A standing room-only crowd over just over 5,000 people came together last Saturday afternoon to celebrate East-Bakersfield High's 75th anniversary and homecoming, an event that concluded with Tehachapi running away with a 40-17 victory.
With an attendance that featured guests from nearly every graduating class at East, the Blades played inspired football by opening the game with a first quarter touchdown. Later in the first half, East recovered a fumble on a kickoff to set up field position deep in Tehachapi territory and the chance to build on a 10-6 lead.
However, on the Blades' drive, an alert Warrior defensive line stripped the ball from an East ball carrier near the endzone, with Thomas Blewett recovering the fumble. The play turned out to be a huge momentum shift, with the Warriors then driving 98 yards in 13 plays, capping the march with a Christian Terle two-yard touchdown run to take the lead before half, 12-10.
Terle finished as the leading rusher for Mountain Football with 172 yards on 21 carries, finishing the game with five touchdown runs of 31, 3, 3, 1 and 2 yards by game's end. The five-touchdown total puts Terle second all-time in school history for scores in one game according to thswarriors.com, joining Dustin McBride (2000 vs. Arvin) and Wilbur Griffin (1942 vs. Maricopa) on the elite five-TD list.
Tehachapi (4-2; 1-0 SEYL) had 60 carries for 408 yards rushing overall behind offensive lineman Trey Abarquez, Greg Dodge, Rocky Radcliff, Joseph Blewett, Connor O'Neal and Gunther Murphy, among others.
Skylar Valencia was the second leading rusher in the contest, picking up 130 yards on 14 carries. Other carries came from Chris Rhodes, Ray Hackleman, Nick Steele, Anthony Curiel, Chris Llamas, Tyler Kroeger, Willy Urciel, Trent Reynolds and Caleab Hutto, who all combined for 117 yards on the ground.
Hutto also had the Warriors' final touchdown of the day on a one-yard score in the fourth quarter.
On defense, Jerry Castaneda and Ty Curry both had two sacks while Micah Fjeld and Joseph Blewett had a sack each. Steven Cross, David Carter and Urciel both led the defense with six tackles apiece with Cross also finishing with two pass deflections in the secondary.
Other highlights included Isaiah Hutto and Carter both forcing a turnover on downs on a punt fake tackle in the third quarter, Dakota Medovitch recording an interception, Bobby Sharp a fumble recovery and the before-mentioned Thomas Blewett goal-line fumble recovery.
Mountain Football will continue their league schedule this week with a game against Highland at home this Friday night. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.