Porterville at Tehachapi

December 4, 2009

It was Clark over Clark in third quarter action as Warrior Max Clark, #5, hurdles Porterville defender Matt Clark, #32.
Warrior Max Clark finished the game with a team leading 82 yards rushing on 11 carries. Unfortunately, it wasn't
enough as Porterville win the playoff contest, 24-17. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

No CIF Three-Peat For Warriors
Porterville 24 Tehachapi 17

Posted December 4, 2009, by Tom Shea, The Bakersfield Californian

TEHACHAPI - When they needed him the most, David Ali answered the call for upset-minded Porterville.

In a turnover-laden game for both teams, Ali punched in the winning score on an 18-yard rumble in the fourth quarter, giving No. 3 seed Porterville a 24-17 win over No. 2 Tehachapi in the semifinals of the Central Section Division III playoffs.

The Panthers and Warriors combined for seven turnovers, with neither team seeming to get a foothold on offense in a still and cold night on the mountain.

"We were concerned about the weather coming in," Porterville coach Rick Stewart said. "We came out and practiced every morning at 7 a.m. in shorts and a T-shirt, trying to get ready."

Ali led the weather-prepared Panthers rushing attack with 157 yards on 25 carries, scoring twice.

"David is a hard worker, just like the rest of our kids," Stewart said. "It's not just David though; everyone has bought into what we were trying to instill with this program, and they all had a great effort."

With the Warriors down 17-10 at halftime, Chris Rush helped tie the game with a 72-yard touchdown pass to Travis Farewell, giving Tehachapi (10-3) new life early in the third quarter.

"We came out the second half strong," Tehachapi coach Steve Denman said. "Just too many mistakes. You can't win the game when you turn over the ball."

Jordan McIntire and Michael Clark helped seal the door on a Warrior comeback, complementing Ali in the Porterville (10-3) running game with a combined 105 rushing yards.

Max Clark led the ground game for Tehachapi with 82 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, while Jesse Olofson had 73 yards on 23 attempts.

Chris Rush also had 115 yards on five completions, while Jake Reimer connected on a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter for the Warriors.

"Our kids fought hard this season and we're proud of what they were able to accomplish," Denman said. "It was a hard-fought game, right down to the wire."

Warriors Adam Bullard and Luke Mears take down Porterville's David Ali in second quarter action. Ali led the Panthers
in rushing for the game and for the season. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

Tehachapi Falls In Semi-Finals
Porterville Defeats Two-Time CIF Section Champion Warriors

Posted December 6, 2009, by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

They played an inspired game in the second half, but in the end the Porterville defense and running game proved just enough to overtake the two-time defending CIF champion Tehachapi by a 24-17 count in the Division III section semifinals.

The game started out strong for the Warriors, with Luke Mears opening the game with a fumble recovery on Porterville’s first drive to set up an eventual touchdown.

“There were a lot of turnovers in this game, by both teams,” said head coach Steve Denman. “That was the story for us. When you turn the ball over it’s hard to win. But our guys had a lot of resolve in the game against a good Porterville team.”

After the fumble, the Warriors set up shop at the Panther 25-yard line, and scored on a Max Clark 12-yard touchdown run to go up, 7-0. The touchdown drive was set up by a Phil Rhodes 21-yard juggling catch deep in Panther territory, securing in a pass from Chris Rush.

Also highlighting the early game scoring was Jake Reimer, who connected on his first field goal of the season with a 24-yard boot to help Tehachapi (10-3) to keep the contest close at halftime, down 17-10.

“The second half we came out well, it was virtually neck-and-neck to close out the game,” added Denman. “We had some opportunities late to take the lead but it just didn’t happen for us.”

At the start of the third quarter, Chris Rush tied the contest on a 72-yard touchdown pass to Travis Farewell. The connection has proved lethal for the opposition all season long, with Rush finding Farewell on six of his nine touchdown passes this season. Rush finished the game with 115 yards on five completions, while Farewell had two catches for 78 yards.

Porterville (10-3) and Tehachapi combined for seven turnovers, with the Panthers clinching a finals berth off a fumble recovery, scoring the final touchdown of the night with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Overall leaders in the ground game for the Warriors included Max Clark with 82 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown and Jesse Olofson with 23 attempts for 73 yards. Phil Rhodes led the team in receptions with three catches for 37 yards.

On defense, Tehachapi had over 60 tackles in the game, led by Austin Herman with seven takedowns and Luke Mears and Travis Hall with four tackles each. The secondary, led by Nic Howell, Brennen Davis, Michael Lowder and Cory Lange, limited the Panthers to only 37 total passing yards.

“The kids should be proud of what they accomplished,” Denman said. “We came up just short, but it was a good season and playoff run.”

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Porterville  3 14   0  7 24
Tehachapi  7  3   7  0 17

The Scoring:

First Quarter:

Teh - Clark 12 yd run (Reimer PAT kick) 7:27
Por - Vallien 21 yd FG 2:47

Second Quarter:

Teh - Reimer 24 yd FG 10:58
Por - Ali 5 yd run (Vallien PAT kick) 5:35
Por - Clark 12 yd run (Vallien PAT kick) 1:13

Third Quarter:

Teh - Farewell 72 yd pass from Rush (Reimer PAT kick) 10:34

Fourth Quarter:

Por - Ali 18 yd run (Vallien PAT kick) 4:00

Porterville vs Tehachapi Statistics

First Downs169
Rushes-Yards53-286 38-160
Passing Yards37115
Total Yards323 275
PuntsN/A N/A
Fumbles-LostN/A N/A
Penalties9-65 7-55

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING--Tehachapi: Clark 11-82, Olofson 23-73, Rhodes 2-3, Rush 2-2;
Porterville: Ali 25-157, Clark 9-58, McIntire 10-47, Coppenbarger 9-18, Smithey 1-6.

PASSING--Tehachapi: Rush 5-8-1 115; Porterville: Coppenbarger 3-10-0 37.

RECEIVING--Tehachapi: Farewell 2-78, Rhodes 3-37; Porterville: McIntire 2-30, Duckworth 1-7.

Varsity – Tehachapi 10-3, Porterville 10-3