It was a rough start, but one key takeaway, Mountain Football was finally back after 22 long months due to the pandemic.

In the season opener for both teams, Wasco exercised their will with their vaunted double-wing running attack in a 50-14 victory over Tehachapi.

“Wasco is a tough team that has been consistently difficult for us over the last few years,” said head coach Kris Krempien. “I am not into consolation prizes or moral victories, but the fact that we finally got to play a game was certainly a victory in-of-itself.”

Down 30-0 at halftime, the Warriors got on the scoreboard on their first offensive play from scrimmage in the third quarter when Sam Orellana raced down the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown run. Orellana had an impressive pancake stiff-arm on the play and Ryan Wilson had timely block on the edge of the line of scrimmage to spring Orellana loose in the open field.

Tylar Love closed out the offensive scoring for the Warriors with a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Orellana finished the night as the leading rusher for Tehachapi with 65 yards on seven carries and an eight yard reception from quarterback Jacob Root. Michael Jones and Love also each had 31 yards rushing to round out the other highlights on offense.

“It was a tough loss but the kids played hard for each other until the final whistle blew,” Krempien added. “We can’t let one game set back all the work we have done over the last few months.”

Defensively, Wyatt Richie led the way with 12 tackles, followed by Love with nine tackles and a fumble recovery. Nick Smith, Kaleb Songer and Ashton Geddes all had five tackles apiece, with Geddes also recording a pass deflection.

Orellana also contributed with four tackles and an interception, Rashad McElroy had four tackles and a pass deflection, and Christian Morse, Steven Sills and Jones all had four tackles.

Sebastian Peel, Tanner Gary and Jordan Davis each had sacks, with Davis’ sack also resulting in a safety in the end zone during the third quarter.

“There is a lot to improve on and also some good things to build off of,” added Krempien. “I am excited to work with these kids and see what kind of team we can be at the end of October.”

Tehachapi will have their home opener this Friday night at Coy Burnett Field against Golden West – Visalia. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.

Junior Varsity

Prior to kickoff, both teams agreed to start the game with a running clock. That decision coupled with two run-heavy offenses. Wasco was able to record a narrow 6-0 win over the Braves in a game that lasted only 80 minutes, including halftime.

Tehachapi and Wasco each had six offensive possessions in the game, with the Tigers recording the only score on their opening drive with a 65-yard drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

For the Braves, Andrew Aguirre was the leading rusher with 30 yards on six carries, followed by Levi Hart with 17 yards on four carries and Adrian Pina with 13 yards on six attempts. Quarterback Karson Tiewater had two completions for 27 yards, connecting with Theron Brentham for 10 yards and Devin Jackson for 17 yards.

Defensively, Tiewater had seven tackles and a pass deflection, Pina had six tackles and an interception, Peter Cusimano had five tackles and a pass deflection, Aguirre had five tackles, and Kaidon Hagerty and Levi Hart had four tackles apiece. Kenneth Pitt and Leonell Gonzalez both had sacks.

The Braves will continue their season in this week’s home opener against Golden West – Visalia this Friday afternoon at Coy Burnett Field. Kickoff will be at 5 p.m.