Cory Lange #4 brings down star Sunnyside running back Jerrold Tanner #4 in the 2010 CIF Central Section playoff contest held
in Fresno. The Warriors prevailed in that game, but the two schools will meet each other again this Friday night in Tehachapi.
Photo by The Tehachapi News.

CIF Playoffs Friday Night
Warriors Host Sunnyside of Fresno

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehahapi News, on November 21, 2011

After a storied run in the playoffs just one short year ago, Tehachapi's playoff path is eerily similar to the 2010 championship journey.

With the only exception a bye in the first round, Tehachapi will have to contend with Sunnyside in the Division II quarterfinals this Friday night, with the victor most likely having to face Garces in the semifinals next week. Both Sunnyside and Garces were Tehachapiís opponents in each respective round last season.

While the Warriors were able to record a 28-7 victory over Sunnyside in Fresno in last year, the physical nature of the Wildcats took its toll.

Most of the key players from the 2010 CMAC champion Sunnyside team are back for another title run. The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Andy Phimmavong, who threw a touchdown pass in last year's contest and led the Wildcats to 120 combined passing and rushing yards against the Warriors.

Also, Tehachapi will have to contend with a dynamic runner in Errian Wingfield, who had 1,071 rushing yards on 129 carries in five league games alone this year. Wingfield also had an eye-popping 364 yards rushing and five touchdowns in 35-22 win over San Joaquin Memorial last month, leading the CMAC league with 8.3 yards per carry. Needless to say, success against Sunnyside will be determined if the Warriors can stop Wingfield.

In the air, Wildcat receiver Patrick Johnson is also one of the best wideouts in the section and the recipient of the majority of Phimmavong's passes.

For the Warriors, Tehachapi will enter the playoffs with two running backs that have eclipsed the four-digit rushing mark on the year, with Marcus Curiel boasting 1,143 yards and Wyatt Vance 1,059 yards on the ground. Both runners have also combined for 35 touchdowns.

Mountain Football will also have a stout defense led by Jack Blewett, who led all CIF Division II athletes after the regular season with 99 tackles, followed close behind by fellow linebacker Adam Bullard with 91 tackles.

Troy Mathews, Erik Rush, Ty Curry, Cory Lange and David Lara have also combined for 311 total tackles and 17.5 sacks this season and will look to help the Warriors stop the Sunnyside attack.

Moving up from the underclassmen ranks to join the Warriors in the playoffs will be sophomores Bobby Sharp, Steven Cross, Micah Fjeld, Dylan Smith and Skylar Valencia and freshmen Anthony Curiel, Ethan Averett, Jerry Castaneda and Trey Abarquez.

After spending time with family and friends after Thanksgiving, take a trip over to Coy Burnett Field to watch an electric Division II quarterfinal playoff game between the Warriors and Wildcats. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. this Friday night.

CIF Division II Playoffs - Quarterfinal Round

no. 8 Redwood-Visalia (6-5) at no. 1 Garces Memorial (9-1)
no. 7 Frontier-Bakersfield (5-5) at no. 2 San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno (7-3)
no. 6 Lemoore (8-3) at no. 3 Clovis North (6-3)
no. 5 Sunnyside-Fresno (6-4) at no. 4 Tehachapi (9-1)

CIF Division II Playoffs - First Round Scores

Lemoore 49, Reedley 10
Redwood-Visalia 42, Sanger 41
Frontier-Bakersfield 42, Hoover-Fresno 12