Tehachapi at Ridgeview (Bakersfield)

October 28, 2016

Warrior wide receiver Carson Bethany #11 hauls in a Chris Garcia pass enroute to a TD score. Bethany and the Warriors upset Ridgeview, 28-14,
Friday night in Bakersfield and have an outside chance at an SYL title. Photo by Nick Ellis, The Bakersfield Californian.

Warriors Upend Ridgeview
Cling To SYL Title Hopes

Posted on October 30, 2016 by John Nelson, The Tehachapi News

There's an old adage in sports — football especially — that it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

“We use that with our kids all the time and have done it for years,” Warriors head football coach Steve Denman said.

There was no better time than now to remind the Warriors of it.

They started their season 0-4 but on Friday night, Oct. 28, they shocked powerhouse Ridgeview 28-14 for their third straight victory and gave themselves a shot at a South Yosemite League title.

“That was kind of an old school victory,” Denman said. “We controlled the clock, played good defense, got a few big plays on offense when we had to. It was an old school kind of thing.

“Believe me, we had guys having their best games of the season, from tackle to tackle.”

While they ran twice as many plays as Ridgeview, most of them on the ground, the Warriors scored three of their four touchdowns on passes by Chris Garcia, one a 51-yarder to Carson Bethany, the other two to Garrett Curry.

Two of their scores were set up by Troy Noda interceptions, and fulback Chris Podratz had a long run to set up another.

It was a huge victory for Tehachapi, for several reasons. It kept the Warriors in the thick of the SYL race, and it continued a trend of constant improvement.

At the same time, it was sweet revenge for last year's 64-21 loss to Ridgeview, the most lopsided defeat in Denman's 35 years at the Tehachapi helm, and it handed the Wolf Pack its first league loss since 2013.

The game also marked the return to form of last year's rushing leader, Keyron Scott, who had knee surgery after he was injured against Ridgeview last season and only returned to action three weeks ago.

“I went through pain, depression, all of that,” Scott told The Californian. “And now we're here, and we got this win. It's special.”

Scott had Tehachapi's lone rushing touchdown and gained 114 yards on 19 carries. Podratz was Tehachapi's leading rusher with 136 yards on 14 carries.

Denman said Scott's recovery was more than just physical.

“He missed all summer and the preseason, so he's just now getting into his zone,” Denman said.

“A lot of it was mental. Could he take a hit on that knee, could he plant off it? Football shape is not the same as riding a stationary bike. It's different when you're running between tackles.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Tehachapi got two quick touchdowns in the second quarter.

Garcia hit Garrett Curry with a 1-yard scoring pass on a play-fake for the first TD. Then, moments later, he found Carson Bethany over the middle with a pass that Bethany bobbled momentarily. Bethany quickly regained control and ran about the final 30 yards into the end zone for a scoring reception that covered a total of 51 yards.

The first of Noda's interceptions set up a 2-yard scoring pass from Garcia to Curry in the third quarter, making it 21-0. Tye Johnson scored on two short runs for the Wolf Pack in the fourth quarter, sandwiched around Scott's 4-yard TD run. That score, too, was set up by a Noda interception.

“The biggest thing I told the kids before the game was that we controlled our own destiny,” Denman said. “All we can do is worry about ourselves, now.”

Ridgeview and Tehachapi were both 3-1 in the SYL, while Independence was 4-0. Ridgeview finishes at Independence on Friday night, Nov. 4, while the Warriors are at home against winless West.

“Whatever happens between Ridgeview and Independence next week, we have no control over,” Denman said.

The Ridgeview victory was the 299th of Denman's career, and he could reach the 300 plateau against West.

“We saw them earlier in the season, and they'd play tough for a while then start making errors,” Denman said, “but anything can happen.

“Nobody thought we'd start 0-4, so on any given Friday night, anything can happen,” Denman said. “We've just got to get prepared and play football to the best or our ability.”

Warrior running back Tyler Metzler #2 runs for yardage Friday night against Rideview.  Photo by Nick Ellis, The Bakersfield Californian.

