Warrior defensive back Cory Lange #4 returns an interception for a TD against
West High-Bakersfield Friday night in Tehachapi. The Warriors won the game to
advance in the Division II playoffs. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

SSL Ramblings ...
Warriors Top West For Another 10 Win Season
Long Trip To Fresno For Warrior Gridiron Men

Posted by thswarriors.com on November 23, 2010

The mighty Warriors defeated West High School Friday night in Tehachapi, 48-27, to advance in the Division II Central Section football tournament. In earning the victory, the Warriors reached the 10 win mark for the fourth consecutive season. Another round of applause for coach Denman and his group of skilled assistant coaches.

The Warrior offense erupted for 48 points, essentially putting the game away in the first half with 35 points. Running back Phil Rhodes had a career night rushing for 227 yards. His season totals now include a team leading 15 TD's and 1,015 rushing yards; Marcus Curiel has 12 TD's and 802 rushing yards for the season; and Cory Lange, with 10 TD's, always seems to be in the right place at the right time. All this offense has led to plenty of opportunities for kicker Travis Farewell who has converted 40 PAT's and punched through two field goals.

Somewhat under the radar, the 2010 Warrior Wing-T offense has scored 387 points in 11 games, averaging 35.2 points per game. Currently this ranks #2 all-time behind the 1951 team which averaged 44.0 points per game. The 35.2 points per game average is slightly higher than the CIF championship teams of 2008 and 2007, which averaged 32.9 and 33.0 points per game, respectively.

The stingy Warrior defense has been led in tackles by LB Adam Bullard with 83; Ray Cross has 69 tackles; and lineman Cameron King has 67. Zach Timm leads the team with 10.5 QB sacks; Michael Lowder has 5 interceptions; and David Lara has recovered 4 fumbles.

Sunnyside QB Andy Phimmavong #1 dances for a big gain against Edison-Fresno earlier this season.
The Sunnyside Wildcats are 8-3 this season, having won 8 straight games, and winning the
County/Metro Athletic Association league championship. Photo by the Fresno Bee

Meet the Sunnyside Wildcats

The stakes go up significantly in the quarter-finals as the Warriors make the long 3 hour trip to southeast Fresno to battle the #3 seeded Sunnyside High School Wildcats.

Sunnyside might be the biggest school the Warrior program has ever faced in its 81 seasons of football. Sunnyside is the second largest public high school in the Central Section (that stretches from Bakersfield to Fresno) with over 3,200 students. Only Central High School in Fresno is larger.

Sunnyside has a beautiful, and modern school campus that was built about a decade ago. The football stadium --- yep "stadium" --- will be a treat for Warrior football fans. The school is located at the intersection of South Peach Avenue and Kings Canyon Road --- both major roadways in Fresno.

After losing their first three games of the season, the Wildcats have reeled off eight straight victories. First year coach Justin Garza has put some new found energy in the Wildcat program, winning their school's first CMAA league championship (5-0) and also capturing their first post-season win in school history last Friday night against Tulare Western, 33-11. This is the 11th season of Wildcat football.

Sunnyside has some impressive wins this season including a 21-10 victory over San Joaquin Memorial; a 28-0 shutout over Edison-Fresno; and a 24-0 blanking over North Yosemite League champion Hoover-Fresno. As a frame of reference, SJM defeated Garces earlier this season and Edison is the defending Division II champion.

The Wildcats have been led this season by QB Andy Phimmavong and senior tailback Jerrold Tanner. Tanner scored 3 TD's and rushed for 192 yards in an "electrifying" playoff performance against Tulare Western. Sunnyside's defense has been led by senior linemen Leonard Safford, Jose Mendez, and Pablo Ayllon. Referring to the Sunnyside defense, Tulare Western coach Luis DaSilva said, "they've got good size and they're physical. It was hard to move the ball and we could not get anything going."

Click Here for a link to the Sunnyside High School Football Website.

This N' That

* With the playoff win over West, head coach Steve Denman won his 253rd game as the head coach for the Warriors. He began his head coaching career with the Warriors in 1982.

* Also with the playoff win over West last Friday night, the Warriors improved their home playoff record to 37 wins and 8 losses dating back to 1958 when Coy Burnett Field was first dedicated. The Warriors historically play well in the cold, wet, windy or foggy conditions that usually occur in late November or early December. West actually caught a break, the weather was warm and beautiful last Friday night ... all things considered.

* Does anybody remember that talented orange-and-green clad Porterville team that came to the mountain last year in the semi-finals of the playoffs to knock off the Warriors by a touchdown. Well, they're back, and heavily favored to win Division III this year behind head coach Rick Stewart and all-everything running back David Ali. Porterville is a dominating 10-0 so far this season. They host Highland-Bakersfield this Friday night.

* And finally, SSL member Wasco hosts Coalinga this Wednesday in a Division IV playoff game. Both schools had first round byes. Wasco is seeded #4 and Coalinga #5. Should be a great game with the winner playing the winner of the #1 Dos Palos-Roosevelt-Fresno game.

Warrior defenders David Lara #44 and Ray Cross #45 bring down 240 pound West High runnning back
Chris Burrel in playoff action Friday night in Tehachapi. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

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