The 2005 Warriors include #1 EJ Muro, #2 Paul Abarquez, #3 Mason McLauglin, #4 Matt Deger, #5 Zac Schlais, #6 Lance Lange, #7 Eric Tercy, #8 Tyler Hansen, #9 Geo Lopez, #10 Brad Taylor.
#11 Kyle Herman, #12 Rick Rickheim, #14 Levi Lantz, #15 AJ Dessenberger, #20 Louis James, #21 Robert Wright, #22 Jared Nichols, #25 Josh Carmichael, #26 Paul Castro, #27 John David Salsbury,
#28 Jeff Waldram, #30 Steffan Bekker, #31 Jake Harris, #32 Aaron Moore, #33 Ryan Stack, #34 Gabe Bressler, #35 Jessy Buff, #36 Aaron Boileau, #40 Ramond Gomez, #41 Adam Greenwood, #42 Tyler Hack,
#44 Alek Taliulu, #45 Mike Barboa, #47 Anthony Rodriguez, #50 Evan Bullard, #51 Bryan Beaulieu, #52 Chad Johnson, #53 Matt Fort, #54 Tommy O’Brien, #55 Cameron Harris, #56 Robbie Montana,
#57 Jacob Mendez, #58 Steven Tercy, #60 Drew Gaeta, #61 AJ Meza, #62 Cory Darling, #64 Ralph Curiel, #65 Josh Thompson, #66 Sherwin Smith, #67 Evan McBride, #68 Matt Hall, #70 Robert Soto,
#71 Chris Dockery, #72 Greg Embry, #74 Nick Engraf, #75 Levi Kerstien, #76 Chad Barrett, #77 Robert Gibson, #78 Anthony Maravigli, #80 Daniel Conde, #81 Jake Smith, #85 Mike Papac, and #88 Steffan Reid
Review by Tom Shea, thswarriors.com
Warriors Finish Season With 4-7 Log
First Losing Season Since 1995
Tehachapi entered the 2005 season with underclassmen that experienced a great wealth of success in the junior varsity ranks, with the 2005 junior and senior class both taking SSL titles as junior varsity braves with a combined 19-1 (10-0 SSL) record in their respective sophomore seasons.
Despite the success, the SSL nor Tehachapi’s pre-league opponents were about to let up early against the pre-season league title-favorite Warriors.
Mountain Football opened up their schedule at home against Compton, a game that almost was a bye for the Warriors if it wasn’t for a late summer agreement made between both the Tarbabes and Warriors scheduling committees, who fortunately both found themselves with an opening on “week 0” of the prep schedule. Many predicted a hard fought but convincing win for Tehachapi, but Compton was not about to make their long trip up from Los Angeles a meaningless one. The Tarbabes took advantage of big plays by speedy runner Lamar Chapman to hand the Warriors a 21-14 loss. Even though Tehachapi suffered a first game defeat, they did make a strong attempt to come back in the contest when wingback Robert Wright found the endzone twice in the fourth quarter, once on a one-yard run and the other on a double-pass connection from EJ Muro for 64 yards, the longest pass play of the season for Tehachapi.
The early season stumble for Mountain Football was short-lived, with the Warriors running on all cylinders a week later at Antelope Valley College against Paraclete-Lancaster. Mountain Football caught the Spirits flatfooted early on, taking a 27-0 lead, highlighted by a Zac Shalais punt block and Lance Lange 16-yard return for a touchdown late in the first quarter. Tehachapi would go on to the easy victory with two more second half scores for the 40-7 final tally.
The strong play continued on to the following week, with the Warriors avenging a shocking upset win by Foothill in Bakersfield in 2004 with a 35-7 drubbing at Coy Burnett Field. Senior Tight End Mike Papac would highlight the scoring onslaught with his second and third TD’s of the season, leading all receivers with three catches for 77 yards. Sophomore Alek Taliulu scored his first touchdown as a Warrior in the fourth quarter, sealing the convincing third game win.
The 75-point scoring output came to a screeching halt the following week against Stockdale, with Tehachapi making the trip to the southwest corner of Bakersfield to take on the defending CIF Division I finalist and Southwest Yosemite League Champion Mustangs. The Warriors timing in facing Stockdale was not a good one, with All-Area candidate Kenny Shanahan returning from an ankle injury suffered in a week 1 win over Atascadero. Shanahan proved to be the lone spark the ‘Stangs needed, reeling up 182 yards on 18 carries to help fuel Stockdale’s shutout over Tehachapi, the first goose-egg suffered by a Tehachapi team in 26 games, dating back to a 27-0 loss to Clovis East in 2003.
The Warriors suffered another setback against Garces homecoming night a week later in a 30-13 defeat, but would come out punching at the start of their league schedule with two wins over Wasco and league rival Taft.
Against the Tigers, Tehachapi benefited early from two Robert Wright scoring runs, and the wing-t attack would continue its success to a 315 yard total output that transcended into five touchdowns and a 34-7 victory.
