A stifling defense and opportunistic running spearheaded Mountain Football to an impressive 12-3 victory over Golden West – Visalia last Friday night at home.
Tehachapi (1-1) relinquished only three first downs to the visiting Trailblazers, all in the first half. The Warriors had a near-shutout if not for a turnover deep in their own territory in the third quarter that helped Golden West record a 30-yard field goal.
“The defense played lights-out. I am extremely proud with the way our guys played and how they prepared this week,” said head coach Kris Krempien. “We stress that the battle is won before it is fought. We put in a good week of practice and that all showed in the game.”
Michael Jones led the way for the Warriors at linebacker, shutting down the Trailblazers run game with seven tackles and a sack. Ethan Reese and Wyatt Richie also had strong nights with five tackles each and AJ Anderson and Kaleb Songer had four tackles each. Rashad McElroy also had a fumble recovery. Also swarming around ball carriers were Sebastian Peel, Sam Orellana, Christian Morse, Rodney Michael, Nick Smith, Ashton Geddes and Tylar Love, who all recorded multiple tackles in the big win.
“We did not have any film on Golden West coming in because they had a couple of cancellations on their schedule. But maybe it is a good thing to come into the element of the unknown and expect the unexpected,” added Krempien. “With the hunger that our town has for football it feels great to give our community a win.”
Offensively, Orellana helped the Warriors record their first touchdown of the night with a one-yard touchdown run to cap a 68-yard drive near the end of the first quarter. McElroy padded the lead with a touchdown run in the fourth quarter on an off-tackle jaunt that went 26-yards for a score. Orellana finished with 68 yards on 14 carries and McElroy had 65 yards on eight attempts.
Other highlights included strong running by Ryan Wilson and Love, who both combined for 61 yards on the ground. On special teams, Ethan Korhonen had two punts that landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, helping to pin the Trailblazers deep in their own territory on two possessions.
The Warriors will look to continue their positive momentum into another home contest this week against Burroughs-Ridgecrest. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Coy Burnett Field.
“We are home again and we love playing up here,“ said Krempien. “We are going to prepare for this game and not just be satisfied (with last week’s victory).”
The Warriors orchestrated their running attack to near perfection by accounting for over 80 percent of game possession en route to a 14-7 victory over Golden West.
Tehachapi (1-1) accounted for 187 yards rushing and 11 total first downs, with Adrian Pina scoring two touchdowns and finishing with 57 yards on 12 carries.
Andrew Aguirre was the leading rusher for the Warriors with 98 yards on 18 carries. Theron Brentham also had 27 yards on 10 carries and Kaidon Hagerty tallied 17 yards on eight attempts.
On defense, Aguirre led the way with seven tackles, followed by Leonell Gonzalez with five tackles and a quarterback pressure and Travis Mason with four tackles. Liddon Scott also recorded an interception, Hayden Michael a fumble recovery and Samuel Scott a sack and quarterback pressure.
Wade Brooks, Devin Jackson, Kenneth Pitt, Cyler Hoofard, Pina and Hagerty also had multiple-tackle nights.