Tehachapi at West Bakersdield

November 6, 2015

Warrior defender Daniel Wight #23 crashes through the West High offensive line on his way to another great play. Wight blocked
a punt and returned it for a TD in a win over West sparked by the defense of the Warriors.   Photo by TBC Media Group.

Warriors Say Bye To Regular Season
Say Hi To Bye In Playoffs

Posted on November 10, 2015 by John Nelson, The Tehachapi News

The Warriors had been waiting all season long to get into the playoffs. Now, they'll wait a week longer.

After earning second place in the South Yosemite League with a 48-7 victory at West on Friday night, Nov. 6, the Warriors were seeded No. 3 in the CIF Central Section Division 3 tournament and given a first-round bye.

That means the Warriors will not play again until Friday night, Nov. 20, against the winner of a game between North and Tulare Western. That game was scheduled for Friday night, Nov. 13, in Tulare.

“We all start with a clean slate now,” Warriors head coach Steve Denman said after winning the 295th game of his 34-year career at Tehachapi.

The victory over West in their season finale gave Tehachapi a 7-2 record, 3-1 in the SYL, and came a week after the Warriors suffered their only league loss, 64-21 to Ridgeview, a Division 2 powerhouse.

“We're just happy to be in the playoffs, and getting the bye gives us a chance to get healthy. We've got some banged-up kids,” Denman said.

Most notable is running back Keyron Scott, who did not play the second half against Ridgeview with a bone bruise below his left knee and played only one series of downs against West.

“We've got a bunch of kids bruised up and sore. That was a physical game the other night,” Denman said. “Now we've got a week to work on fundamentals and give everybody a chance to heal up.”

Scott had only two carries for 6 yards against West late in the first quarter and eventually came off the field limping. Even with one game washed out and a game and a half on the sidelines injured, Scott had 1,351 rushing yards for the season, scoring 15 touchdowns and averaging 10.3 yards per carry.

The loss of Scott puts even more pressure on a defense that has carried much of the burden all season long.

“There's always pressure when one of your good players gets hurt, but this is a team sport,” said Warriors linebacker and captain Angel Garcia, who had 11 tackles and an interception for a touchdown.

Denman called the lopsided victory over West “a very good defensive” effort by the Warriors, and why not? Defense and special teams accounted directly for three of the Warriors seven touchdowns and set up three more.

Only one of Tehachapi's touchdowns came after a West punt, and even that touchdown could be credited to a defense that forced the Vikings to punt from their own 1-yard line.

Quarterback Lars Olofson was Tehachapi's leading rusher with 47 yards, including two touchdowns. The Warriors managed just 156 yards of total offfense in the game, but that's partially because the offense never had the ball.

Defense and special teams kept scoring without them.

Tehachapi scored two unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by Taydin Macon, set up by Jackson Caudle's fumble recovery deep in West territory, and Garcia's 11-yard interception return.

In the second quarter, Colten Eaton scored on a 28-yard return of a fumble recovery, making it 21-0.

Olofson scored his first touchdown minutes later on an 8-yard run, set up by Thomas Blewett's fumble recovery, and with 2:23 left in the first half, Wight blocked a bunt and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown that made it 35-0.

“It was just our time tonight,” said Wight, who also had nine solo tackles. “It was a team effort. Sometimes it's the offense, sometimes it's the defense.”

West scored its only touchdown with 7 seconds left in the first half.

Olofson scored on a 32-yard run in the third quarter after the short West punt, and, with Tehachapi substituing freely in the final quarter, Philippe Vachon scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds left.

Vachon's touchdown was set up by Caleb Huebner's interception at the Vikings 35-yard line.

“It was more or less a flip of the week before when we couldn't hold onto the football,” Denman said. “This week, they had a hard time hanging onto it.”

Garcia said the victory was a “big boost” for the Warriors, going into the playoffs.

“We're going in with a win, and we've got to keep things going,” he said.

Now, the Warriors await the outcome of North vs. Tulare Western. Tehachapi beat North in Bakersfield 34-12 back on Oct. 2.

“Either way, we know they're going to give us a game,” Denman said. “We know what North does, and Tulare is always tough.”

Warrior running back Taydin Macon #20 scampers for yardage against West High Friday night, Nov. 6 in Bakersfield.
The Warriors routed the Vikings, 48-7, to end the regular season.   Photo by the TBC Media Group.

Warriors Topple West; Playoffs Next
Warriors 48 West Bakersfield 7

Posted on November 6, 2015 by Tom Shea, Bakersfield Californian

BAKERSFIELD - The Warriors recorded three defensive touchdowns and forced five turnovers in the first half to breeze to 35 unanswered points and an eventual 48-7 victory over West.

Tehachapi (7-2; 3-1 SYL) recorded their first defensive score when Angel Garcia disrupted a middle screen by the Vikings and returned an interception 11 yards for a touchdown. Colten Eaton also had a 23-yard lateral pass fumble returned for a score Daniel Wight blocked a punt and returned the loose ball 34 yards for a touchdown.

Jackson Caudle and Thomas Blewett also had fumble recoveries and Caleb Huebner had an interception for the Warriors.

Offensively, Taydin Macon and Lars Olofson had touchdown runs for the Warriors to help build a five-score lead right before halftime. Olofson added another 32-yard run in the third quarter and Philippe Vachon had a 1-yard score with less than a minute left in the game.

For West 5-5 (2-3 SYL), Marquise Smith led the Vikings with 88 yards on 19 carries and a 5-yard second quarter touchdown. Josh Boyd also had five receptions for 53 yards.

1st2nd3rd 4thFinal
Tehachapi 14 21   7  6 48
West High  0  7   0  0 07

The Scoring:

First quarter:

T—Macon 3 run (Lins kick)
T—Garcia 11 interception return (Lins kick)

Second quarter:

T—Eaton 23 fumble return (Lins kick)
T—Olofson 8 run (Lins kick)
T—Wight 34 punt block return (Lins kick)
W—Smith 5 run (Meza kick)

Third quarter:

T—Olofson 32 run (Lins kick)

Fourth quarter:

T—Vachon 1 run (kick not attempted)

Tehachapi vs West

First Downs7 14
Passing Yards14 62
Comp-Att-Int1-3-0 6-18-2
Total Yards156153
Penalties4-30 2-10

Individual Statistics:

RUSHING—Tehachapi: Olofson 6-47, Macon 11-40, Podratz 5-22, Mata 5-14, Vachon 6-10, Scott 2-6, Powell 1-5, Graham 1-3, Stephens 1-2, Noda 1-(-7).
West: Smith 19-88, Coleman 12-45, Pesina 5-16, Duplessis 1-3, Fisher 1-(-5), TEAM 4-(-56).

PASSING—Tehachapi: Olofson 1-2-0 14, Llamas 0-1-0 0. West: Coleman 6-18-2 62.

RECEIVING—Tehachapi: N. Blewett 1-14. West: Boyd 5-53, Haywood 1-9.

Varsity – Tehachapi (7-2; 3-1 SYL), West (5-5; 2-3 SYL)

Junior Varsity - Tehachapi 49    West High 14 (Braves win championship)
Frosh-Soph Game - Tehachapi 20    West High 42