TEHACHAPI — It wasn’t exactly an auspicious beginning to the season and a new era of Tehachapi football.
The Warriors entered Friday night’s game against Burroughs under the regime of first-year head coach Doug DeGeer, following the retirement of Steve Denman after 35 years and 301 victories.
Tehachapi got off to a rocky start at home against the Burros, who scored early and often and cruised to an easy 36-0 victory over the Warriors, spoiling the debut of DeGeer.
“We really took one on the chin tonight. It was a tough way to come out,” DeGeer said. “It’s all about the little things, and we didn’t do any of the little things right. On a football field all 11 guys have to be in sync, and tonight we weren’t.”
It didn’t take long for Burroughs (2-0) to get rolling. On their opening possession of the game, the Burros promptly and methodically drove down the field using a 10-play, 66-yard drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Austin Griffin to Bryson Pippin for an early 6-0 lead.
Before fans could even settle in, the Burros struck again on their next possession, when Griffin hooked up again with Pippin on a 56-yard strike. Pippin cruised to the end zone, giving his team a 12-0 lead.
“Our road only gets tougher,” DeGeer said about his upcoming schedule, which includes games against Garces and perennial power and 2016 state champion Lancaster-Paraclete. “But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to suck it up and move forward. The way to fix this is practice. Our attitude in practice has to change, and we must tighten things up.”
Tehachapi’s offense was anemic throughout the game, especially in the first half when the Warriors could only muster 47 yards of total offense. They had 107 yards for the game compared to Burroughs’ 357.
“We knew coming in they were going to be tough. We expected everything they threw at us,” said Tehachapi quarterback Chris Garcia, who accounted for 59 yards of offense. “I don’t know if we came in intimidated, but it’s embarrassing. We just weren’t ready to play. This is not what we wanted.”
The Griffin-Pippin combination hooked up two more times on touchdowns of 33 and 35 yards, helping the Burros build a 26-0 lead.
Burroughs, which opened its season with an impressive victory over Palmdale, extended its lead later in the second quarter. On fourth down, the Burros decided to go for it inside the 10-yard line. A sweep to running back Antonio Ramirez (six carries, 53 yards) resulted in a 5-yard touchdown run and a 33-0 lead.
“For us, it’s going to be about who’s going to work harder,” Garcia said. “We know we have a tough schedule; we just have to play more as a team.”
Burroughs 19 17 0 0 - 36
Tehachapi 0 0 0 0 - 0
B: Pippin 4 pass from Griffin (kick failed)
B: Pippin 56 pass from Griffin (run failed)
B: Pippin 33 pass from Griffin (Morales kick)
B: Pippin 35 pass from Griffin (Morales kick)
B: Ramirez 5 run (Morales kick)
B: Arlow 42 FG
Rushing—Burroughs: Ramirez 6-53, Liszka 5-15, Stephey 9-14, Beecroft 6-(-4), Piepmeier 1-(-2); Tehachapi: Timm 13-28, Curry 3-2, Garcia 13-47, Palmer 1-3, Love 2-17. Passing—Burroughs: Griffin 15-23-0-251, Beecroft 2-3-1-30; Tehachapi: Garcia 1-8-1-12. Receiving—Burroughs: Pippin 8-156, Moore 3-36, Beecroft 2-26, Ramirez 2-22, Sherritt 2-41; Tehachapi: Soto 1-12.
W-L: Burroughs 2-0; Tehachapi 0-1.
JV: Tehachapi 13, Burroughs 6. FS: Burroughs 19, Tehachapi 7