When the going gets tough, the Tomahawks get tougher. With the championship title on the line, and one second remaining on the clock, it all came down to one final play of the game, one final play of the season for the sophomore Tomahawks and Southwest Mojos.

Tomahawks defense dug their feet into the field, took one last breath as the ball snapped into the hands of the Mojos' quarterback and with a pitch to their tailback, Tomahawks corner Adrian Pina didn’t hesitate to pursue in his attack and was able to hook the legs to break the balance of the runner, as Andrew Aguirre flew in for the game-ending tackle. That sent the Tomahawks' fans into a fury and the sophomores of 2017 into history.

“The game was amazing. We never gave up. Our defense gave up a few points, but we just kept our heads up and hoped for the best,” said defensive end Mark Nicholson Jr.

Going into the half, the Tomahawks were in a predicament not yet faced during their season, a slim lead of 8-7.

“It was slobber nobber football, the hardest game we have ever played, it was a big challenge,” said offensive lineman Hayden Michael. It was a challenge the Tomahawks were not willing to back down from.

“They had some fast players like No. 1 and  No. 6, he’s pretty tough, but we had strength, speed and size,” offers Jacob Root.

“This game the only problem we had was No. 1, but we stuffed him up the gut and no one else was there,” states Mike Jones. A short pass from quarterback Moose Brus to Karson Tiewater in the 4th quarter set up the lead, 14-7, and eventually the win for the 2017 GEYF Sophomore League Champions.

“It felt wonderful! One of the greatest moments of my life,” says quarterback Moose Brus.

The 11-0, undefeated season was made possible by a group of young men who have more heart, passion, loyalty, discipline and respect for one another unlike anything I’ve seen.

“I felt like it was more of a team season than the lonely. We went undefeated, that was team,” explained Root. A team of this caliber doesn’t just play as a team, but goes to battle as a family. And it showed 11 games this season.

“All the players from the first day became brothers. They’re all like my family and we’ll be family forever,” said a smiling corner, Aiden Nicholson.

Congratulations to our 2017 Sophomore Tomahawks, GEYF Eastern Conference Champions and GEYF Sophomore League Champions: Ty’rion Davis, Peter Cusimano, Giovanni Mary, Moose Brus, Karson Tiewater, Rian Grell, Adrian Pina, Jacob Root, Kaidyn Roberts, Andrew Aguirre, Carson Rolow, Aiden Nicholson, Hoben Hoge, Mike Jones, Kenneth Pitt, Jorge Tirado, A.J. Anderson, Hayden Michael, Mason Cyr, Austin DeGerolami, Abram Perez, Colton Christy, Bryan Socci, Mark Nicholson Jr., Ruben Sedano, Lyrik Brentham, Anothony Cerbantez, Kaleb Songer and Beau Blades. Congratulations to our sophomore coaches: Ron Christy Sr., Josh Christy, Larry Root and Chris Jones. Congratulations to team mom Jolene Jones and water kids Tucker Jones, Ruben Perez and Roland Pina.

For some of our athletes, football continues. TYF would like to introduce the All-Stars of 2017, who will be representing the Tomahawks Saturday, Nov. 18, at the 8th Annual Youth Shrine Potato Bowl at Independence High School.

Freshman Tomahawks: Wyatt Nylander, Thaddeus Dyer, Anthony Reilley, Jacob Meza and Liam Smith. Sophomore Tomahawks: Austin Anderson, Mark Nicholson Jr., Karson Tiewater, Mike Jones and Colton Christy. Junior Varisty Tomahawks: Ryan Wilson, Wyatt Richie, Daniel Cavazos, Justin Hamilton and Cayden Castrellon. Varsity Tomahawks: Brycen Thomas, Bobby Stanley, Samuel Orellana, Tyler Love and Tywone Davis Jr. Also receiving recognition, TYF Academic All-Stars: freshman Colton Michael, sophomore Austin DeGerolami, junior varsity Wyatt Richie and varsity Benjamin Williams.

More information, including game times, can be found on Facebook at Tehachapi Youth Football & Cheer.

Jenn Michael is Tehachapi Youth Football's director of off field operations.