Wasco at Tehachapi

November 5, 2010

Warrior Cory Lange #4, above left, hauls in a pass for a long gainer against Wasco while Marcus Curiel #21, above right, follows the block of
Zach Timm #34 for another big run against the Tigers. The win gave the Warriors a season record of 8-1. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

Warriors Overwhelm Wasco, 45-14
To Clinch SSL Title Share

Posted November 6, 2010, by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

It was a billed as the game of the year in the South Sequoia League and a highly anticipated contest between two of the top running offenses in the CIF central section.

Everything was on the line for the Warriors. Notably, a Tehachapi win could clinch at least a share of the league title heading into the final week of the regular season and a high seed in the upcoming Division II playoffs.

Mountain Football accomplished that and more last Friday night, orchestrating their wing-t offense to perfection in a heart-inspired 45-14 shellacking over Wasco.

“It meant a lot for us to keep a team like that to 14 points,” said defensive linebacker Adam Bullard. “We executed like we did in practice and it came together. It was exciting.”

After Wasco converted three fourth down conversions on their opening drive for an early 7-0 lead, it was all Mountain Defense the rest of the way.

Tehachapi (8-1; 4-0 SSL) forced three punts and recorded five turnovers, helping the offense score 45 unanswered points in the rout.

David Lara led the way with seven tackles and a sack, followed closely by Phil Rhodes and Cameron King with six tackles each.

Bullard, Zach Timm, Logan Smith, Jack Blewett, Troy Matthews, Ray Cross, Niko Taliulu all had four tackles apiece in the effort, while Michael Lowder recorded five tackles and two interceptions. King and Cory Lange also had fumble recoveries.

Lange’s fumble recovery ended in a 35-yard touchdown run, putting the game away in the third quarter with a commanding 38-7 lead.

“We were happy with the outcome, they gave a great effort,” said head coach Steve Denman. “They were prepared and got after it against a good football team.”

On offense, Marcus Curiel led the way with 117 yards on 11 carries, scoring three touchdowns, while Rhodes had 74 yards on 13 carries and two runs to paydirt.

“We went into this game knowing that it was going to be for the championship and we wanted to give it all we had,” added Rhodes. “There was just heart and determination from everyone on this team.”

Mountain Football can clinch the title outright with a win at Taft (2-7; 2-2 SSL) this Friday night. The Wildcats defeated Bakersfield Christian 47-22 last week.

Warrior running back #22 Phil Rhodes erupts for a big game behind big
lineman #57 Cesar Meza. Photo by Rod Thornburg, The Bakersfield Californian

Warriors Roll Past Wasco
In SSL Showdown

Posted November 5, 2010, by Zach Ewing, The Bakersfield Californian

TEHACHAPI -- Something about the mountain air up here turns teams looking for a showdown into suckers.

Tehachapi did it again Friday, shaking off an early Wasco touchdown and rolling, 45-14 over the Tigers, to claim a share of the South Sequoia League crown in a battle of teams without a league loss.

"We just played good," junior Cory Lange said. "We were prepared, had a good gameplan, and the whole team just played good."

Marcus Curiel led Tehachapi (8-1, 4-0 SSL) with 117 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including a 50-yarder less than a minute after halftime, but it was a typically workmanlike effort for the Warriors.

"It was all the offensive line," Curiel said. "We just followed them. Big holes."

There was no shortage of big plays: Michael Lowder had two interceptions and nearly a third, but he was ruled out of bounds. Phil Rhodes ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Lange was instrumental in putting the game away. With Tehachapi leading 19-7 late in the first half, he caught a pass from Adam Bullard down the sideline and took it 64 yards to the Wasco 1. Curiel scored on the next play.

"Tehachapi is so, so good," Wasco coach Russell Prado said. "They run the wing-T, it's vanilla, but they run it extremely well."

If that late first-half score and Curiel's 50-yarder to start the second half didn't finish off Wasco (7-2, 3-1), Lange did the trick on the Tigers' next drive. He scooped up an errant Kyle Wedel pitch in the third quarter and took it 33 yards to the end zone to make it 38-7.

Suddenly, the SSL showdown was all but over.

"Our kids played really well," Tehachapi coach Steve Denman said. "It's the same as any other week, honestly. We prepared well, came into the game the same."

Wasco opened the game with a 19-play, 77-yard drive that sucked up more than seven minutes, scoring on Quentin Cheatham's 2-yard leap into the end zone. The Tigers converted three third downs and two fourth downs on the drive to take a 7-0 lead.

But it might have been a pyrrhic victory. Wasco's starting right tackle, David Gutierrez, was hurt late in the drive and didn't return. The Tigers' offense wasn't the same after that.

"It was a good first drive, but (that injury) hurt us," Prado said.

Of course, much of that credit has to go to the Tehachapi defense, which allowed Cheatham 86 yards but made him use 26 carries to get them. Austin Tijerina gained 71 yards on 18 carries, including a late touchdown.

In all, 160 of Wasco's 263 yards came either on that first drive or on a garbage-time touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

"We knew we could stop them," Lange said. "They did a good job on that first drive, had a couple of big plays, but we just made adjustments."

And now Tehachapi will travel to Taft next week with the outright SSL title and a top-three seed in the Central Section's Division II well within its grasp.

"It means the world to us," Lange said. "We wanted this league for our seniors."

Warrior Michael Lowder #31 had two interceptions to lead the defense Friday night
in a 45-14 blowout of Wasco. The win gave the Warriors sole possession of first place
in the SSL with a perfect 4-0 record. Photo by Rod Thornburg, The Bakersfield Californian

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Wasco   7  0   0  7 14
Tehachapi   7 18  20  0 45

The Scoring:

1st Quarter:

Was – Cheatham 2 yard run (Nieto kick)
Teh – Curiel 4 yard run (Farewell kick)

2nd Quarter:

Teh – Rhodes 9 yard run (kick failed)
Teh – Rhodes 6 yard run (pass failed)
Teh – Curiel 1 yard run (run failed)

3rd Quarter:

Teh – Curiel 50 yard run (Farewell kick)
Teh – Lange 33 yard fumble return (pass failed)
Teh – Garrett to Farewell 26 yard pass (Farewell kick)

4th Quarter:

Was – Tijering 4 yard run (Nieto kick)


First Downs1113
Rushes-Yards53-207 40-314
Passing Yards58 90
Comp-Att-Int3-10-2 2-2-0
Total Yards265404
PuntsN/A N/A
Penalties4-30 5-35

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING--Tehachapi: Garcia 3-58, Lange 1-4, Rhodes 13-74, Curiel 11-117, Timm 2-22, Stephens 6-17, Cooley 2-17;
Wasco: Cheatham 26-86, Tijerina 8-71, Martinez 6-38, Wedel 2-10.

PASSING--Tehachapi: Garrett 1-1-0-26, Bullard 1-1-0-64; Wasco: Wedel 3-10-2-58

RECEIVING--Tehachapi: Lange 1-64, Farewell 1-26; Wasco: Tijerina 3-58

JV: Tehachapi 38 , Wasco 20
FROSH: Tehachapi 22, Wasco 52