Mountain Football re-kindled the flame against one of their oldest rivals, providing another memorable chapter in the Bishop vs. Tehachapi storied history with an upset victory in the CIF Division IV playoffs, 28-14.

Tehachapi (5-5) entered the playoffs as the No. 15 seed, earning the right to take on High Desert League champion and No. 2 seed Bishop (8-1), which came into the playoffs averaging nearly 49 points a game.

Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, the Warriors remained unfazed, sticking to what they knew best, a steady diet of rushing to the tune of 285 total yards on the ground and 372 offensive yards overall, coupled with a smash-mouth swarming defense.

The game was a tightly-contested contest through three quarters, with both teams deadlocked at 7-7 entering the fourth quarter.

The game excitement then turned up a notch when Tehachapi took the lead with just over seven minutes remaining when Alessandro Li Manni nailed a 29-yard field goal to give the Warriors a 10-7 advantage.

On Bishop’s next possession, the Broncos took their first lead of the game when Cain Omohundro leaped near the goal line to snag a 20-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jakob Redmond for a 14-10 lead, sending the Broncos’ home crowd into a frenzy.

However, the Bishop advantage and home-crowd buzz would be short-lived, with Tehachapi’s Rashad McElroy answering emphatically with a 85-yard touchdown on the ensuing Warrior kickoff return, giving the momentum and lead right back to the Warriors, 16-14.

From there, Tehachapi would pad their lead with scores on two separate late drives, the first on a McElroy 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jacob Root on fourth down and the second on a 37-yard run from Sam Orellana. Orellana’s score was his final carry of the contest, giving him over 1,000 yards rushing overall for the season.

Defensively in the fourth quarter, Mountain Football shut down any notion of a comeback attempt, with Michael Jones and McElroy recording interceptions on Bishop’s final two drives. Overall, Wyatt Richie had a standout game with 17 tackles followed by Tylar Love with 12 tackles and a pass deflection, Jones with nine tackles and Rodney Michael with six tackles and a sack. Other standouts included Ashton Geddes with six tackles, Conner Davis and Orellana with five tackles apiece, McElroy with four tackles and two interceptions and Ben Williams, Kaleb Songer and AJ Anderson with four tackles each.

Love also had a strong night on offense, recording the Warriors first touchdown on a six-yard score in the first half, finishing with 43 yards on the ground. AJ Anderson also had 48 yards rushing, Kaleb Songer had a 60-yard completion and Root had two completions for 87 yards and a passing touchdown.

The contest against Bishop was the 49th meeting between the two schools. With Tehachapi’s victory, the Warriors now hold the overall series lead, 25-24, in games spanning from 1930 to present day.

The Warriors will move on in the CIF Division IV playoffs to the quarterfinals, taking on No. 7 seed Fresno-Roosevelt this Friday night in Fresno. The Roughriders had a bye last week when No. 10 seed Corcoran cancelled unexpectedly due to the team entering COVID-19 protocols.

Kickoff will be 7 p.m. this Friday night in Fresno.