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Under fourth year head coach Dennis Ruggles, the 1978 Warriors finished league play with a winning 4-3-2 record.
Warriors Finish With Winning Season
- But Miss The Playoffs -
The Warriors opened the season by thumping Rosamond, 31-0. In that game, quarterback John Rolin completed 6-9 passes for 167 yards and
sophomore running back Mark Ricker exploded for 108 yards rushing in 19 carries, good for 3 touchdowns.
The following week, the Warriors had a tough time in The Pit as they played to a 6-6 tie at Trona.
Back to their winning ways, the Warriors defeated a pesky Boron team in Week 3, 15-6, behind the 134 yard rushing performance of Ricker.
That was followed by a 49-7 trouncing of Lone Pine, Ricker again picking up 138 rushing yards.
The impressive Warriors were sitting at 3-0-1 in league play entering Week 5 of the season. From this point on, the Warriors ran into bad luck.
In Week 5, Desert upset the Warriors, 9-6, at Edwards. Ricker picked up another 150 yards rushing in 31 carries.
In Week 6, the Warriors played eventual league champion Kern Valley to a 7-7 tie. Ricker netted 109 yards in 28 carries and scored the lone Warrior TD.
However, Ricker suffered an injury in th KV game, and would not play the following two weeks against Bishop and Mammoth.
The Warriors were nipped by Bishop, 7-6, and in a foot of snow, lost to Mammoth, 22-6. These two losses doomed the Warriors playoff chances.
In the league finale, the Warriors upset the Mojave Mustangs, 33-15. Once again QB Rolin was 8-16 passing, good for 106 yards. A healthy Ricker returned
to the gridiron, and chipped in with two touchdown runs. The Mustangs finished as the #2 team in the DIL and advanced to the playoffs.
This season would be the last season for head coach Dennis Ruggles. He finished his four year stay with the Warriors at 22-12-3.
Mark Ricker (running back) and Bob Wonacott (linebacker) were named to the all-league 1st team. David Backes (guard), Matt Ogan (lineman),
and Mark Pettigrew (defensive back) were named to the all-league 2nd team.
Quarterback John Rolin, Ogan, and Wonacott were named the Tri-Most Valuable Players for the team.
The Tehachapi Junior Varsity Braves were the league champions finishing the season with an undefeated record of 8 wins and 0 losses.
The Braves scored 273 points and only allowed 6 points all season. Team Most Valuable Players were Keith James and Robert Lewis.
For Brave head coach Harry Jasper, it was his fifth league championship team since he took over the junior varsity program in 1965.
He has had undefeated teams in 1966, 1972, and 1978.
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LISTING OF DIL CHAMPS
OPPONENT THS OPP L GAME HIGHLIGHT Sep 22 Rosamond 31 00 H Mark Ricker: 3 TD's, 108 yds. rushing Sep 29 Trona 06 06 A Mark Ricker: 1 TD rushing Oct 6 Boron 15 06 A Richard Heiller: 1 TD, fumble recovery Oct 13 Lone Pine 49 07 H Mark Ricker: 2 TD's, 138 yds. rushing Oct 20 Desert (Edwards AFB) 06 09 A Mark Ricker: 1 TD, 150 yds. rushing Oct 27 Kern Valley (Lake Isabella) 07 07 H Mark Ricker: 1 TD, 109 yds. rushing Nov 3 Bishop 06 07 H Richard Heiller: 1 TD rushing Nov 11 Mammoth 06 22 A John Rolin: 1 TD rushing Nov 17 Mojave 33 15 A Mark Ricker: 2 TD's rushing
Sophomore running back Mark Ricker paced the Warriors with 960 yards rushing in 172 carries,
a 5.6 yards per carry average. Ricker also led the team with 10 touchdowns.