Jacob Tye threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth as the Tehachapi Warriors played their most complete offensive game of the season in front of a robust homecoming crowd Friday night in a 28-6 win over Golden Valley (1-7, 1-2 SYL).
“We finally executed offensively the way we’ve been wanting to all year just doing the little things,” said head coach Doug DeGeer. “We got some push up front, the kids were running hard, our short passing game was where we wanted it to be. We worked on it all week and we executed.”
“That’s been our big thing, to have a plan and execute it and we finally did that tonight.”
The victory was the first of the season for the Warriors (1-7, 1-2 SYL) who had struggled with inconsistency for much of the year, but with a distinct home field advantage in terms of crowd and cold weather, Tehachapi wasted little time taking advantage of a Golden Valley fumble for the first score of the game. The Warriors used Trent Adams and Malik McClendon effectively on the ground to set up a three-yard quarterback keeper for Tye and a 6-0 Warriors lead six minutes into the contest.
Following a Golden Valley punt, Tye connected with Tyler O’Brien on a screen pass which O’Brien then took down the sideline 59 yards for a 12-0 Tehachapi lead four minutes later. The Warriors would turn the ball over on their next possession, but the defense held strong, turning away the Bulldogs’ scoring attempt and eventually scoring themselves on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tye to Max Meza and a 20-0 lead after a two-point conversion. The Warriors led 20-0 at the half for the first time this season.
Despite an early third quarter fumble on their first play from scrimmage, the Warriors managed to keep Golden Valley scoreless and score once again on a Tye to O’Brien pass, this time a slant route from 18 yards out. Tye would keep the ball on the two-point conversion for a 28-0 lead.
Golden Valley requested a running clock in the fourth quarter and did manage to score on an Everada Rueda three-yard run on fourth and goal. It was his fourth attempt at the endzone from the same distance during the drive. Tehachapi’s defense managed to make several adjustments during the game to deal with the speed of Golden Valley’s running backs and inside run game.
“It’s amazing what happens when you get your guys lined up in the right spot, you tackle, you wrap and you do what you’re supposed to do; you execute your plan and that’s what we did,” DeGeer said.
With three touchdown passes in a game, Tye becomes just the 16th quarterback in Tehachapi history to accomplish that feat. Chris Garcia last threw for three touchdowns in the Warriors’ 2016 victory over Ridgeview.
The Warriors will close out their 2019 home schedule this Friday night hosting South Yosemite League-leading Ridgeview (5-3, 3-0 SYL). The Wolf Pack defeated Bakersfield Christian on Friday night 36-22 and are in sole possession of first place in the league. It is also senior night as the Warriors honor the 2019 senior class. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Coy Burnett Stadium.
“We’ve had a lot of success against them (Ridgeview) up here on the Mountain. I hope it’s colder then it is tonight and if we can execute, if we can control the ball I think we’ll be in a good spot,” said DeGeer.
Golden Valley 26, Tehachapi 21
The Indians, playing their first Friday evening game prior to the varsity contest, led 21-18 with just over four minutes remaining until the Bulldogs converted on a 65-yard touchdown pass for the game-winning score. Tehachapi then threw an interception two plays into their next drive to seal the victory for Golden Valley.
Tehachapi hosts Ridgeview on Friday night at 5 p.m. at Coy Burnett Stadium.