.
With excellent field position, Kerman then scored in two plays after a 6 yard run and then a 12 yard swing pass (Richards-to-Christopher Hick). The PAT was good and Kerman led 7-0 with 5:56 left in the 1st quarter. Kerman never looked back after that point, leading the entire contest.
After the two teams exchanged punts, the Warriors took possession of the ball at the Lion 43 yard line in 2nd quarter action. Senior Gabe Bressler then busted loose for a 42 yard run down to the Lion 1 yard line. Josh Strauss then plunged into the end zone with 11:27 left in the quarter to make the score 7-6. The Warriors then went for a two point conversion but the pass attempt failed.
On their next possession, the red clad Lions answered back by marching 73 yards in eight plays. The drive included two key pass completions of 38 yards and 16 yards. Hick scored again on a 2 yard dive play with 7:23 left in the 2nd quarter. The PAT kick was good to make the score 14-6.
A key point in the contest was the beginning of the 2nd half --- as the Warriors would get the ball first --- with an opportunity to tie the game. Tehachapi returned the ball to the Warrior 41 yard line, a run play lost 2, and then a completed pass for 8 put the ball at the Warrior 47. On the next play, a Warrior fumble was recovered by the Lions at the Warrior 49.
The Lions drove the ball the necessary 49 yards in 12 plays for a score, again highlighted by key pass plays of 11, 9, and 13 yards. Hick scored his third TD of the game to finish off the drive with a 1 yard plunge. The PAT was good and the Lions led 21-6 with 5:08 left in the 3rd quarter.
After several punt exchanges, and with precious minutes ticking away in the 4th quarter, the run-happy Warriors were forced to pass the ball. Facing a 3rd and 8 from the Warrior 17, a long Warrior pass was overthrown into the hands of Lion Francisco Patino who returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown. The PAT made the score 28-6 with 7:08 left in the game.
On their next possession, the Warriors got on the scoreboard again taking the ball at their own 29 and driving 71 yards in 9 plays. The drive was aided by three Kerman penalties for unsportmanlike conduct. Levi Lantz capped the drive with a one yard dive. The two point PAT again failed and the score stood 28-12 with 3:16 remaining.
The Warriors then attempted an onside kick --- which resulted in a dog pile scrum in front of the Warrior bench. An alert Lion player emerged from the pile with the ball and raced down the sideline 49 yards for the score to the delight of the hometown crowd. The final PAT of the night closed out the scoring at 35-12.
Offensively, Bressler rushed for over 100 yards on 14 touches, giving him just over 900 rushing yards for the season, currently tops in the SSL.
Defensively, while the Warrior backs were scrambling all night long to stop the pass, the interior line and linebackers held Kerman to just over 100 total rushing yards on 38 attempts, or 2.8 yards per carry. Alek Taliulu, as he has been all year, was outstanding from his linebacker position with 17 tackles. And Jake Harris did frustrate Kerman QB Richards by sacking him three times during the game.
Ker -- Hick 12 pass (Vidales kick)
Teh -- Strauss 1 run (pass failed)
Ker -- Hick 2 run (Vidales kick)
Ker -- Hick 1 run (Vidales kick)
Ker -- Patino 40 interception return (Vidales kick)
Teh -- Lantz 1 run (run failed)
Ker -- Vital 49 kickoff return (Vidales kick)
RUSHING -- Tehachapi: Bressler 14-104, Strauss 10-39, James 7-19, Clark 1-16, Mullen 1-6, Lorenz 1-5, Moore 1-15, Ochenrider 4-14. Kerman: Hick 24-84, Garcia 5-17, Richards 7-7.
PASSING -- Tehachapi: Ochsenrider 4-12-2, 27 yards, Lantz 1-2-0, 5 yards. Kerman: Richards 11-13-0, 138 yards, Ruiz 0-1-1
RECEIVING -- Tehachapi: Rodriguez 2-16, James 2-7, Pimkentel 1-9. Kerman: Ruiz 6-98, York 3-44, Hick 2-17.
VARSITY RECORDS--Tehachapi 6-5 (3-2 SSL), Kerman 7-4 (3-2 NSL)