In Tehachapi one week later, the SSL game of the year took center stage when the Wildcats came beckoning on Coy Burnett Stadium in a clash that many predicted would decide the 2005 SSL champion. While the victor was not eventually crowned the league king at season’s end, the game play from both teams was exciting none-the-less, with both Tehachapi and Taft trading blows that ended with the Warriors on top in the end, 30-29. The Warriors overcame a 21-6 first half deficit thanks to strong bootleg runs by Warrior Quarterback Tyler Hansen, who amassed 77 yards overall on the ground including two key two-point conversion runs, the final being the game winner after Zac Shclais scored on a two-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The win culminated a total team effort, with Hansen saying that, "After that run we were a little down, but we weren't going to give up, the coaches kept us motivated and we just kept fighting."
The dream of a league title dwindled away the next two weeks against Arvin and Shafter, with the Warriors dropping back-to-back losses to both teams 35-21 and 35-18, respectively. Even though Tehachapi lost both contests, their 2-2 record still had a chance to salvage an SSL championship in the final week of the regular season with a Taft loss to Arvin and a Warrior win over Golden Valley.
The Bears did their part in defeating the Wildcats, but the Warriors fell just short of forcing a four-way SSL championship tie, losing in a 30-26 decision to the Bulldogs. The Warrior loss gave Golden Valley Head Coach Tim Hartnett and the Bulldogs their first league title in only their second year playing varsity football. Junior Gabe Bressler was the leading rusher in the game with 106 yards on 18 carries, while Lance Lange added two rushing touchdowns deep in goal line territory.
Tehachapi entered the CIF Division III playoffs as the #11 seed, taking on the #6 Dinuba Emperors, the East Sequoia League’s second place team. The Warriors benefited from a masterful performance from Robert Wright, who recorded his best rushing game of the year with 136 yards on 12 carries including a 65 yard run. Sophomore Ehren Ochsenrider would also go on to record his second touchdown pass of the year on a six-yard throw to Zac Schlais in the waning seconds of the second quarter. In the end however, the Emperor defense would stiffen and force a second-half shutout over Tehachapi, ending the Warriors season in a 19-14 final score. #5 seed Lemoore would go on to win the CIF Championship over #2 seed Yosemite, winning in convincing fashion in Oakhurst, 48-16.
In the stat column at season’s end, Tehachapi enjoyed one of its best seasons in the passing game, with 1,026 yards overall. Leading the passing attack before his injury against Arvin was Senior Tyler Hansen, who had 34 completions for 674 yards and four TD’s on the year. The high yardage receiving threats for 2005 included Geo Lopez, who had 306 yards on 14 completions, EJ Muro with 277 yards on 13 completions, and Mike Papac with 276 yards on 11 catches, including four TD’s. In the rushing column, co-thswarriors.com player-of-the-year Robert Wright led all rushers with 857 all-purpose yards, including 721 on the ground to pace Tehachapi’s 2,338 yards overall. Lance Lange led Tehachapi with 10 total touchdowns. On defense, Mike Barboa led the team with 65 tackles, while Paul Abarquez chipped in with six sacks.
Tehachapi had five players receive honors in the All-SSL selections for 2005. Second team honors went to Matt Fort (OL), while first team accolades went to Mike Barboa (LB), Lance Lange (LB), EJ Muro (DB), Ralph Curiel (OL), and Mike Papac (TE).
For a complete listing of Tom Shea's 2005 "Weekly Warrior" articles, please click here.
Click Here For
LISTING OF SSL CHAMPS
Game-by-Game Regular Season Results (Click On Individual Opponent For Game Summary/Statistics) OPPONENT THS OPP L GAME HIGHLIGHT Sep 9 Compton 14 21 H Robert Wright: 2 TD's, 59 yds. rushing Sep 17 Paraclete (Lancaster) 40 07 A Robert Wright: 1 TD, 135 yds. rushing Sep 23 Foothill (Bakersfield) 35 07 H Mike Papac: 2 TD Pass Rec. Sep 30 Stockdale (Bakersfield) 00 20 A Oct 7 Garces (Bakersfield) 13 30 H Tyler Hansen: 1 TD Pass, 8-14, 159 yds. passing Oct 14 Wasco * 34 07 A Robert Wright: 2 TD's, 111 yds. rushing Oct 21 Taft * 30 29 H Robert Wright: 1 TD, 71 yds. rushing Oct 28 Arvin * 21 35 A Tyler Hansen: 1 TD Run, 5-9, 96 yds. passing Nov 4 Shafter * 18 35 A Lance Lange: 2 TD's rushing Nov 11 Golden Valley (Bakersfield) * 26 30 H Lance Lange: 2 TD's rushing
* Denotes League Game
CIF Central Section (San Joaquin Valley) Division III Playoffs
OPPONENENT THS OPP L GAME HIGHLIGHT Nov 18 Dinuba 14 19 A Robert Wright: 1 TD, 136 yds. rushing