1996 Warriors

The 1996 Warriors include #1 Anthony Gonzales, #3 Phansk Bunsri, #4 Gary Crowell, #5 Pat Neisler, #9 Chris Campbell, #10 Jason Riddle, #11 Jeff Nikkel,
#12 Chris Minton, #17 Marcus Ludd, #20 Lucas Park, #21 Darin Redelsperger, #22 Eddy Brown, #23 Chris Noonan, #26 Scott Hernandez, #28 Jeff Pandolfe,
#30 Zack Barlow, #33 Luke Schneider, #34 Jay Troffer, #38 Sean Morris, #40 John Dean, #41 Jeff Spencer, #42 Matt Schneider, #44 Pat Kelloway, #45 Jacob Ursua,
#46 Alex Victorino, #50 Ryan Agre, #51 Gabe Gallegos, #52 Jimmy Ross, #55 Tommy Howell, #56 David Hensler, #57 Saul Sanchez, #60 Johnny Arellano, #61 Dennis Ziegler,
#62 John Pickens, #54 Jason Lindsey, #65 Jeff McLaughlin, #66 Corey Costello, #68 Jeremy Olson, #72 Rodney Michael, #73 Nicholas Philbin, #75 Eric Weiss,
#76 Lonnie Terrell, #78 Brian Phillips, #81 Andrew Eyler, and #82 Jason Boyette.

Warriors Finish 2nd in South Sequoia League Play
Warriors Log Final 7-4 Season Record

Season Review by Tom Shea, thswarriors.com

Attempting to bounce back from one of the worst seasons in school history, the 1996 season for Tehachapi was one of high hopes for the many returning starters that would suit up again for mountain football.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Warriors started their season by entertaining a preseason match-up with the Highland Scots. Despite expectations for Tehachapi to get off to a solid start on the young season, Highland thwarted every weapon in the Warrior arsenal with the talented play of wideout/kicker Ethan Beck and quarterback Jeff Dover, who connected for two touchdowns in the first half of the game. Beck also chipped in two field goals of 25 and 54 yards to seal the first week win. For the Warriors, Pat Neisler caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kris Campbell in the second quarter to take an early 6-3 lead. Ryan Riddle also nabbed in a 43-yard reception in the second half to help contribute to Campbellís 72-yard passing performance.

The next two games for Tehachapi would show much more rewarding results with help from a rowdy home crowd on the mountain. In week two, the Warriors ran behind the wings of Anthony Gonzalez, who racked up 78 yards on 17 carries, scoring twice. Down 15-13 at halftime, junior Darin Redelsperger sealed the win with a 17-yard run in the third quarter.

Against Stockdale a week later, the Warriors limited Division I collegiate prospect David Carr (who eventually ended up being the #1 pick overall in the NFL draft) to only 140 yards on 11 completions, with six sacks. Anthony Gonzalez turned in his finest performance ever as a Warrior in that game, rushing for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Pat Kelloway and Darin Redelsperger also combined for 123 yards in the ground assault, helping Tehachapi to tally 336 total rushing yards overall as a team.

On October 4th, the Warriors suffered a minor setback again Arvin when Bear tailback Charlie Brogdon scored on a one yard run with 3:10 to go in the game, finishing with 102 yards on 21 carries. Tehachapi had two opportunities to score late in the game, but could not capitalize red-zone opportunities into points against the #1 rated defense in the valley. Warrior QB Kris Campbell finished the contest with 11 completions for 157 yards and a score to Eddy Brown (who had four catches for 59 yards). Tight End Jason Boyett also added 56 yards on four receptions, while Darin Redelsperger and Pat Neisler combined for 39 yards on four completions.

In week five, Tehachapi brought its 1996 record against southern section opponents to 2-0 with a convincing win over Valley Christian on homecoming night. After losing Kris Campbell to a knee strain against Arvin a week earlier, junior QB Geoff Nikkel shut down the Crusader defense with a perfect five-for-five passing and 74 yards, with two completions for 49 yards going to Darin Redelsperger. Senior Anthony Gonzalez ended the night with three touchdowns and 76 yards on 16 attempts, and Eddy Brown, Sean Morphis, and Redelspeger also combined for 144 yards rushing in the victory.

The next three weeks would find the Warriors bursting out of the South Sequoia League gates firing on all cylinders with three blowout wins over Shafter, Wasco, and Taft. Anthony Gonzalez would lead the way with 291 total yards and eight touchdowns, while Eddy Brown would contribute with 161 total yards and two scores. Matt Schneider played the role of cleanup duty in the second half of all three games, rushing for 216 yards and four touchdowns.

