Mira Monte at Tehachapi

November 20, 2009

The Warrior defense held the Lions to just 70 yards rushing and 86 yards passing Friday.
Above, Warriors Cameron king, #55, Michael Lowder, #31, and Luke Mears, #85, team up for a tackle.
Closing to assist were Try Matthews, #67, and Drew Howell, #59. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Warriors Draw Early Blood On Young Lions
Tehachapi 49 Mira Monte 16

Posted November 21, 2009, by Mark Nessia, The Bakersfield Californian

TEHACHAPI Tehachapi put its first-round Division III playoff game out of reach on its first three possessions en route to a 49-16 victory over visiting Mira Monte on Friday.

The Warriors jumped to an early 21-0 lead after scoring on the opening kickoff and first two possessions. The deficit proved to be too much for the Lions offense, which struggled for most of the game and lost starting running back Timothy Harris on its eighth play.

The second-seeded Warriors (9-2) got the scoring started when senior Max Clark fielded a squib kick after it was mishandled by junior Phil Rhodes and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown to start the game.

Touchdown runs of 20 yards by senior Jesse Olofson and 9 yards by junior Phil Rhodes were all the Warriors would need to seal the win, but Tehachapi went on to score four more touchdowns before Mira Monte (5-6) was able to get on the board to prevent a shutout.

"All our kids got to play, and we prepared and hopefully we can improve next week over this week," Tehachapi coach Steve Denman said. "Every week we take it one game at a time and prepare for every team, so whoever we play next week we'll just prepare."

Tehachapi will play No. 10 Foothill in Friday's quarterfinals.

Thirteen Warriors carried the ball, combining for 224 yards on 37 carries. Senior Jesse Olofson led all rushers with 104 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. Senior Justin Perry and juniors Phil Rhodes and Tre'von Harris added 49 yards on seven carries and scored one touchdown each.

The Lions offense took a huge blow on their eighth play of the game after Harris went down with a knee injury. The offense struggled to move the ball on offense after that, managing only four first downs and crossing midfield once in the first half. Starting quarterback Anthony Rios moved to running back in place of Harris.

"For a first-year program, we came out and definitely gave all we had," Mira Monte coach Tony Varela said. "Unfortunately, we had to start off losing our leading rusher and ... we were able to overcome and put some points on the board."

The Lions were able to prevent the shutout by putting together an 11-play drive that included a 22-yard Angel Velasquez completion to Ralph Barrera on a fake punt on fourth-and-6. Sophomore Miguel Ortega later ran up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown.

The loss put an end to Mira Monte's first varsity season, but Varela said it gave his team something to build on.

"I think we overcame a lot of what a lot of first-year teams usually go through, having a losing season and so forth," Varela said. "We finished up the regular season at an even .500. I was very proud of my team and very proud of my coaches for doing that."

"They were tough," Denman said. "They have tough kids. They got good athletes on film and they're just young. They'll make mistakes. It would be like us playing without our seniors, and that's tough because we always look to our seniors for leadership. They'll be a tough team to contend with later on."

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Mira Monte  0  0   0 16 16
Tehachapi 21 14  14  0 49

The Scoring:

First Quarter:

T Clark 78 yard kickoff return (Reimer kick) 11:44
T Olofson 20 yard run (Reimer kick) 8:57
T Rhodes 9 yard run (Reimer kick) 4:37

Second Quarter:

T Olofson 12 yard run (Reimer kick) 6:16
T Knudson 49 yard pass from Rush (Reimer kick) 4:25

Third quarter:

T Perry 27 yard run (Reimer kick) 10:49
T Harris 9 yard run (Reimer kick) 9:19

Fourth Quarter:

M Ortega 5 yard run (Guyton pass from Rios) 7:46
M Ortega 5 yard fumble return (Guyton pass from Rios) 5:55

Mira Monte vs Tehachapi Statistics

First Downs10 9
Rushes-Yards32-57 39-258
Passing Yards101 49
Comp-Att-Int8-12-2 1-1-0
Total Yards158 317
PuntsN/A N/A
Fumbles-LostN/A N/A
Penalties3-25 4-45

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING--Tehachapi: Olofson 12-99, Clark 1-22, Rhodes 3-6, Perry 1-27, Weeks 3-17, Harris 3-25, Stephens 4-6, Cooley 2-11, Contreras 1-10, White 1-(-2),
Castaneda 4-12, Lara 4-20; Mira Monte: A. Rios 20-40, Harris 2-(-3), Beavers 1-2, P. Rios 2-0, Guyton 3-6, Ortega 2-7, Leija 2-5

PASSING--Tehachapi: Rush 1-1-0 49; Mira Monte: A. Rios 1-2-1 5, Velasquez 1-1-0 23, P. Rios 6-9-1 83

RECEIVING--Tehachapi: Knudson 1-49; Mira Monte: Guyton 4-62, Beavers 1-5, Ortega 1-5, Jimenez 1-12, Barrera 1-23

Varsity Tehachapi 9-2, Mira Monte 5-6

Mountain football fans saw some new numbers on the field Friday as the Warriors lead of 49-0
allowed some of the underclass players to get in some action. Above, freshman quarterback
Bobby Howell makes a hand-off to junior Skyler Stephens. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.