Scott Gets Redemption as Tehachapi
Stuns Ridgeview in SYL Showdown, 28-14

Posted by Zach Ewing, The Bakersfield Californian, on Oct. 28, 2016.

BAKERSFIELD - For Tehachapi senior Keyron Scott, every carry is sweet when you’re recovering from a serious injury.

But they’re especially sweet when they’re touchdown runs that clinch victories against Ridgeview, like Scott’s 4-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that helped the Warriors beat the Wolf Pack 28-14 on Friday and force themselves into the South Yosemite League title chase.

A year ago, unbeaten Ridgeview was the opponent when Scott was having the game of his life, running for more than 100 first-half yards. Then a bad step took it all away, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, a severe knee injury from which he didn’t return until three weeks ago.

Scott said he wasn’t 100 percent until this week — which just happened to be a game against that same Ridgeview team that has won at least part of the past six SYL titles.

He ran for 114 yards and a touchdown, Chase Podratz added 136 yards and all three of sophomore quarterback Chris Garcia’s completions went for touchdowns.

“I went through pain, depression, all of that,” Scott said. “And now we’re here, and we got this win. It’s special.”

Tehachapi (4-5, 3-1 SYL) started the season 0-4 but is now squarely in the middle of the league race, tied with Ridgeview (4-5, 3-1). Both teams trail Independence (5-4, 4-0), which hosts Ridgeview next week.

“The kids stayed positive,” Warriors coach Steve Denman said. “We lost some close ones, and we got blown out a couple of times. But sometimes adversity helps you. We kept grinding every week and getting better.”

Nobody knows how to do that better than Denman, who earned career victory No. 299 Friday and can reach 300 next week against 1-8 West in the regular-season finale.

This one was vintage Tehachapi. The Warriors possessed the ball for 29:58 of a 48-minute game and ran nearly double the number of plays that Ridgeview did.

And while Tehachapi mostly did its damage on the ground, Garcia opened the scoring with a rollout pass to a wide-open Garrett Curry and then made it 14-0 when Carson Bethany made a juggling catch and ran 51 yards to the end zone.

Garcia made it 21-0 with another short pass to Curry in the third quarter, making Tye Johnson’s two touchdown runs for Ridgeview too little, too late.

“Our defense didn’t give up the big play, kept them in front of us, and we just kind of grind it out on offense,” Denman said. “This was a good one.”

The Warrior defense was outstanding all night long holding the powerful Ridgeview offense to just two scores. Defenders Phillipe Vachon and
Logan Snyder move in for the tackle against the Wolf Pack.   Photo by Nick Ellis, The Bakersfield Californian.

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi  0 14   7  7 28
Ridgeview  0  0   0 14 14

The Scoring:

2nd Quarter:

T: Curry 1 pass from Garcia (pass failed)
T: Bethany 51 pass from Garcia (Scott run)

3rd Quarter:

T: Curry 2 pass from Garcia (Graham kick)

4th Quarter

R: Johnson 1 run (kick failed)
T: Scott 4 run (Graham kick)
R: Johnson 2 run (Moya run)

Tehachapi vs Ridgeview Stats

First Downs
Passing Yards5487
Total Yards328168

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING—Tehachapi: Podratz 14-136, Scott 19-114, Garcia 8-19, Timm 2-7, Powell 1-3, Dean 2-(-3), Metzler 2-(-1), TEAM 1-(-1).
Ridgeview: Moya 9-75, Johnson 10-36, Prevost 1-(-5), Glinton 3-(-11), TEAM 1-(-15).

PASSING—Tehachapi: Garcia 3-5-0, Scott 0-1-0. Ridgeview: Glinton 7-14-1, Moya 2-9-1.

RECEIVING—Tehachapi: Bethany 1-51, Curry 2-3. Ridgeview: Prevost 5-35, Griffin 2-27, Johnson 2-25.

Varsity Records: Tehachapi 4-5 (SYL 3-1). Ridgeview High 4-5 (SYL 3-1).

JV: Tehachapi Braves 06, Ridgeview JV's 27.
FROSH: Tehachapi Indians 13, Ridgeview Frosh 07.