Sitting at 3-0 in the SSL and 6-2 overall, Tehachapi entered Sam Tobias Field at Garces Memorial High School on a roll. However, the Warriors bubble burst quickly behind the play of Rams multi-threat Drew Johns, who had nine completions for 129 yards, two interceptions, and two first quarter touchdowns. Tehachapi was led by Anthony Gonzalez in the game, who had 112 yards and a score, and Ryan Riddle, who had three catches for 70 yards. Eddy Brown and Matt Schneider also added touchdowns for the Warriors, while Darin Redelsperger and Geoff Nikkel connected on a two-point pass play in the fourth quarter.

Despite the crushing loss to Garces, the Warriors proved that it could bounce back quickly with a dominating 61 point barrage against the Ridgeview Wolfpack at South High School in Bakersfield. The week 10 match-up had a playoff berth on the line, and Anthony Gonzalez took control early, ending with a 151 yard, three touchdown performance to help Tehachapi go up 41-6 at halftime. Other highlights included Matt Schneider and Pat Kelloway combining for 109 yards on 17 attempts, and Kris Campbell firing 5-7 passing for 120 yards and two scores, one to Darin Redelsperger (12 yards) and the other to Pat Neisler (56 yards). Campbell also punched through 7 PAT kicks in the game. Scott Hernandez also scored the only defensive touchdown for the Warriors in the season, taking an interception 20 yards for a score in the third quarter.

In the first round of the playoffs, Tehachapi fell behind 20-0 against the 10-0 Sierra Chieftains, but two fourth quarter scores displayed the heart and resiliency of the 1996 squad, helping Tehachapi climb back to within six points. However, with time winding down in the period, and Sierra facing a 3rd down and 26, the Chieftains connected for a first down on Tehachapiís 16-yard line. Four plays later, Sierra sealed the win with a 23-yard field goal and a 23-14 win. Darin Redelsperger led the Warriors with 116 total yards, while Anthony Gonzalez contributed with 89 yards on 15 carries.

The 1996 Warriors finished at 7-4 overall; 4-1 in SSL play. Tehachapi finished the season with 2,559 yards rushing, good for fourth in Kern County, and 329 total points, rating them third in the area. Tehachapi also enjoyed one of their better receiving years, with Darin Redelsperger leading Tehachapi with 253 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions. Jason Boyett also had a solid year with 14 catches for 234 yards, while Pat Neisler and Ryan Riddle brought in 11 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns collectively. Quarterback Kris Campbell finished 18th on the Area list for points, kicking 21 PATís, two field goals, and connecting on 40 of 89 passes for 698 yards and seven touchdowns. Anthony Gonzalez finished his senior season 2nd on the Area scoring list with 136 total points, carrying the ball 160 times for 1,111 yards and 21 touchdowns.

All-SSL 1st team selections for the Warriors included Jason Boyett (tight end), Gabe Gallegos (center), Anthony Gonzales (running back), Tom Howell (lineman), and Rodney Michael (lineman) on offense. Defensive 1st team selections were Ryan Agre (def. end), Eddy Brown (def. back), Pat Kelloway (def. back), and Luke Schneider (linebacker).

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Game-by-Game Results

Sep 13Highland (Bakersfield) 06 39APat Neisler: 1 TD Reception
Sep 20Rosamond 19 15HAnthony Gonzales: 2 TD's, 87 yds. rushing
Sep 27Stockdale (Bakersfield) 37 07HAnthony Gonzales: 3 TD's, 226 yds. rushing
Oct 4Arvin 10 15AChris Campbell: 1 TD, 157 yds. passing
Oct 11Valley Christian 26 14HAnthony Gonzales: 3 TD's, 76 yds. rushing
Oct 18Shafter* 54 00HAnthony Gonzales: 3 TD's, 127 yds. rushing
Oct 25Wasco* 21 08AAnthony Gonzales: 2 TD's, 93 yds. total
Nov 1Taft* 61 00HMatt Schneider: 1 TD, 161 yds. rushing
Nov 8Garces (Bakersfield)* 20 35AAnthony Gonzales: 1 TD, 112 yds. rushing
Nov 15Ridgeview (Bakersfield)* 61 19AChris Campbell: 2 TD's, 120 yds. passing

* Denotes League Game

CIF Central Section Playoffs (San Joaquin Valley)

Nov 22Sierra (Tollhouse) 14 23ADarin Redelsperger: 1 TD, 116 yds. total

Eddy Brown rushes for a big gain versus Valley Christian on October 11, 1996.