West High at Tehachapi

November 19, 2010

Tehachapi's Phil Rhodes #22 heads into the end zone with a touchdown in the first half against West Friday
night. His teammate is offensive lineman Cameron King #55. Photo by John Harte, The Bakersfield Californian

Rhodes, Warriors Run Past Vikings

Posted November 20, 2010, by Jeff Evans , The Bakersfield Californian

TEHACHAPI -- Tehachapi High School called it history-making on Friday.

The Warriors, a longtime Central Section Division III power now in their first season at Division II, rolled past West 48-27 in the program's first Division II playoff game.

The sixth-seeded Warriors (10-1) advance to next Friday's matchup at No. 3 Fresno-Sunnyside, a 33-11 winner over Tulare Western Friday.

"Our line really picked it up," said Tehachapi senior running back Phil Rhodes, who ran for a season-high 227 yards onj 19 carries with touchdown rushes of 5, 10 and 20 yards.

"Our whole line: just follow them and we'll do good," said junior running back Marcus Curiel, who had 74 rushing yards and TD's of 4 and 8 yards.

Tehachapi set the tone immediately when Rhodes took the opening kickoff 76 yards to the West 14 and Curiel scored three plays later.

Curiel had a 41-yard run to set up Rhodes' 5-yard TD that broke a 7-7 tie and put the Warriors ahead for good. And Cory Lange made it 21-7 late in the first quarter with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"We were fortunate we got up on them early," said Tehachapi coach Steve Denman. "They've got good athletes and they got a surge late in the game. Then we had to buckle down."

West (6-5) had no answer to the Warriors' Wing-T running game. Tehachapi ran only 34 plays from scrimmage while West had 80, but the Warriors made the most of those, gaining 351 net rushing yards and getting a 31-yard TD on their only pass completion of the night.

"They run the wing-T very well with tough, hard-nosed kids," said West coach Chad Grider. "They have good players and what they do, they do well."

Tehachapi had seven running plays of at least 20 yards.

"I think we caught them on their heels," Rhodes said.

Tehachapi also had a big game from Lange. In addition to his interception return, he caught the 31-yard TD pass at the back of the end zone on a fourth-down play with two seconds left in the first half.

"We practice that play a lot," Lange said. "Fake to the flag and run the post."

He stepped in front of West wide receiver Michael Dunn, who ran a short pattern just past the line of scrimmage, for the interception he returned for the TD.

"All week long our coach said they like to throw those," Lange said. "I sneaked up on him."

West running back Corey Frison took a short shovel pass 54 yards for a touchdown and he led the Vikings with 130 yards on 29 carries. West quarterback Scout Villanueva had a 1-yard TD run and a 19-yard TD pass to Javaun Howington, a fourth-down play that was deflected into Howington's hands by a Tehachapi defender.

Villanueva finished 21-of-35 for 238 passing yards.

Warrior Marcus Curiel #21 runs through a huge hole in the West defense during the first half at
Tehachapi Friday night. Looking to block is Colt Murrow #78. Photo by John Harte, The Bakersfield Californian

Offensive Line Paves Way To Playoff Win
Warriors Steamroll West in DII First Round, 48-27

Posted November 22, 2010, by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

There are three things you can count on as late November’s arrival hits Tehachapi. The first is more frigid weather conditions, the second is the Thanksgiving holiday and the third is Warrior football playoff games.

Last Friday night, Mountain Football solidified the latter for another week, running over West-Bakersfield to secure a first round 48-27 Division II playoff victory.

"It was a barn-burner," said head coach Steve Denman. "We were able to get up on them early with a couple of key special team plays and it was back-and-forth the rest of the way."

Phil Rhodes helped Tehachapi (10-1) build early momentum on the opening kickoff, running 76 yards to help the Warriors start their first possession of the night on the West (6-5) 14-yard line.

Three plays later, Marcus Curiel punched in the first of six offensive touchdowns for the Warriors in the playoff rout.

“For us it's about winning as a team," said linebacker Travis Farewell. "There's always room for improvement but we're at the point where we're all confident. We know we can play."

Confidence in the running game was thanks in part to a dominating performance on the offensive line. Colt Murrow, Cesar Meza, Niko Taliulu, John Porter, Brent Bernacchi and others plowed gaping holes for the wing-t attack; leading to 358 rushing yards overall on just 32 carries.

"We work hard all year for this and we're peaking right now," said Murrow. "Right now we're just trying to work our butts off and have fun. It's all about having fun."

Rhodes provided the majority of the yards from scrimmage, collecting a career-high 227 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns, including 106 additional yards on kickoff returns.

Curiel added to the onslaught with 74 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Jorge Garcia, Cory Lange and Zach Timm combined for 54 yards on the ground.

In the passing game, Levi Garrett hooked up with Cory Lange on a 31-yard touchdown pass-and-catch for the Warriors only completion on the night.

"West was a good team but we just wanted it more," added Murrow. "We work hard all year for (these moments)."

On defense, Lange also had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown, while Michael Lowder had 10 tackles, two pass deflections and a kickoff return for 31 yards. Other defensive standouts included David Lara with six tackles and two sacks, Cameron King with eight tackles, Troy Mathews, Ray Cross Adam Bullard and Farewell each with six tackles, and Zach Timm with three tackles, four pressures and a sack.

Up next for Tehachapi is a road trip to the no.3 seed in the Division II bracket, Fresno-Sunnyside, who was a 33-11 winner over no.14 seed Tulare Western. The game will be this Friday night at 7 p.m. in Fresno.

"I feel like in this playoff system we're the underdogs," Murrow said. "It's going to be like any other week (going into Sunnyside). We just have to prepare and be ready."

CIF Central Section Division II Playoffs

First Round Scores - Nov.19

(9) Lemoore 23, (8) Sanger 22
(5) Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial 56, (12) North 12
(4) Visalia-Redwood 29, (13) Fresno-Hoover 22 (Overtime)
(3) Fresno-Sunnyside 33, (14) Tulare Western 11
(6) Tehachapi 48, (11) West 27
(7) Clovis North 14, (10) Reedley 0

Quarterfinal Match-ups - Nov.26

(9) Lemoore at (1) Frontier-Bakersfield
(5) Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial at (4) Visalia-Redwood
(6) Tehachapi at (3) Fresno-Sunnyside
(7) Clovis North at (2) Garces Memorial

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
West   7  6   0 14 27
Tehachapi  21 14   0 13 48

The Scoring:

1st Quarter:

T--Curiel 4 run (Farewell kick)
W--Villanueva 1 run (Schnell kick)
T--Rhodes 5 run (Farewell kick)
T--Lange 50 interception return (Farewell kick)

2nd Quarter:

W--Cobb 5 run (kick failed)
T--Rhodes 10 run (Farewell kick)
T--Lange 31 pass from Garrett (Farewell kick)

4th Quarter:

W--Howington 19 pass from Villanueva (kick blocked)
T--Rhodes 20 run (Farewell kick)
W--Frison 54 pass from Villanueva (C.Perez pass from Villanueva)
T--Curiel 8 run (kick blocked)


First Downs
Rushes-Yards36-173 32-358
Passing Yards23831
Total Yards411389
PuntsN/A N/A