Fueled with a strong running game, Mountain Football competed well against a very talented opponent, but in the end could not overcome the big play capability of Garces in a 48-21 defeat.
Garces (3-2) came into the contest as the No. 1 rated team in Kern County with multiple standout athletes on their roster. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Warriors hung tough, leading at one point in the second quarter, 7-6 and tying the contest at 13-13 with less than a minute remaining before halftime.
Throughout the game, the Rams put their speed and power on display, scoring on seven of their 10 possessions. Garces quarterback Travis Plugge finished the night with 282 yards of total offense and four touchdowns and Ian Jernagin had 98 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
For Tehachapi (2-3), the Warriors had a pair of impressive 65-yard drives in the first half to keep the contest close, with the first a 10-play drive capped by a one-yard Sam Orellana touchdown run and the second a 12-play drive that was finished off by a Jacob Root 18-yard quarterback keeper for a score. In the fourth quarter, Orellana scored another touchdown on a 58-yard jaunt, which was followed by a Tylar Love two-point conversion run.
Orellana finished the game with 112 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns and Love had 76 yards on 15 carries. Ryan Wilson and AJ Anderson also had strong nights on offense with a combined 51 yards on 20 carries. As a team, Tehachapi finished with 258 yards rushing on 56 carries for a 4.45 yards per carry average.
Defensively, Wyatt Richie and Anderson led the team in tackles with eight apiece, followed by Kaleb Songer with four tackles and Ryan Walker, Steven Sills, Orellana and Love with three tackles each. Ashton Geddes also had a strong game with two tackles, a sack and a block on a PAT after the Rams’ first touchdown. Sills provided consistency in punting, averaging just over 33 yards in five kicks.
Tehachapi will have a bye this week and resume their season in the South Yosemite League opener on Oct. 1 at home against Ridgeview. The game against the Wolfpack will also be homecoming for Tehachapi.
A tribute to Garces and Tehachapi legend Gary Ogilvie
The game against Garces was tabbed as the 13th Ogilvie Bowl, a tradition that has been going strong since the first Ogilvie Bowl in 2007 and played as a tribute to retired coach Gary Ogilvie.
According to thswarriors.com, Ogilvie was a standout quarterback for Garces during his playing days, guiding the Rams to their first-ever Valley Championship in 1953. Ogilvie would return to Garces after a stint in the Marines as the head coach from 1964-1969. During his six years at Garces, his teams won several SSL championships.
Ogilvie then moved to Tehachapi where he was the head coach two different times, from 1971 to 1974, and from 1979 to 1981. During that period, Ogilvie’s Warriors teams went 68-12, capturing four DIL championships and one CIF section championship.
Tehachapi and Garces have met in 49 total contests, with Garces leading the overall series, 27-20-2. One of the 20 victories for Tehachapi includes the first-ever meeting between the two schools in 1946, when the Warriors defeated Garces (called St. Francis at that time), 13-0.
The Junior Varsity Warriors (3-2) had an impressive showing in their non-league finale last Friday afternoon in a 16-6 victory over the Garces freshmen team.
Andrew Aguirre and Levi Hart both had rushing touchdowns for the JV Warriors and Carter Kolesar connected on both PATs.
Defensively, the JV Warriors recorded a safety from a penalty in the endzone. Overall, Kaidon Hagerty and Aguirre had strong defensive games to help keep the Rams to only six points.
The JV Warriors will have a bye this week, with their next game the South Yosemite League opener on Oct. 1 against Ridgeview.