1961 Warriors

Warriors Finish at 2-4-2 in 1961
Charles Breault Earns All-League & Team MVP Honors

New head coach 'Corky' Roberts led his 1961 Warriors to a 2-4-2 overall season record. Lacking a consistent offense, Tehachapi finished 2-3-2 in league play. With a little more offense, the Warriors could have easily won seven games. The Warrior defense held their opponents to one touchdown or less in five of their eight games.

The Bishop Broncos won the Desert-Inyo League in 1961, advancing to the CIF Southern Section small schools championship game, losing to Holtville, 13-7, in the finale.

In Week 1, a non-league affair, the Warriors were blanked by McFarland, 7-0. The Warriors managed just 139 yards of total offense with running back Gene Rymal rushing for 32 yards.

One of the highlights of the 1961 season was in Week 2 versus Desert High at Edwards AFB. The game was played in a horrid windstorm and regulation play ended in a 0-0 tie. However, on the last play of the game, the Desert coaching staff was penalized. Since a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Warriors (who had the ball) got to run one more offensive play. From the 43 yard line, quarterback Bob Blair launched a "Hail Mary" pass and fullback Gene Rymel came down with the ball at the 5 yard line and scampered into the end zone for the game winning touchdown.

In Week 3, All-DIL 1st team running back Ben Dye led eventual league champion Bishop to a 21-6 victory over Tehachapi. Trailing 21-0, the Warriors scored in the final period on a 61 yard, 17 play drive. Lynn Allen scored the TD on an 8 yard pitch from QB Blair. Blair completed 6 of 13 passes for 68 yards to lead the Warriors.

In Week 4, new school Boron and Tehachapi met for the first time. The Bobcats "shocked" the Warriors by scoring a late 2nd half TD to break a 7-7 tie, and pull out the 13-7 win. The Warriors only score came in the 1st quarter when Blair connected with Louie Villicana on a 5 yard pass play. Villicana also booted the PAT.

In Week 5 against Lone Pine, all the scoring took place in the 2nd quarter, all within a span of one minute. The Warriors only score of the game came on a Gene Rymal 31 yard TD run. Villicana booted the PAT to even the score at 7-7. The Warriors collected 103 yards of total offense with Villacana rushing for 27 yards.

The Warriors had an offensive explosion in Week 6 against perennial DIL doormat Kern Valley. Tehachapi defeated the Broncos 39-7, with senior Lynn Allen scoring 3 TD's. Blair scored the 1st TD on a 1 yard run for a 7-0 lead (PAT kick); Allen scored on a 3 yard run to make it 13-0; a 15 yard run to make it 20-0 (PAT kick); and another 3 yard run for a 26-7 lead; Valenzuela scored on a 1 yard run and then kicked his 3rd PAT of the game, 33-7; and Rymal rounded out the scoring on a 1 yard plunge.

The Warriors played one of their better games of the year in Week 7, in Mojave, against the highly touted Mustangs. The Warriors played hard, but settled for a 14-14 tie, their second tie game of the season. Allen got the Warriors on the board first by dropping Mustang running back Mike Kekich (a future major league baseball player) in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead; Blair scored on a 7 yard run in the 3rd quarter to give Tehachapi an 8-7 lead; and Allen scored on a 3 yard dive play in the 4th quarter to give the Warriors a 14-7 lead. The Mustangs scored late in the game to tie the score. The Warriors rushed for 214 yards in the contest with Rymal leading the attack with 88 yards.

In the season finale, the Warriors traveled to Trona and lost in The Pit, 6-0. Tehachapi totaled 158 yards of offense (4-16 passing), but could not score.

The 1961 team placed three men on the all-league 1st team. They were center Charles "Huck" Breault, running back Gene Rymel, and end Louie Villicana. Lineman Gilbert Valenzuela was also selected to the 2nd team. Breault was also the recipient of the coveted team Most Valuable Player award and the team Most Inspirational Player award.

New head coach Albert "Corky" Roberts (left) and assistant
coach Harry Crumpacker (right) directed the 1961 Warriors.

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Game-by-Game Results

Sep 23McFarland * 00 07H
Oct 7Desert (Edwards AFB) 06 00HGene Rymel: 1 TD Pass Rec.
Oct 14Bishop 06 21ALynn Allen: 1 TD run
Oct 21Boron 07 13ALouie Villicana: 1 TD Pass Rec.
Oct 28Lone Pine 07 07HGene Rymel: 1 TD Run
Nov 5Kern Valley (Lake Isabella)  39 07ALynn Allen: 3 TD runs
Nov 12Mojave 14 14HLynn Allen: 1 TD run, 1 Safety
Nov 19Trona 00 06A

* Denotes Non League Game