For the second consecutive season the well-intended memories of Senior Night resulted in a forgettable performance on the field as the Tehachapi Warriors struggled with the athleticism of the Ridgeview Wolf Pack in a 52-6 loss in the final home game of 2019.
Tehachapi (1-8, 1-3 South Yosemite League) will conclude its season next week on the road at West High School in Bakersfield.
The start of the Warriors’ evening looked promising. After honoring the senior class of the band, cheer and football teams, the Warriors’ first possession featured a run-first approach led by junior Malik McClendon that included a series of first downs and nearly seven minutes of possession. Tehachapi turned the ball over on downs deep in Wolf Pack territory when McClendon ended up just shy of the first down marker on a counter play. Ridgeview wouldn’t take long to score, finding the end zone three plays later when quarterback Justin Hinzo found Zion Hall for a 58-yard score and 7-0 lead.
Tehachapi struggled to find the same ability to move the ball in the second possession, and after a punt, Ridgeview scored again on a two-yard touchdown run on the first play on the second quarter by Anthony Ramirez. Following that score the Warriors tried to air the ball out but Jacob Tye was intercepted in Wolf Pack territory, which eventually led to a 21-0 lead following another short touchdown run by Ramirez.
The first series would be longest time of possession for Tehachapi in the game as the Warriors offense couldn’t manage to keep the ball moving and out of the Wolf Pack’s hands. Ridgeview would add scores from 14 yards when Hinzo connected with Richard Hernandez, a 37-yard field goal from Fabien Guillen and use a series of timeouts to take advantage of a short Tehachapi possession as the second quarter was winding down. Ridgeview scored with less than two minutes remaining when Jaron Amos ran 17 yards untouched for a 38-0 lead at the half.
The Wolf Pack did little that could be stopped by Tehachapi, even electing for a fake punt on 4th down and six from their own 27-yard line in the second quarter. The play resulted in a 12-yard gain and eventually a touchdown for Ridgeview. The Wolf Pack scored again with 4:12 left in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Alec Zendejas. Ridgeview wasn’t finished, scoring once more in the fourth quarter for a 52-0 lead.
One bright spot for Tehachapi was the play of sophomore Mycel McClendon. The younger brother of Malik, Mycel was featured in punt and kickoff returns for Tehachapi coming close on several occasions to breaking a return for a score. He had two returns over 30 yards for Tehachapi and limited carries as a running back as well.
The Warriors did finally get on the board late in the fourth quarter when Tye connected with Brayden Batson for a 67-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was missed as the Warriors settled for six points in the loss. The win for Ridgeview puts them in position to win the SYL championship outright next week with a win over Independence as the Falcons lost their first league game Friday night to Bakersfield Christian. Tehachapi will conclude their season Friday night at West High School; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Ridgeview 30, Tehachapi 20
The Indians scored first on Friday on a 77-yard touchdown pass from Cory Leal to Nicholas Smith but couldn’t hold the lead very long as Ridgeview pulled out the 30-20 victory.
Tehachapi concludes their season Friday at West High School at 5 p.m.