The Braves controlled a majority of the game on offense with long run churning drives, scoring on five of seven possessions in an impressive 35-21 victory over Highland last Friday afternoon.
Willy Urciel led Tehachapi (5-1-1, 2-0 SEYL) with 108 yards on 11 carries, including the game’s first score on a 30 yard touchdown run through the middle of the Scots’ defensive line.
“We were happy with our ability to sustain ball control and finish the drive,” said head coach Ryan Grimes. “Highland is a good team and our guys did a good job of setting the tone early and keeping the pressure on.”
Urciel’s first score was set up off a fourth down run by quarterback Michael Piekarski, who took a bootleg off tackle for a 10 yard run deep in Highland territory. Nick Steele also had a strong game on offense for the Braves, registering 99 yards on eight attempts and the game’s final touchdown on a 29 yard run in the final period.
Other offensive highlights included Anthony Curiel scoring on two touchdown runs and finishing with 63 yards on the ground and Ethan Averett hauling in a 16 yard touchdown pass from Piekarski with a minute left before halftime.
On defense, Zach Allen dominated the line of scrimmage with a team-high 14 tackles, followed by Nick Steele and Gabe Dodge recording nine tackles apiece in the linebacking corps. Other leaders included Michael Bailey, Jacob Gray and Jerry Castaneda with eight tackles each, Thomas Blewett and Piekarski with six tackles each and Nathan Collier with two sacks.
“We’re getting better each week and everyone is getting involved,” said Grimes. “It’s not just about one guy, we have a whole team that wants to contribute and play hard.”
The Braves will continue their season this Friday afternoon by kicking off homecoming festivities at Coy Burnett Field against North. The game will start at 5 p.m.
Highland defeats the Indians
Segun Gainey rushed for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns, but seven lost turnovers proved to be too much to overcome in a 40-20 loss at Highland last Thursday.
Tehachapi (2-4; 1-1 SEYL) also had a strong night from Noah Whitlach, who rushed for 70 yards on 15 attempts. Through the air, Lars Olofson had a touchdown pass to Daniel Wright, who caught a pass over a defender for the Indian’s final score in the first half.
On defense, Gainey, Wright and Noah Wilson led the team with seven tackles each, followed by Steven Garcia with six tackles and Zachary Birch and Clayton O’Neal with four tackles.
Nic Ledesma also had an interception and Cade Temple had a sack.